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Questions, Answers, Information No. 1/92
March 1992

Deutsches Zentrum fwicklungstechnologien

ISSN 0723 - 2225


Deutsche Gesellschaft fTechnische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH
(German Agency for Technical Cooperation) Post Box 5130 Dag-Hammarskjold-Weg 1 D-6236 EschIcorn 1 Federal Republic of Germany Telephone: 061 96/79-0 Telex: 41523-0 (gtz d)

Focus in this issue:
GTZ Section 4130

Peler Bosse-Brekenfeld

Cover photo: rime production in Malawi. Overview of track leading Kiln.

Photo: Paul Hams, ITDG

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ISSN 0723-2225

Dear Readers,

The “Global Strategy for Shelter“ approved by the UN in 1988 assigns the governments and development aid organizations of the industrialized countries a new role in meeting the basic need for adequate shelter. Governments are called upon to remove obstacles which hinder individuals, serf-help groups, communities or NGOs in the construction of decent housing. This means providing statutory regulations, building standards and financial aid, for example.

According to the UN's Strategy technical development aid should be geared to the actual needs of people in the developing countries, and help them to produce basic building materials using locally available resources.

BASIN, the Building Advisory Service and information Network, to which GATE belongs, is helping numerous self-help groups and NGOs by promoting a small-scale building materials and low-cost construction sector. The two case studies in the Focus section of this issue show how, if the social and cultural context is respected, careful technoloqycal innovations can help a local building materials industry to flourish.

As regards our second main theme in this issue, it's “back to the basks“ The debate about the importance of Appropriate Technology has flared up again. In the run up to a GATE symposium on the future of AT, to be held in Frankfurt in May this year, we publish some discussion papers.

Peter Bosse-Brekenfeld

The global strategy for shelter

What it means for a Technical Agency

by Hannah Schreckenbach

1987 was celebrated world-wide as the “International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (IYSH)“. During this year, the United Nations in general and the UN-Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) in particular carried out a global campaign to create awareness of the living conditions of disadvantaged people. At the end of the IYSH the UN-General Assembly concluded that the year should be followed by a long-term programme aimed at creating an innovative and realistic housing policy. In December 1988 the “Global Strategy for Shelter to the year 2000“ was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly.

In many countries in the world activities, programmes, projects, seminars, workshops, conferences, campaigns etc. were planned and implemented on realizing that most world nations, developed and developing, have serious shelter problems.

Deficit in housing stock, deterioration of existing housing and slums and squatter settlements are some of the urban problems. Rural areas also face problems like depletion of traditional building materials and erosion of land used for subsistence (which results in further environmental degradation and/or rural urban migration).

Long-term programme

Inthestrategy-document which was published in 1990 the Executive Director of UNCHS (Habitat) in Nairobi, Arcot Ramachandran, describes “The Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000“ as a “historic step toward harnessing the human, technical and financial resources of the international community, national governments, local authorities, aid agencies, non-governmental organizations, planners and policy-makers, the formal and informal private sector and community-based organizations, and towards the amelioration of the deteriorating shelter conditions of the poor and disadvantaged around the world“.

It would go beyond the space limits of this article to explain the complete “Global Shelter Strategy (GSS)“ in detail. It should however, be noted that:

“The GSS is based upon a number of perceptions about the direction of current shelter trends, the multisectoral nature of national shelter delivery systems, and previous efforts by national governments and international organizations to improve global shelter circumstances:

- Failure by national governments to confront, analyse and change the contexts in which people struggle for adequate shelter, and failure to cooperate internationally to enable an all-out effort to generate shelter to meet their population's needs, will bring global shelter problems to a point of no return. Immediate and sustained shelter action cannot be postponed. The year 2000 is a realistic deadline towards which action can be scheduled.

- Population growth and urbanization trends have a profound impact on people's access to shelter and this should be reflected in national policies that have an impact on national shelter improvement, production and delivery systems. Large sections of societies, particularly/he urban poor in developing countries, should be assisted by such policies.

- Shelter is an extremely important sector in a national economy. If policies affecting national shelter delivery systems are strategically supportive, the shelter delivery systems can contribute to economic development and the resulting economic gain scan feed-back into the improved performance of the shelter delivery system. If the wrong policies are in operation, both the development of shelter delivery systems and national development objectives will suffer.

- Past national shelter efforts in many countries have emphasized only structural standards and direct construction approaches to shelter as a consumer product. Such approaches have ignored the user value of housing, i.e., the fundamentally social and economic role of shelter as living and even working space supportive of, yet dependent on, people's livelihoodand ability to pay.

- Because past national shelter programmes usually ignored or only partially understood the national housing market and shelter production system, they often did more damage than good to the shelter circumstances of the poor.

- Some of the international aid agencies, including multilateral funding agencies, bilateral aid agencies an d international non-governmental organizations, have often pursued their own policies and priorities in their assistance programmes to client countries and without due regard for the real priorities of those client countries without any congent co-ordination with the efforts of other external and internal actors in the shelter system.

Dear Subscribers,

If you move, please inform us of your new address in good time. Don't forget to mention your subscriber's number, which is printed on the gate address label. Otherwise we will unfortunately have to delete your name from our list of subscribers.

Key points

There are some important key points in the strategy which are especially of interest for our own work within the context of a technical aid agency:

- The GSS is based on action at the national level. Only at this level can the necessary tools and resources be deployed for any actions. The GSS calls for a combination of international and national efforts but, at the same time, it stresses that shelter goals can only be met by the individual efforts of each government acting in its own political, social, economic and cultural context.

- It has been recognized and is therefore assumed that governments are no longer able to be “providers“ of housing. Even where they can provide, it is often not done in the most desirable or cost-effective way. The new government-role is that of the “enabler“.

“Enabling“ here means: Removing obstacles that come in the way of attempts to provide shelter by individuals, communities, NGO's or the private sector. In the context of GSS this means:

- to use public resources to encourage and help action taken by other sectors;

- to stimulate the use of untapped capacities and resources (e. 9. individual and community self help); - to define the complementary role of the public, private and community sectors, and:

- for governments to:

- amend/revise building codes, regulations, standards,

- provide legal land tenure,

- streamline land administration and promote appropriate use of land,

- issue incentives for mobilizing private funding,

- assist promotional programmes for the local small scale building materials industry,

- provide training programmes,

- help strengthening and coordinating local housing sector institutions.

Use of local materials

The advisory service of BASIN (“Building Advisory Service and Information Network“) already collaborates with a number of research institutions, self help groups and NGO's in the building materials and construction sector. For us, the necessary stimulation of this sector, within the framework of the GSS, is the most important part of our work.

The first priority with respect to construction resources involves making use of local materials and construction methods. In this context GSS states:

“Rapid expansion of the supply of basic building materials at low cost can be achieved by promoting the small-scale sector. By adopting recent technological innovations, it is possible to develop an entire buildingmaterials industry exclusively based on small-scale production units. Hence, promoting small-scale production of building materials is a practical approach to developing a self sufficient building materials industry. However, the small-scale sectorisespecially vulnerable because small production units are characterized by an unskilled labour force, a high rate of illiteracy, lack of access to credit (especially foreign exchange), lack of acess to information on technological innovations and, most of all, lack of appropriate institutional support for making technological choices.

A strategy for the application of appropriate technology in the small-scale sector should address the following three areas: first the shortcomings in performance of technologies already established in production; secondly, the issue of new investments in technologies to overcome those limitations, and finally, the identification of innovations that are yet to be transferred either from local sources in laboratories and research institutions, or from international sources. In the small-scale sector, the first two issues, and particulary the first deserve priority attention.“

Incentives for innovation

For us it should be clear therefore that the capacity of the building industry to accept new technologies can be greatly increased through incentives for innovation and technical assistance. The two case studies which follow this article give proof to this. We see our own role in the operational implications of the GSS also as an “enabling“ one, namely in helping to:

- offer, coordinate and manage information and know-how dissemination;

- offer appropriate training courses/facilities for architects; planners, decision-makers, administrators and building materials producers;

- collaborate with local institutions, groups organizations, individuals in the research, development, test and application of suitable technologies and local materials for economic building.


Cartoon: W.W. E Hill


In 1988 the UN approved a “Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000“. The author asks what significance this Strategy has for technical development aid . It emphasizes the importance of national measures. the state must remove bureaucratic obstacles by means of appropyate statutory instruments and offer incentives to production to individuals, municipalities and NGOS. this means, for example that uniform building regulations and standards should be issued, that the local building industry must be supported, and that questions of property ownership should be clearly settled, BASIN, the Building Advisory Service and Informations Network, is providing suport; it is helping self-help organizations research estabilishments and further develop locally available technologies in the building industry and is offering information and appropiate training courses for architects, planners and decision-makers.


