June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.421.1 - 11.421.5
DESIGNING TECHNOLOGY FOR DEVELOPING NATIONS
Technology transfer to developing nations has been mainly in the form of finished products such as equipment that are sold to developing nations. These products are designed primarily for applications in the nations that developed the technology, and these nations are mostly in the temperate regions. For this reason, the environmental conditions that are considered as part of the design criteria, and are well suited for the application of the technology, are those of the temperate regions.
Many of these equipments operate in remote rural areas where they may remain unattended for significant lengths of time. Some of these environments present extremes of weather conditions during the day and night times. Extreme humidity may also be a factor in the operational environment. While such technology work reasonably well in equatorial regions when they are operated by well trained technicians, technologists, and engineers, incorporating equatorial regional environmental conditions as part of the design criteria may extend the life time of equipment that are intended for use in such regions. It is essential that engineers, technologists and technicians receive an education that includes a consideration the effects of environmental conditions on the proper functioning of technology in developing nations where they may be deployed.. This paper discusses, and presents some efforts that need to be directed at the design of technologies that may be employed in equatorial regions. It also addresses the educational implications that need to be considered for those who may operate and maintain the equipment.
The development of any technology from the inception of the idea through the prototype phase to a fully accepted and applicable state is a costly venture and the capital outlay at the beginning of the process can be very high. For this reason, there are not many companies that are able to undertake such a process from the beginning. Many companies will therefore jump in when the technology is established as a viable application. This indicates that it will be even further out of reach for a developing nation to undertake such a process. Developing nations are therefore generally user nations that depend on technological developments from manufacturing nations, and at best, developing nations can be service nations when their technicians, technologists and engineers are trained to operate and maintain the technology.
Technological development and hence the design criteria have advanced to the state where researchers and developers need to apply critical and well-defined design criteria and specifications to achieve the best results for the applications. While this applies generally to all technological developments, it may be more crucial in some cases. To cite
Ofosu, W., & Asgill, A. (2006, June), Designing Technology For Developing Nations Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1226
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