En 1988, les Nations Unies ont adopta “Globa Strategy for Shelter to the year 2000“. L'auteur s'interoge sur sa signification pur l'aide technique au dloppement. La strate des Nations Unies souligne l'importance des mesures nationales. C'est a l'Etat de supprimer les obstacles byreaucratiques en istaurant les rementations lles corespondantes et d'offrir aux particuliers, aux communes ainsi qu'aux organisations non gouvernementales des incitations a la production. Ceci signifie par example la crion de prescriptions en mati de construction et de normes uniformes, la nsite promouvoir la construction au niveau local, et une rementation claire des conditiones de propri. Le service-conseil BASIN (Building Advisory Service Information Network) apporte son aide dans ce domaine.Il apporte son soutien aux organisations d'aide, aux organismes de recherche et aux organisations non gouvernementales dans e cadre de l'utilisation et du perfectionnement des technologies disponibles sur place dans le secteur de la construction et offre des informations ainsi que des cours d'entrainement appropripour les architectes, les urbanistes, les urbanistes et les agents de dsion.


Las Naciones Unidas aprobaron en1988 la “Globa Strategy for Shelter to the year 2000“. La autora investiga la importancia de dicha estrategia para la ayuda tica al dessarollo . La estrategia de la ONU subraya la importancia de las medidas necionales. Los gobiernos deben suprimirlos obstaculos burocraticos mediante los correspondientes decretos legales y ofrecerles incentivos de produccion a los individuos, a los municipios y a las organizaciones no gubernamentales . Ello implica p.ej. la necesidad de dictar disposiciones y estandares de contruccion y reglamentar claramente las relaciones de propiedad. El servicio de asesoramiento BASIN (Building Advisory Service and Information Network)presta apoyo al respecto. Dicho servicio colabora con las organizaciones de autoayuda, los institutos de investigacion y las organizaciones no gubernamentales, en lo que respecta a la aplicacion y desarrollo ulterior de technologias disponibles localmente en el ramo de la construccion y ofrece informaciones, asi como cursillos de entrenamiento apropiados para arquitectos planificadores y encargados de tomar decisiones.

Building with local materials: Rural schools in Burkina Faso

by Thierry Joffroy and Hubert Guillaud.

A pilot programme with the aim of developing a new approach to the problem of how to build several hundred primary schools in rural areas in Burkina Faso has been undertaken over the last two years of research and pilot projects undertaken by the “Education III Project Office“ in collaboration with CRATerre-EAG', very good results have been obtained. Following this first programme, a major development is in preparation using this intervention model - with the support of the International Development Association of the World Bank.


Overall context of the programme

Given the limited financial means available for its realization, such an ambitious programme has required research into new solutions, within universal reach and making maximum use of local resources, labour and materials. This has meant drawing directly on the popular tradition, seeking possible adaptations, identifying which options were rational and in harmony with the surroundings, in order to finalIy arrive at school design models which meet the objectives of restricted cost and rapid construction.Since 1983 the government of Burkina Faso, mindful of the country's economic and social development, has been pursuing a policy of improvement of its education system, one of the main objectives of which is to increase school attendance rates from 25% to 40% by 1995-96.

As a first stage, the development of primary school teaching, notably in rural areas, has been given priority. The objective of the Ministry of Basic Teaching and Mass Literacy implies, amongst other things, the building of 2, 000 primary schools, ie approximately 6, 000 classrooms and 6, 000 leachers' homes.

Given that the government has already been allocating 24% of the national budget to education and that this cannot be increased to cover the investment required for the realization of this project, the latter could only be envisaged if construction costs could be significantly reduced.

A new strategy has had to be defined in the light of these budgetary constraints. In order to carry out this highly ambitious programme, the government's basic assumption has been that it should rely on local resources in materials and labour skills.

Pilot programme

In order to verify the government's assumption, the “Education IIl Project Office“ was asked to carry out a programme of survey, research and pilot building, preparatory to the definition of a future “Education IV Project“.

CRATerre, which is a research unit within the Department of Architecture and Urbanism of the Ministry of Public Works, Housing, Transport and Space (Ministere de l'Equipement, du Logement, des Transports et de l'Espace) and which is affiliated to the School of Architecture in Grenoble, was approached to take part in the programme.

The pilot programme was set up in several phases:

1. A survey of local building skills,

2. An intermediate phase for classification of data, assessment and project design,

3. The successive construction of several prototypes with intermediate evaluation phases.

The programme benefitted from the financial support of the International Development Association of the World Bank.

Preliminary survey of local building skills

The survey first drew on documentary research, which gave an initial insight into these skills, and above all enabled the most important part, ie the field survey, to be prepared more efficiently.
A working method was devised to facilitate data collection, using survey forms to record both technical observations and information obtained in the field in the course of discussions with villagers.

Fifty-seven particularly representative buildings and architectural typologies were selected for detailed analysis from amongst the several hundred buildings observed throughout the main regions of the country. The data obtained allowed the identification of: - the fundamental characteristics of traditional building in Burkina Faso,

- the different building systems used and variations within these,

- the state of technical knowledge and skills related to the main building types, - the main ways in which work is organized,

- building costs, and

- the most common maintenance practices.

On completion of this documentary research and field survey work, a study was published by the Education 111 Project Office with the support of the World Bank2. This architectural and technico-economic study was complemented with a second socio-cultural study undertaken by a team of sociologists from Burkina Faso.

Feasibility study

Based on the data collected during the survey of local building skills, a feasibility study was undertaken at three different levels: economic, technical and social. This study confirmed that the use of local materials in the construction of school buildings in rural areas might have significant potential at various levels:

- extremely low traditional building co. its,

- wide availability of good quality building materials, notably as far as lateritic soi deposits are concerned,

- the existence of building skills,

- the existence of local structures for the realization of public service buildings in local materials.

The study also enabled the technical opt ions available to be identified and a decision to be made on the way building works were to be organized.

Basic options

The material selected for wall-building was the adobe brick, which is used throughout the country. However, in order to ensure its durability without requiring too frequent maintenance, the traditional architecture has had to be slightly modified.

A principle for the financing and management of projects has been developed, placing responsibility for these directly with the local authorities or inhabitants. A village community eligible for a school provides unskilled labour and locally available materials: soil, adobe blocks, sand, gravel, etc, and the construction is entrusted to an entrepreneur. An alternative is the village community taking on the whole of the management and construction process.

Experimental sites

For the design of the buildings, the method used was inspired as much as possible by traditional forms in Burkina Faso, taking existing models as a starting point, and attempting to resolve the technical problems I inked to these, partly in order to adapt the use of space to educational needs, and partly for durability and to reduce maintenance needs. Five main technical principles were selected:

1. water-proofing of the top of the walls using corrugated or galvanized iron sheets, structural stability ensured by thick adobe walls, built on rubble concrete foundations,

3. protection of walls from d riving rain by a durable render,

4. water-proofing of the base of the walls with a rubble concrete footing,

5. sloping surfaces and a drainage gully all around the buildings for fast rainwater drain-off.

Building work was completed on three sites, one after the other, in three different villages. Thanks to their systematic control, much additional data emerged, which served very well to complement the data obtained in the course of the field survey. This new data highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of each technical solution, making continual progress possible.

Results after two years of the pilot programme

After two years of CRATerre's collaboration with the Education III Project Office, tangible results can be reported:

1. The construction of 12 classrooms, teachers' housing units and ancillary services, offices, canteens, and latrines.

2. A significant reduction in costs which have progressively dropped from 13 M Fcfa (740FF [$130] /m2, cost of building prior to the pilot programme) to 9 M Fcfa (514FF [$95] /m2), then to 7.6 M Fcfa (428FF [$75] /m2) and finally as low as 4 M Fcfa (230FF [$40] /m2). A revaluation and focus on the use of local resources and skills, keeping down the country's external debt.

4. A reduction in building time, and the streamlining of management and of control techniques, further reducing the real cost of the operation.

5. High quality school buildings constructed in earth, meeting educational needs for space, lighting and thermal comfort well.

6. The durability of the buildings thanks to the application of accepted principles for building with earth to the traditional models found in Burkina Faso.

7. The replicability of the new models, obtained through a continual search for adaptation to the human, technical and socio-cultural factors.

8. The creation of a data base usable for other types of projects.

Following the success of the pilot programme, the Education lII Project Office has decided to terminate its financing with the realization of a first stage of wide-scale building, ie the
construction of 32 schools (comprising 3 classrooms and 3 housing units) in various regions within the country. This programme, which is now underway, was prepared jointly by the heads of the Education 111 Project Office's regional network, which is responsible for controlling its implementation.

Follow-up to the pilot programme

Finally, in the context of the overall education development programme throughout Burkina Faso, the government is preparing, in conjunction with the World Bank, the programming of the Education IV Project which includes “Primary school building in rural areas“ based on the application of the results of the pilot programme. It has been recommended that the project should retain the strong links between realization, research and training which have without doubt ensured the success of the pilot programme.

Now that the pilot programme has come to an end, we are able to assert that an important step forward has been taken in realizing the objectives of the government of Burkina Faso. This is because it now seems possible to approach the country's massive need for school infrastructure in a realistic and practical way, and moreover doing so without increasing the country's external debt, but on the contrary by exploiting local skills.

The materials used, the building techniques, and the architectural designs which follow on from it are closely matched to the skills available in rural and pert-urban areas, allowing the project to be well integrated into the country's society. Similarly, the proposed buildings are genuinely economically accessible, as their costs remain very close to current building costs within the informal sector.
Hence, it migth be possible to envisage a wide dissemination of the building improvements which would be usable in contexts as various as housing, pubic infrastructure, medical and, of course, school facilities. Given their geographical spread throughout the country, the school building programmes thus have a part to play at the outest of a new dynamism in self development and advancement in the building sector, based on the country's own resources.


In the rural areas of Burkina Faso there is a shortage of primary schools. The government has set it self the task of building several hundred primary schools withim the shortest possible time . The purpose of the pilot programme describe in this article was to work out solutins which rely mainly on locally available resources. the feasibility study identified ways of exploiting local materials and craft skills at low cost. The study also recommended that the schools. They emphasize that the actual construction work should be the responsibility of the community in question. Following completion of the pilot phase, 32 schools are meanwhile under construction.


Les zones rurales du Burkina Faso sont caracts par un manque d'les primaires. Le gouvernement s'est fixour objectif de construire plusieurs centaines d'les primaires dans le plus brefs dis . L'objectif du project-pilote prntans cet article it la recherche de solutions faisant appel essentiellement aux ressources locals. Les des de faisabilitettent en dence des possibilitfinanciment avantageuses dans le cas de l'exploatation des mataux disponibles sur place ainsi que des capacitartisanales . Les batiments scolaires doivent, selon cette de, prendre en compte l'arhitecture traditionnelle du Burkina Faso . Les auteurs du prnt article font des propositions techniques pour la construction des les . Ils soulignent que la risation des batiments scolaires doit avoir lieu sous la responsabilite la commune concern Au terme de la phase-pilote 32 les sont en construction.


En las regiones rurales de Burkina Faso existen muy pocas escuelas primarias. El gobierno se ha propuesto construir varios centemares de escuelas primarias . El gobierno se ha propuesto construir varios centenario des escuelas primarias en une tiempo minimo . El objectivo del programa piloto descrito en el presente articulo fue el elaborar soluciones que emplearan basicamente recursos existentes en Burkina Faso. Los estuduio de factibilidad di lucidan las posibilidades economicas de hacer uso de los materiales y habilidades artesenales locales . Segun el studio, los edificios de las escuelas deben orientarse de acuerdo con el stilo construccion traditional de Burkina Faso . Los autores hacen propuestas ticas de como construir las escuelas y subrayan que la ejecucion de las obras deberia ser responsabilidad del correspondiete municipio, Luego de finalizar la fase piloto , se estan constuyendo entrentato 32 escuelas.

Is mayotte a model for development?

by Hubert Guillaud, Patrice Doat and Hugo Houben, in collaboration with Vincent Lietar and Leon Attila Cheyssiah

A programme for the global improvement of the housing stock of the Island of Mayotte, a French Territorial Collectivity in the Indian Ocean, with a population of 50, 000, was launched in 1978 and 1979. The objective of the programme was to achieve, over a period of 20 years, decent conditions within the island's very precarious traditional housing, which reflected an economic situation comparable to that of neighbouring developing countries (such as Madagascar, Tanzania, Mozembique).

By 1990, the half-way point in the programme, 7, 500 housing units were to have been restored or rebuilt. Since the essentially rural population have no financial resources, it has been necessary to turn to self-help building capacities, local crafts and local resources in materials and skills. In 1991, 6, 000 social housing units and more than 500 rented accommodation units have been completed, mainIy built with compressed earth blocks.

Political will and the initial strategy

From the outset, it was clearly understood that the activity gene rated by the building sector would serve to provide the Island of Mayotte with an economic structure. Given the insular context of the territory, maximum use of local resources was stated to be a governing principle.

This resolve was put into practice with the launch of a survey of Mayotte housing undertaken from an ethnological point of view. The survey established that the structure of the island's village-organized housing is extremely homogeneous. But the technical diagnosis of the state of the island's built housing stock, estimated to consist of 10, 000dwellings/plots, wasatthetime very poor:

- 85 % of dwellings had no water, either inside or within the plot;

- 95 % had no electricity;

- 83 % were roofed with coconut palm leaves and 17 % with corrugated iron;

- 90 % had walls built with organic materials (raffia, coconut palm leaves, etc.) or wattle and daub.

A general policy for the improvement of living conditions and the structuring of the means of production was found to be essential if the people were to achieve decent and durable homes as fast as possible and in order to undertake a genuine strategy of global development for upgrading the totally under-served territory of the island.

The underlying intention of the programme, which concerns the entire population of Mayotte, with a primary focus on the 90% almost totally destitute farming population, is to promote the island's human and material resources. It shouId also allow the development of outlying areas to be fairly balanced by comparison to that of the administrative centre of Mamoudzou, the largest town.

Structures set up

In order to implement these social housing schemes, the following operational framework was set up:

- A social housing team within the “Direction de l'Equipement“ (Department of Public Works) to design the programmes and coordinate their implementation.

- An association made up of members of the public, elected representatives, and administrators to assist in the design and evaluation of the programmes.

- A State Mixed Economy Company was created to take charge of the building of administrators' housing and to manage the social housing programme.

- A cooperative named “Musada“ (m (Mutual aid), enabling supplies of materials, tools, and site equipment for skilled workers to be grouped, testing new materials, training and equipping skilled workers, and acting as a labour pool.

An association for professional, continuous training, (APFPC), to give practical training in building skills, masonry, roofing and carpentry, to young islanders with no qualification or to already established craftsmen but with few qualifications, through the “Compagnons du Devoir“ (a French traces' guild).


As far as the financing of the social housing operations was concerned, Mayotte, like all overseas dependencies, benefits from the “Ligne Budget:aire Unique“ (LBU), or single budget line. This exceptional work tool consists of a budget for construction aid, which is allocated by the state as a lump sum, and managed by a single department; in the case of Mayotte, it was absorbed directly by SIM. The Nay in which LBU funds are allocated allowed SIM to create its own particular policy, to organize its own structure and its services in their entirety, and to develop its own strategy for action in :he area of social housing.

Products proposed

Minimum conditions were as follows:

On the one hand, serviced plots, with nominal viability of extension areas for island villages and a method of allocation which follows the principles of customary right.

On the other hand, help with building work is available to those to whom plots are allocated in two main forms:

- Help “in kind“, a minimum programme for the basic improvement of the structure of the island's dwellings (foundations, timber wall and roof-frame), which takes the form of help with materials and technical asistance for the construction of a 2 room dwelling of 40 m2, which the occupier is expected to finish.

Mayotte social housing or “Habitat Type“ (Model Housing), slightly biger (50 m2), and jointly financed by an individual contribution in the form of materials and labour and a-' agreement to repay part of the grant in the form of rent-repayments over 6 to 10 years.

This principle of personal contribution, in the form of money (5, 200 francs in 1990) and in the form of materials, labour and payment of a skilled worker, which is generally saved by householders over two years, is fundamental to the principle of not indebting households (Table 1).

Table 1: Financial break-down of “help in kind“ for the allocatee, 1986 - 1991.
Source: SIM


1986 cost


1991 st


SIM contribution

26 000.00 FF

68.4 %


8 100.00 FF

(financed by LBU)

79 %

Individual contribution in mony

4 200.00 FF

11 %

5 200.00 FF

11 %

Contribution in kind, materials and remuneration of skilled workers

7800.00 FF


5500.00 FF






4800000 FF


Table 2: Break-down according to the various construction types, 1990.
Source: SAT








Shelter built with earth

2 320



Shelter built with organic materials




“Kipi“ shelter (earth plastered onto stcne-filled framework)




Corrugated iron roofing




Help in kind “(compressed earth blocks)




Mcdel housing (compressed earth blocks)




Cement block housing




Stone housing (basalt)




Rented accommodation (earth, stone, cement blocks)




Private top quality housing








The implementation of the programme defined in 1978, its conceptual coherence and the care with which it was put into effect were to lead to spectacular results, after thirteen years of development (Table 2).

Earth as a lever for development

Exploiting local material resources meant undertaking a wide programme to identify which of the island's raw materials were such, and available in sufficient quantities to be exploited, as to make them considered promising with regard to their usefulness for construction purposes

Over 10 years, between 1978 and 1988, thanks to several missions undertaken by experts in the identification of mineral resources, a number of quarries were opened to excavate rock type materials (required for the production of aggregates, ie gravel and crushed stone), lateritic soils and loose volcanic ash (pozzolanas), basalt and phonolitic stone. These were to be the basic materials on which the development of any construction activity releving on the exploitation of local materials rested.

Innovative building materials

The organized production of unbaked earth was launched with the technicoeconomic assistance of CRATerre EAG between 1980 and 1982. This resulted in the opening of some twenty quarries and a network of 19 brickworks set up throughout the island and initially managed by SIM and Musada. This launching of production of stabilized compressed earth blocks helped to set up a genuine small local “industry“ , creating and redistributing wealth:

- creating wealth by exploiting the island's mineral resources and by building up a considerable stock of materials (earth block production having risen from 176, 000 blocks in 1982 to 3, 500, 000 in 1989) with the aim of building up an architectural heritage;

- and redistributing wealth by creating numerous jobs throughout the production chain, from quarry workers to brickmakers, distribution activities and builders, bricklayers, roofers, and carpenters, all trained in the course of the construction of SIM social housing units.

The earth block accepted

The main factors contributing to this acceptance have been:

- the use of soiI block presses, Terstarams, which have given the material a fresh and technical image;

- the multiplicity of building works for the building of public facilities;

- even more so, the fact that housing for expatriate French civil servants has been built with earth blocks, along the same construction lines as those of the social housing units;

- the training for block producers (brickmakers) and users (bricklayers);

- the commitment of local architects, whose projects made maximum use of earth blocks, and minimized the use of sandcrete blocks and concrete;

- the production of a range of housing, designed to be easy to implement, whilst broadening the spectrum of products.

Organized local materials

production chains

This approach to setting up the organized production of materials in such a way as to create and redistribute local weaIth led the way for the organization and development of a wider structure for the production of local materials.

The small-scale extraction of pozzolanic ash and basalt, and later phonolitic rock materials, gave birth to the organized production of aggregates produced by crushing, and of stone, supplying high quality building materials

More recently, the organized production of fired bricks has been established on Mayotte. The Societe Anonyme Briqueterie Mahoraise (SABM) was created in September 1989 and has an installed production capacity enabling it to produce 14 tons of fired products per day.

A “mechanism“ for production

Organizations commissioning building works today have links with building contractors, with small and medium sized enterprises, with numerous skilled workers, with a structure for teaching and professional training, and with a structure for job promotion. Today, this Mayotte mechanism for production is an enormous enabling machine, which has succeeded in giving the islanders an essential role to play by integrating them relatively quickly into all sectors of the economy. There is no doubt that it is the primary sector, dominated by building, which nourishes and stimulates the local economy. This sector has managed to create 2, 300 salaried jobs, accounting for 30% of total salaried jobs in the total employment structure.

Table 3: Comparison of cost per m2 of wall made of compressed earth blocks and of sand-cement blocks

Cost per m2 of 1982, wall in FF in when the earth construction branch was set up

Sand cement block


Compressed earth block





8.70 FF



21.85 FF

20, 23% FF




42.70 FF

39.54% FF

23.90 FF



0.72 FF

0.66% FF

0.91 FF



0.72 FF

0.66% FF




5.90 FF

5.46% FF

3.10 FF


Production labour

8.25 FF

7.63% FF



Construction labour

28.00 FF

25.72% FF

28.00 FF



108.14 FF

100% FF

80.31 FF


Rounded to

108.00 FF


80.00 FF


The economic surplus from the activity generated by the construction sector has been directly passed on, stimulating the emergence of a cash economy amongst the population, which has seen its income and standard of living rise considerably in the space of thirteen years. The statutory minimum wage has risen from 100 FF in 1976 to 500 FF in 1981, 860 FF in 1985, 1000 FF in 1986, and reached 1744 FF in 1991 (as of July, for a 40-hour week).

The objective remains that of renovating and rebuilding precarious shelters, of which there are still a great many, and of building new housing in response to the increasing demand due to demographic growth (Table 5).

Which strategy is right?

Over the last decades, much effort has been expended on defining political, technical and economic strategies aimed at embarking on the large-scale production of low-cost housing, to ensure its implementation. For the most part these efforts have failed, as a result of not always taking account of the specific nature of the many factors involved, and also of the material and human potential of the areas of operation.

The complexity of operations means that specific factors and particularities must be integrated. Amongst these, the identification of typically local needs, the aspirations of the population, the rapid changes taking place in local societies, the use of local labour and skills, and of local raw and processed building materials and methods are pointers to effectiveness and success.

The Mayotte experience has shown that this objective - the creation and gradual consolidation of a local production structure - must be actively supported by the political will to invest first and foremost in the following essential areas:

- Ethnological housing surveys to ensure the identification of local building cultures, habits and customs related to shelter, the needs and aspirations of populations, their economic resources, the means at their disposal for mobilizing housing production, the gaps to be overcome.

- Surveys to identify raw material resources which might give rise to the organized production of local building materials.

- Technico-economic feasibility studies for the setting-up of such organized production based on the exploitation of resources considered promising.

Table 4: Costcomparison per m2 of wall made of compressed earth blocks, fired bricks (with internal plaster and external render), sandcrete blocks and phonolitic stone (unrendered, with internal and external varnish). The costs quoted (May June 1991 values)include mortar and labour.

1 m2 of CEB wall

1 m2 of fired brick wall block wall

1 m2 of sandcrete stone wall

1 m2 of phonolitc

303.62 FF

560.42 FF

474.50 FF

581.00 FF

Table 5: Reconstruction and renovation of low quality shelters over 10 years, improved housing.


Unassisted New demand rehabilitation

Renovations housing


building and housing








1 800







1 800







1 800







1 800







1 800







1 800







1 800







1 800







1 800







1 800







18 000


- Undertaking research and development, enabling the testing, evaluation and improvement of local materials and products useful for construction, as well as constructional and architectural models.

- Setting up structures for the implementation of social housing, providing a framework for action and the financial, administrative, juridical and technical tools both enabling the overall coordination of production and allowing the personalized management of operations.

Setting up structures of a cooperative nature, enabling stocks of materials and balding elements to be acquired, retail costs to be regulated, and playing a part in the promotion of local technologies and labour in the building sector.

- The indispensable development of training with a view to overcoming the lack of qualified staff locally, and the setting up of an employment policy intended to ensure local professional recognition of the qualifications created.

- The setting up of a framework for the structured financing of housing production to achieve a fair balance (given the gaps and potentials within populations), to subsidies, loans or rents, to means of local participation in kind (labour, materials).

The setting up of a framework for structured financing suited to the promotion of local investment, particularly in the area of promotion of skilled work.

- The consolidation of bargaining power for local materials and products ensuring the development of a genuine local market.

- The immediate and practical realization of architectural structures for housing and other public building operations using these same local materials and building elements.

- The establishment of a genuine focus on real quality, enabling control of materials, products, finished results, based on regulations and recommendations specifically worked out for the particular context.

Does Mayotte have as development model wider relevance? Mayotte, with its ocal materials and skills and its bullying and architectural “intelligence“ , is without doubt a model for integrated development which rests funda-mentally on the social economy of the building sector and on a real “economic and building ecology“.


In 1978 a programme was implemented to renovate or completely rebuild the traditional dwellings of the 50000 inhabitants of Mayote, a French island in the Indian Ocean. The programme is schedulde to run for 20 years. Ninety per cent of the inhabitants live in rural areas and have no financir resurces. The programme has therefore relied on self help, assisted local craftsmen and with support from CARTerre, has created a local building materials industry to produce compressed earth blocks . It has proved more economical to build with compressed earth blocks than with compressed earth blocks than with sandand-cement blocks . A local building industry has grown up und numerous jobs have thus been created . Twelve years after the start of the programme 6 000 social housing units and 500 rented dwellings have been completed . In the authors' opinion building with compresses earth blocks has been a lever promoting economic development.


La rbilitation ou rvation totale des habitations traditionnelles des 50 000 habitants de l'ile Mayotte situdans l'oc Indian et dndant de la France est l'objectif d'un programme entamn 1978 et elonnur 20 ans.90% de la population de l'ile habitent en zone rurale et ne disposent d'aucun moyens financiers. Le programme misa donc sur l'efort personnel, encouragea l'artisanat local et crune industrie locale de mataux de construction pour la fabrication de parpaings de terre press ceci avec l'aide de CRATerre . La construction avec des parpaings de terre pressit plus rentable que l'utillisation de parpaingsde ciment. Ceci a donnaisanc une industrie locale de la breux emplois . Douze ans aprla mise en oeuvre du programme 6 000 logements soiaux et 500 logement de location sont termin De l'avis des auteurs , l'utilisation de parpaings de terre e crde dic du dloppement nomique.


El objectivo de un programa iniciado en 1978 y que ha de durar 20 anos consiste en renovar o reconstruir por completo las casas de los 50 000 habitantes de la isla Mayotte (Oco Indico), que pertenece a Francia . Un 90 por ciento de la poblacion vive en zonas rurales y carece de medios financieros . Por tal motivo , el programa aposto por la aitoayuda fomento a los artesanos locales y creo alli una industria de materiales de construccion para fabricar bloques de tierra comprimida , contando con el apoyo de CARTerre. La construccion con bloques de tierra comprimida demostro ser mas rentable que con bloques de cemento de arrna . Entretano , ha surgido una industria local de la construccion que ocupa a numerosas personas. Doce anos despudel inicio del programa se han edificado 6 000 viviendas sociales (social housing units) y 500 “rented accomodations“ . Los autores opinan que la construccion con bioques de tierra comprimida impulso el desarrolo economico en Mayotte.

CAS International Seminar on Lime and other alternative cements

by Otto Ruskulis

In the field of building materials and construction, Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG), a development agency based in the UK, collaborates closely with GATE throughthe BASIN information network, of which both are members. ITDG operates the Cementitious Binders Advisory Service (CAS). CAS has a strong interest in alternative cements such as hydraulic, dolomitic and high-calcium lime, pozzolanic materials such as rice husk, fly and volcanic ash and powdered burnt clay, and other cements such as gypsum. In early December 1991, CAS organized the First International Seminar on Lime and Alternative Cements at the National Agricultural Centre, near Leamington, UK.

The number of technical enquiries received by CAS - there were nearly 200 in 1991, mainly concerning lime and other alternative cements - indicates the level of interest in the subject. However, there has not been a formal international seminar on it since 1974.

The main aims of the meeting at the National Agricultural Centre in December were:

to find out about current developments in the production of lime and alternative cement worldwide;
to establish links between experts in the field, as a preliminary to developing formal networks on technical cooperation;

to identify specific obstacles, both technical and non-technical, to developments in lime and alternative cements;

to show that in certain cases nonPortland-based cements are the most appropriate;

- generally to encourage potential producers and users of alternative cements;

- to publish a proceedings volume to promote wider dissemination of the technologies and related issues.

The seminar was attended by about 65 participants. Approximately two thirds were from Europe, the rest from developing countries. However, most of the European participants also had an interest in developing countries.

Representatives from many developing countries attended, including Brazil, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Thailand, Turkey, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Algeria. Participants represented development and aid agencies, research institutions, government agencies, architectural and engineering practices, and private consultants and entrepreneurs.

Besides the participants interested in lime and alternative cements for economic development and construction in developing countries, others were interested in the conservation of historic buildings using authentic original materials such as lime. The latter group included representatives from Brazil and Zanzibar.

It was decided to exclude papers on Portland cements, even those on “mini cement plants“, primarily because Portland cement production is capital-intensive rather than labourintensive. Also, Portland cement is often difficult to obtain in rural areas. Moreover, there is already a powerful and successful lobby promoting its use, and some builders, architects and decision-makers have been misled into thinking that it is the universal cement for all applications. However, for rural building projects or building conservation, or for special mortars, plasters or renders, alternative cements are often more appropriate and where they are availablecost less.


The seminar was organized in four parts. The first, devoted to a general review of lime and alternative cements, included papers on worldwide experience with alternative cements; on the need to consider not only technical but also social, economic and environmental factors; on the results of a pozzolana project in Rwanda; on experience gained with alternative cements; on experience in Central America; on networking, and the need for networking.

The second part focussed on specific technical case studies and experience gained in numerous developing countries. Testing and specific technical issues were also discussed. A number of papers on alternative cements and building conservation were presented by European practitioners. Some highly innovative technologies on the production side were described, including production of a heated basalt pozzolana in Vietnam, lime processing in Zimbabwe using reclaimed plant and equipment, and hydration, million and classification plant in Malawi.

The final session consisted of discussions on possible future cooperation, the importance of networking, the role of (, AS within such networks, identification of common technical and organizational problems, possible key areas of research, and counterarguments to those advocating the use of Portland cement in all building applications. Specific recommendations included:
research and development to produce small-scale lime hydration equipment and efficient low-cost oil burners for kilns;

- preparation of case histories on production and use, covering, e.g., economic, social and technical problems and solutions; and

- the setting up of local dissemination centres focussing on local networking activities linked to an international team of expert advisers.

It was agreed that CAS should organize future seminars approximately once every two years. They should concentrate not only on technical aspects but also provide update information on networking activities and define strategies for networking and dissemination of information.

The seminar also provided an opportunity for CAS to launch its compendium of technical briefs on cements and binders. The first five of these were presented at the seminar. Eventually, it is intended to have some 30 to 40 such briefs available, as an introduction to particular technologies within this field.

For further details about the seminar and the “Technical Briefs“ please write to Mr O. Ruskulis, BASIN/GAS, ITDG, Myson House, Railway Terrace, Rugby CV21 3HT, UK.

First Latin American Micro-Concrete Roofing Seminar

by Kathryn Rhyner-Pozak

More than thirty participants from ten countries made their way last October to San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic for the First Latin American Micro-Concrete-Roofing (MCR) Seminar of SKAT's-Roofing Advisory Service of BASIN (Building Advisory Service and Information Network). Latin Americans came from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru, Columbia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and Europeans from England, Germany and Switzerland. The subjects focused upon were interchange of experience, quality control, comparison of the various machines, marketing and networking. A field trip to a roofing project was also arranged.

From the first day it became evident the seminar was to fulfill a profound need for exchange of experiences among producers of MicroConcrete-Roofing (MCR). The Subject matter of quality focused upon the technical aspects of producing good tiles and was ably demonstrated by Kurt Willi. The scientific contribution of Professor Acevedo of CECAT (Centro de Estudios de la Construccion y Arquitectura Tropical de la Universidad Politecnica de la Habana) further consolidated the work in progress in all countries to produce tiles of consistently good quality.

Quality control guidelines

The equipment producers - Parry and Mateco - were asked to present prices of their equipment, which were challenged by the tile-producers as being too high for Latin America.

The conclusions focused upon elaboration of quality control guidelines for Latin America:

- The Roofing Advisory Service publication of the Swiss Center for Appropriate Technolgy (SKAT) on quality control has been accepted in principle and will be disseminated on the basis of the Peruvian translation. Kurt Willi has been entrusted with the task of revising it in accordance with the decisions of the seminar, including a contribution by Professor Acevedo and in coordination with SKAT.

The field trip to the roof project is Las Barias proveded an on-site opportunity to view the work with the technology. In four groups the participants moved throughout the village, viewing the tiles from a variety of perspectives.

Of course, the equipment was a focus of attention, and each group had the opportunity to make tiles on both a Parry-machine and a Matecomachine. Roof-laying was also on the agenda. The other focus of attention was the houses themselves. The groups were able to walk through the village and talk to the inhabitants about their roofs.

The plenum in the humble village church was a critical interchange consistent with the high professional level of the seminar. Its conclusions assigned specific tasks to CECAT and the (self help) Grupo Sofonias:

- CECAT was entrusted with the task of investigation the possibility of fabricating lightweight tiles without moulds, or through pressure instead of vibration;

- Grupo Sofonias was entrusted with the task of testing the performance of the Mateco-machine including moulds, for a period of six months in
practical conditions similar to those of the Parrymachine. Parameters for the test are to be established in consultation with the producers of the equipment.

The necessity for networking was something new to most of the participants. The presentation by Heiko Woerner (GATE/GTZ-Consultant) explained the BASIN networking and information system, and that by Roland Stulz elaborated on the role of SKAT and the Roofing Advisory Service of BASIN. The newly printed GATE-product information folder on “FCR/MCR equipment“ was introduced to the participants at the same time.

The following Terms on Reference for Networking were proposed:

- Collection an dissemination of information.

- Coordination of assistance and consultation, and development and facilitation of contacts among producers.

- Coordination and interchange of specialists.

- Implementation of courses and training at all levels.

- Coordination of the activities on quality control and establishment of standards.

- Encouragement and development of applied investigations.

- Promotion and establishment of associations of producers.

- Information and consultation on marketing.

- Creation of an infrastructure for dissemination and audiovisual media/material.

- Support through assistance and consultation for lines of credit.

- Involvement of Grupo Sofonias in these activities.

Honduras will likely be the venue of a second Latin American seminar on micro-concrete roofing tiles production in two years, unless within one year's time another country presents superior objective conditions (production, facilities for visas, infrastructure, costs, etc.).


Fundacion Ecuatoriana del habitat

Address: Funhabit (Director General: Arq. Luis Gallegos A.) Pedro de Rexeira 273 Casilla 86 C Surcursal 15 Quito Ecuador Tel.: (5932) 1213334 Fax: (5932) 1502399

Funhabit (Ecuadorian Habitat Foundation) is a non-profit-making, non-governmental organization. It was established for an indefinite period by the Social Affairs Department of the Ministry of Social Welfare by statutes approved in a ministerial decree in 1984 and announced in the Official Register in May 1986. Its headquarters, with responsibility for the entire country, is in Quito.

Objectives: The fundamental aim of Funhabit is to create a fitting habitat for the population by improving the social, economic and ecological conditions of their environment.

Other objectives are:

- To promote activities connected with integral development of the habitat in those communities where it is needed.

- To stimulate and priority-rate specific activities and ventures with community participation, encouraging autonomous management of and decision-making by organizations of local people.

- To bring together natural and legal persons, community centres, associations and working bodies, especially those connected with the habitat problems.

- To encourage the progressive development of technologies appropriate to the use of local materials and resources and, in particular, of alternative sources of energy.

- To, help to increase awareness of the population's cultural heritage, by means of studies, applied research and activities.

- To, support population groups by obtaning and channeling donations, subsidies, allocations, credits and financial resources.

- To set up multidisciplinary teams of specialists with the aim of participating in activities in urban and rural communities.

- To develop, in the same communities, training and upgrading programmes of a technical and social nature that will help to strengthen organizations of local people.

- To coordinate and cooperate with research institutes and organizations on educational training and upgrading programmes.

- To take part in or support initiatives by organizations and institutions with similaraim s, at both national and international level.

Fields of Activity: Funhabit promotes various activities within the scope of the objectives it considers to be of high priority; and it performs these activities through its different areas and working groups, directed, coordinated and supervised by the General Secretariat, which is also responsible for administrative, financial and legal aspects.
It has project experience in the use of rammed or stabilized earth construction and use of local bamboo species suitable for low-cost shelter construction. Its fields of activity include also low-cost sanitation (compost latrines).

Funhabit isfunded by ICFCD, CIDA, ACDI from Canada, GTZ and German Voluntary Service (DED) and MISEREOR from Germany, by AID and CARE from the USA, by AECI and PADE from Spain and NORAD from Norway. Inanition it collaborates with OED (Austria), CCF (Netherlands) and ASA (Germany).

Mazingira Institute

Address: Mazingira Institute
(Executive Director: Davinder Lamba)
P.O. Box 14550
Nairobi Kenya
Tel. (254)-2-442 592/442577 Fax (254)-2-740 524

Mazingira Institute is an independent organization established in 1978. “Mazingira“ - meaning environment in Kiswahlliis incorporated in Kenya as a non-profit organization. It is concerned with equitable development and environmental sustainability.

Mazingira is committed to the extension of knowledge and action on purposeful patterns of development compatible with the social, economic , technological and environmental dynamics of lower income economies. Its concerns encompass:

- human settlements and environmental management;
- gender issues;
- health and environmental awareness;
- peace, cooperation and environment.

The institute's work is interdisciplinary, using the means of inquiry, action-teaming, information communication and education , and networking

- Several agencies have supported Mazingira' s work: IDRC, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, SIDA, USAID, CIDA, UNCHS, UNICEF, SAREC, Canadian Cooperative Association (CCA), and the Internation al Centre of Ocean Development (ICOD).
- The Institute has provided profession al services to IDRC, USAID, UNICEF, World Bank, SIDA and the Kenyan government. It is at present collaborating with the Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto; University of Lund; University of Minnesota ; DPU-University College London; Roof-tops Canada Foundation; Habitat International Coalition (HIC); and CEDREFI, Mauritius.

Visiting Card

“SINA“ is a project of the Mazingira Institute. The “Settlements Information Network Africa (SINA)“ is a network for people working on self-help settlements projects in Africa. Besides self-help building, this also means other kinds of communit y and individual self-help, including education , health, nutrition, skills training, employment projects, community organisation and soon. SINA is coordinated by the Mazingira Institute and issues a newsletter at regular intervals with news from SINA members , announce ents of meetings and courses, and descriptions of case studies, document s and resources


(Cartoons by W.F. HILL, formely seniorvectureat the department of architecture, U.S.7: Kumasiin Ghana and Are Extracted from “environ“ vol. I/2, 1978)

Institute for Construction Training and Development


ICTAD c/o Ministry of Policy Planning & Implementation
(attn.: The Director) “Savsiripaya“
123, Wijerama Mawatha P.O. Box 1973
Colombo 7
Sri Lanka
Tel. General Office:
(94)-1-68 6236 & 68 60 92 Fax: (94)-1-699738

The Institute for Construction Training and Development, abbreviated as ICTAD, is an organization set up in April 1986 by the Government of Sri Lanka to develop the Domestic Construction Industry.

To facilitate quick establishment and to give the ICTAD the necessary flexibility in its administrative operations, it was created as a unit under the Urban Development Authority (UDA) of the Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Construction. ICTAD now functions under the Ministry of Policy Planning and Implementation and enjoys the status of a para-statal body.

With its Headquarters in Colombo, it acts as a co-ordinator, a facilitator and an enabler to develop the Construction Industry in Sri Lanca by mobilizing the efforts and resources of the Government and the Private Sector.

Its main objectives are:

- To improve training capacities of vocational training institutions and facilitate the qualitative improvement of vocational training programmes to meet the needs of semi-skilled, skilled and managerial personnel in the Construction Industry.

- To improve the quality and efficiency of the Construction Industry by encouraging innovative approaches in technology and industrial development activities and in achieving economy in construction works.

At present a Technical Assistance Programme, implemented in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) supports ICTAD activities with funds from the United Nations Development Prograrmme (UNDP).

Visiting Card

ICTAD has three functional divisions in its organizational structure: Training, Construction Industry Development and Resource Management. The functions of these line division -; of the ICTAD can be summarized also follows:

Training Division: The objective of this division is to act as the Coordinating Agency for manpower training in the construction industry and to produce well-trained personnel in construction trades through the following activities:

- Planning, designing, implementing and monitoring of training programmes.

- Developing and updating training curricula to conform to industry needs.

- Developing and implementing training programmes in collaboration with other end-user and beneficiary organizations in the Construction Industry.

- Co-ordinating other agencies conducting training programmes to meet national requirements.

- Establishing and maintaining an Information Bank on Training for the Construction Industry.

- Contributing to the development of National Trade Skills Standards and the National Trade testing Programmes for the construction trades.

- Conducting studies and surveys related to manpower development in the Construction Industry.

Construction Industry Development Division: Its objective is to improve the efficiency of the domestic construction industry. Its activities include research into appropriate construction techniques and materials, the manufacture and supply of building materials, the formulation of guidelines for consultancy and construction practices, publication and upgrading of building construction specifications, regulations and standards to the construction industry, etc.

Resource Management Division: This division mobilizes manpower, financial and physical infrastructure resources and manages them in conformity with the statutory administrative and financial stipulations. It also provides support services to the two other functional divisions of ICTAD. The summary of its activities are:

- Mobilization and utilization of financial resources provided by the funding agencies and the Government of Sri Lanka.

- Develop and strengthen the organization structure.

- Management of the capital assets of ICTAD.

- Establishing a Monitoring and Evaluation System for ICTAD activities.

- Implement a Management Information System.

- Provide communication facilities.

ICTAD has set up its own library, to be developed as a repository of all materials relevant to the industry. The current collection includes over 5000 books and approximately 50 periodicals.

As a means of providing ICTAD-information to the outside world and in particular to the professionals in the construction industry, the “ICTADJournal“ was established (see also “Book Box“).

Rica (ITCA) which is being developed with the help of the Banco Hipotecario de la Vivienda (BANHVI) [Housing Mortgage Bank] and the Danish Agency for International Development Aid (DANIDA).

CIVCOisa scientific body serving the interests of research, education and technical assistance in housing and construction matters, and seeks to assist the construction sector in areas indentified as being of high priority, in coordination with the central government and companies in the industry.

One of these priorities is the field of quality control and the development of national norms and standards. To this end the Centre has set itself the task of working in the following areas:

Norms and standards: Assisting in the revision and preparation of national norms and standards to provide manufacturers, builders and users with guidelines for the production, construction and practical application of materials and components of high quality suitable for economic housing.

Testing building elements and components: Developing these activities will permit the identification and definition of the physical and mechanical requirements that must be met by building elements and components used in housing. CIVCO is currently being equipped with laboratory instruments and equipment which will be of great assistance in determining the structural strength of construction systems currently in use in housina construction.

Construction mehtods: Developing and improving construction methods and techniques with the aim of improving the quality of housing and optimizing use of resources.

Quality control: Carrying out its own quality control work on building materials and systems by means of a permanent programme of education, consultancy and materials testing.

Centro de Investigaciones en Viviendos y Construccion


Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica

Cartago 159
7850 Apartado 159
Costa Rica
Tel. (560)-51-53-33
Fax (560)-51-53-48

The Housing and Construction Research Centre (CIVCO)isa unit of the Institute of Technology in Costa

Visiting Card

New materials: Carrying out research and development work on new building materials and components and on improving those currently being produced, with the object of achieving high quality, reasonable prices and optimum utilization of local resources.

Modular coordination: Establishing modular coordination of design and components at national level, with the object of reducing costs and saving time by standardizing dimensions for building materials and components.

Planning and coordination: Planning and coordination work with consumers, industries, institutions and the financial sector which will facilitate the development of the country's building industry.

Training: Training professionals and skilled workers by means of specific courses which help all those directly involved to understand and solve the problems affecting the construction sector.

Appropriate technology : Preparing the way for a new technologial culture

by Willi Bierter

The debate concerning Appropriate Technology continues. Hard-line critics maintain that as a concept it is out dated. The “AT Movement“ has responded with a more precise definition of the AT concept. GATE and the AT Association of Germany have organized an international workshop “AT in Post-modern Times“ - to be held in Frankfurt (FRO) from May 11 to 15, 1992. The following four articles are directly related to the subject of this workshop. Willi Bierter, of the SYNTROFIE Foundation for Shaping the Future, in Liestal, Switzerland, has writen a comprehensive report for GATE entitled “Appropriate Technology“ in Practice - A Status Report.

For a long time now, we have not used technology but lived with it. Technology dominates our work, our food, our health, our education, communication, the way we shape our world. A web of technologial artefacts defines our life and, for this reason, we can speak of technology as a way of life. Technological artefacts have become such a “natural“ part of our modern world that we seem to forget the cultural significance of technology - one could call this a state of technological somnambulance.

Feeling of powerlessness

Paradoxically, however, technology is often regarded as a remote, alien phenomenon. If there is an ecological catastrophe, or if controversial issues such as genetic engineering are discussed, then it is as if technological developments are being forced onto us by some outside power. We feel powerles when “technological progress takes its inevitable course“. Our feeling of powerlessness and the nightmare vision of a technology that has run out of control are rooted in our old-fashioned, conventional view of technology as a machine.

The widespread belief in technology as the key to progress is equally fuelled by the “traditional“ idea that technology is only a tool, and that we are free to decide whether to use it or not. At the same time, we seen to erect an artificial division between the neutral, “non-social“ world of technology and the value dominated, “non-technical“ world of culture: the technological world versus humanity. Buttoday's reality is different: we are inseparably attached to technology.

Technology is more than a tool: it has become both our environment and our ideology. Technological concepts determine our visions, colour the way we perceive problems and define the way we work out solutions.

Technological dictates have fused with our norms and values. As regards the organization of our present-day culture - our actions, our thoughts, our values - technological development has become a predominant force.

Technological culture

The expression “technological culture“ alludes to something far more fundamental than simply a world that is jam-packed with technological artefacts. We ought to regard technology as an inseparable part of our culture, just as we regard economics, politics or art as an integral part of social development. Traditional questions, which continue to inquire into the influence of technology on culture or society, have long since lost their relevance. It is time that we took a fresh new look at the way we shape our technological world. However, instead of concentrating solely on technological developments per se, we should examine the social and political roots of technological culture.

Basically, today's technological culture is shaped by two articles of faith, both of which shortsightedly concentrate their attention on the “latest“ technological developments.

- The first article of faith is based on the idea that every technical appliance and every technical process should be putt on practical use as quickly as possible.

- The second article of faith maintains that every problem has its technological solution. In other words, technology - especially new technology - automatically “improves“ the world.

The desire for technological “solutions“ expressed in these two articles of faith influences the way “problems“ are perceived: engineers, technicians and scientists often invite debate about answers before the questions have been formulated. However, technology is by no means the exclusive domain of the engineer or scientist. “Technical problems“ are never solely technical. People and organizations are needed to give technological developments form and content.

The task of democracy and politicis

The actual nature of a technologyas-culture is the result of this mutual relationship of things and people, of technical problems and human definitions of problems. Technological inovation is inalienably tied up with social, organizational and value changes.

In this sense, the introduction of any form of technology is a kind of social experiment, and every technology with its technical specifications and user requirements embodies sociopsychological assumptions about the anticipated costs and benefits for a a society or the environment. The gap that opens up between technological progress and social values and norms is a difficult challenge for democracy and politics.

To what extent do we choose to make technological developments the guiding principle informing health, education, industrial organization, forms of work, etc.? In today's political culture, questions such as this still receive only scant attention. Today, nearly everyone - right across the political spectrum from left to right has joined without reservation in the common call for technological innovations. This technocratic consensus leads to an instrumentalistic perspective which reduces technology to a purely technical matter. The political and social institutions fail to discuss the profound role technological change has in cultural developments.

The choice of being for or against technology, of controlling it or allowing it free rein, has long since become a false dilemma: the person who is still asking which side is right is barking up the wrong tree.


Knowledge presupposes culture


The point of departure for a new technological culture is that it is impossible to draw a clear line between technology, politics and social choice. Rather, they are tied up with each other and form an unfinished whole, as they depend to a crucial extent on perception: on vision and knowledge. Knowledge needs others and permanent relationships with others. Only then can common views and mutually compatible values come into being without which knowledge is impossible. In other words: knowledge presupposes culture.

By culture, we mean here the social patterns of perception men and institutions use to give meaning to the world around them - not culture in its conventional or residual sense, where it alludes to the traditions and beliefs passed down from one generation to the next. In other words: we regard culture has the locus of all the interaction, of social subjects with all their individual perceptions, as the universal decomposition agent breaking down and mixing up technology, politics and social choice. Technology can thus no longer be treated as some outside force, as something foreign to social life which influences society.

Guiding principles

The truth of the matter would seem to be that we and technology are locked into a social process which we virtual y cannot escape because we are so much a part of it. The analysis based on practical experience in AT attempts to investigate precisely the essentially unfinished character of this process, and not to nip it in the bud. Cultural pluralism is of central importance for this analysis; i.e. the inclusion of the various rationalities active y existing in a society, which largely determine problem definitions and solutions. This analysis is guided by five principles:

1. World views, future visions, convictions as to what is possible and impossible, rational and irrational, etc. and many other factors determining modes of behavior are closely tied up with hegemonic patterns of social relationships and institutional forms.

2. Those who uphold these views and visions, e.g. those who are involved in the design, development and evaluation of “technologies", tend to act in a way which - as far as they can judge - will reinforce their preferred lifestyles and confirm their specific perception of problems.

3. This is the structured and heterogeneous environment in which all technological develop meets are conceived and into which they are born.

4. To survive socially these technological developments first have to find a way around all the obstacles social subjects may erect against them and, second, they have to mix constructively with any remnants of social-institutional conventions they may find.

5. Every socially viable technology chosen must also be ecologically feasible and tolerable in the long term.

The sort of technology arising from everyday AT practice is the result of such a constant process of cultural appraisal and evaluation. However, saying that technology is a social process does not mean that the hardware or physical object can take on any form that may be socially desirable. The socially desirable cannot be achieved if it is physically impossible.

The AT movement as instigator

One characteristic of the 1980s is that, in view of the global “technology race“ between the USA, Japan and Western Europe, decisions about technological issues and matters are increasingly being made in isolation from public debate. Furthermore, it is characteristic of the political culture of the 1980s that many of the possible social choices of technologies are left to the “market“. As the economy becomes increasingly globalized, it is transnational companies rather than democratic states and politics that are influencing the design and control of technology. The faster this type of technological culture develops, the more impotent politics becomes.

We need inspiration for new visions. This can be provided to a large extent by the AT movement and those groups, organizations and individuals who are applying a technology that is related to Appropriate Technology without bandying the name “AT“ about. The crucial point is not technology, but technological culture.

The challenge is to use our unshakeable commitment to come to terms with our technological environment. The debate must centre on the structuring of our technological world - in the North as well as in the South. This debate can only happen if we take the idea of technology as culture seriously. As a special form of everyday technological practice, AT can be the foundation stone for that debate.

Is technology still necessary in technical cooperation?

Reflections for the GATE Symposium on the Future of Appropriate Technology
by Alexander Wittkowsky

In its development cooperation, the Federal Republic pursues the aim of promoting “the creative energies of people in the developing countries“. “Help towards self-help“ is intended to prevent people in the partner countries from suffering starvation, poverty and destituion. Societal diversity and economic efficiency are supposed to help achieve this aim.

Development aid was invented by the industralized countries, and those countries assumed that, above all, the developing countries lacked conditions conducive to enterprise, and technological know-how. The societal model of the industrial countries, based on efficient mobilization of resources, capital, education and technology was taken as a paradigm.

So far, the transfer of the western model of society has not been a success, not least because of the competition between the systems of the First and Second Worlds. But now the industrialized countries are pursuing this path with fresh vigor.

Thereisa crucial difference between this and the development cooperation of the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the emphasis in development cooperation is on shaping general social and economic conditions along western lines. The approach adopted in the past, namely to eliminate technological deficits directly, by transfer-the name Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (Agency for Technical Cooperation) is of course an expression of this -, has lost its central meaning. It is being replaced by the hope that in an economic order based on western criteria, access to and a choice of appropriate technologies will automatically result.


This is why, both at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and within GTZ, it is now being debated whether technology should constitute a distinct aspect of development cooperation at all. This debate is not concerned with whether technology should be integrated into development aid in “appropriate“ or “turnkey“ form. I understand “technology” to mean human endeavour concretized in the form of products (artefacts), the processes characteristic of such endeavour and also the context of utilization in which they fulfill their purpose.

From the standpoint of someone who has been involved for many years in the development and adaptation of technologies in both industrial and developing countries, I see two dangers for the future in this orientation of development cooperation:

- For the majority of developing countries, the concept of “catch-up development“ will not be practicable. Especially as regards technology it will be increasingly unlikely that developing countries can catch up, because for the leading industrialized countries technology has become the most important factor in competition.

- In the present development cooperation concepts there is a danger that the dialectic relationship between overall conditions and the creation of actual production and living conditions will be shifted unfairly in favor of the former. Yet 30 years if development cooperation should have taught us how dangerous it is to pick out just a few aspects from the overall context of the reality of a country.

A few fragmentary thoughts in this connection:

- As Thomas Kuby'quite rightly says, the developing countries will have to adopt the
“basic principles of industrial civilization (their specific cultural virtues, rationality, global view ...)“ in order to survive internationally

- Due to the increasing heterogeneity of high-tech products, many developing countries will not be able to exploit the new technologies to increase productivity as a basis for catch-up development, because of the growing coast of basic research, institutional deficits and inadequate technological potential. Hans-Peter Brunner even fears that “a large part of the world's population will be excluded from the global economy“.

- Developing countries cannot simply cetach themselves, due to the inevitable proliferation of the needs which are parts of the living standards of developed industrial societies (Kuoy). However, this by no means implies that all populations want to live exactly as we do: if the world is made more comprehensible, e.g. by journalistically well-made programmes shown on a solar-powered TV in the High Atlas, it will be possible to discuss alternatives and the decision to go West® will be weighed up more rationally.

- This process is overlaid by two other development trends: the absolute population growth in many developing countries, and the increasing migration towards large population centres, with squatter areas or favelas, are leading to problems to which concepts developed in the industrial countries are not applicable. But one cannot refuse to satisfy the basic needs of these people.

- The developing countries must therefore find their own solutions, and thus also produce their own social and technological innovations if they do not want to become destitute.

- There are indeed signs of a development of this kind, and they are accelerated by geopolitical events. After the first oil crisis, for example, India tried to make its development as independent as possible of imported oil, and made great efforts to develop socially compatible technological alternatives. In particular, the country went its own way in exploiting renewable energies. After the oil crisis, the Gulf Wartriggered a further thrust in the same direction.


Between tradition and modernity

For me there are thus sufficient grounds for assuming that production and communication technologies, for example, will gain in importance, because many countries are eager to be emancipated and to survive. The technologies must be of an “appropriate” type, because the more complex and specialized “high tech” is, the less likely simple technology transfer will become.

With regard to the debate about AT, this means that is must be a concept for shaping technology. This concept would promote the endogenous
development energies in “a polarized reality between tradition and modernity” (Kuby). At the same time it would help to secure the bases for self reliance, especially in those countries which only make second place in the development race.

The industrialized countries must continue to provide technological counseling, also with regard to particular technologies, as a development service to be performed professionally. This is necessary not least in order to pass on the discussion in the industrialized countries concerning the social or environmental compatibility of the technologies that provide the frame of reference.

Not only general conditions must be shaped


In other words, a mediating body will be needed to give countries requesting technologies very concrete advice on applications once they have made their choice-in the field of energy or water, but also, and especially, in the manufacturing sector. This mediating body must have the competence to advise both on reliability, usefulness and consumption of resources as well as on productivity-or labour-related aspects.

That brings meto a stumbling block: today, people who openly advocate technology as an indispensable and independent part of development cooperation are regarded as technology cranks, or worse still as “technological egoists” who can only think in engineering terms. Yet for anyone concerned with technical innovations it has long been beyond doubt that appropriate general conditions are a basic precondition of productive, socially and environmentally compatible utilization of technology.

Nevertheless, one must be permitted to ask whether it is right to gear development policy primarily to creating “general conditions“, that is, to transferring complete policy models, and to leave the shaping of people's actual living and working conditions to the free interplay of forces in these countries.

I am concerned that this channels the autonomous development of the partner countries too strongly in the direction of western models of society, although we know that in the economic sphere, especially, these models are not devoid of preconditions. Important though the general conditions are as a whole, we also know from the industrial countries how slowly and with what conflicts the change takes place.

We Germans are currently finding out that while the development of east Germany requires appropriate general conditions, these have no effect unless the state of awareness and the actual living and working conditions of the people affected can be improved at the same time. This applies especially to the production sector. It is thus necessary to pursue a dual strategy which also results in direct results for those affected. This is also true as regards the introduction of technologies.

This view is borne out by the words of the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation, Carl-Dieter Spranger. He recently undertook a critical appraisal of development aid. Referring to socio- cultural conditions in the partner countries, Spranger said, “That is why I consider it very important that we should transfer nothing which does not belong there. We must also have the courage to resist the wishes of developing countries for non-appropriate technologies, and instead transfer what suits local conditions. We must pay more attention to what the people there can cope with, and ask what suits their traditions, their history and their mentality.“

In fact, it is “only“ a matter of accept in a this as an important task for all concerned, and of drawing practical conclusions for cooperation.

Even though only a small part of the development effort may have to be devoted to shaping the technology, that part is nevertheless indispensable.

To my mind, the GATE symposium “AT in Post-Modern Times“ should answer the following questions:

- Is there really no demand in the partner countries for specific technological advice which is appropriate to the situations of the people concerned and deserves to be actively promoted by the industrialized countries? Or does the way we perceive problems make us blind to what is really needed?

- Is it an illusion to assume that countries or regions in the Third World can ensure their survive/ only through their own development, including technological development?

- Can autonomous development be triggered almost automatically by creating infrastructural and economic “framework conditions" or are there some areas in which development processes must be assisted until further notice? For example: who is to ensure that young people trained in technical vocations will be able to put their qualifications to good use?

Participation and appropriate technology

by AT-Association

One of the most important results of development work in recent years has been a change of attitudes concerning the preconditions, possibilities and aims of self-supporting and sustained development. Simple though the insight may be that only the kind of development which local populations themselves desire and support can be sustained, it has seldom been methodically applied in practice. Even the (meanwhile standard) demand for participation of the target groups seems inadequate so long as it is made primarily from the perspective of the projects, still treating population groups more as objects than as implementers of development efforts.

- When really taken seriously, participation means developing solutions that are in every respect appropriate together with the beneficiaries of the development and within their respective contexts. Accordingly, Appropriate Technology today can no longer be understood merely as simplifying existing technologies with the aim of making them more or less universally applicable in countries whose development is supposed to consist primarily in emulating industrialized nations.

- lather, the central element of sustained and self-sustaining development is appropriateness in the broader sense of the term, based on all natural and social conditions and circumstances. Thus, we understand Appropriate Technology as a topical concept which is also useful for increasing ecological and social awareness and differentiating development policy.

Complex solutions


By and large, the conventional concept of technology transfer, i.e. with minor variations to accord with many and varied basic situations, has been a failure. Many people reacted to the negative consequences of uncritical technology transfer by reconsidering and reassessing traditional insights and knowledge systems. But in view of the degree and complexity of today's difficulties, the rapid, “emergency“ nature of changes, and the increasing seriousness and interlinking of environmental problems all over the world, reverting to traditional systems hardly seems sufficient. So there is still a need - in fact a considerably greater need - to develop complex solutions which include technological components at different levels. However, taking traditional knowledge and working methods as a starting point crucially influences the appropriateness of such solutions.

Thus, it appears that AT does not mean the more or less “appropriate“ transfer of technological solutions originated elsewhere, and cannot be limited entirely to reviving or strengthening traditional methods and knowledge systems. Its main aim must therefore be to develop technologies which are accepted because of their social origins and integration, which function as far as possible without any undesirable side-effects, and which consequently can become to a large extent self disseminating.
- Acceptance of appropriate solutions or technologies is not a criterion that is ascertained once only, at a particular point in time. It is a continuous process of assessment and feedback. In the final analysis, true acceptance can exist only within a framework of autonomous, continous development of will. It is an essential precondition for technologies to become genuine solutions which disseminate themselves almost automatically.

- According to this interpretation, AT serves to promote autonomous change (neither from below nor from above, but from within), by providing competence, up to and including the autonomous development and dissemination of technologies.

Besides the social and ecological context, sustained and self-sustaining development is also related to local economic conditions, and tries to foster the establishment of local economic cycles through independent production and marketing. Here, satisfying the basic needs of the population has priority over exports of raw materials or finished products for the global market. This type of economic system, geared to the welfare of the national economy as a whole, is characterized by thrift in the use of energy and resources, and protection of the environment.


Given a development concept which takes seriously the basic perception that development can only be implemented by the population concerned, the nature of the intervention from outside is obviously the critical point. In addition to the realization that, in the interest of self-sustaining development, extraneous intervention must be restricted to the necessary minimum in content, technology and scope, participative methods play a role at all stages. To ensure that the contents of such interventions and the methods used are appropriate, they should be identified and evolved jointly by all concerned.

Thus, participation is not only a means of implementing a project as smoothly as possible; it has to be understood much more comprehensively and implemented much earlier. In detail, it requires:

- joint analyses of the situation, environmental factors and the problems involved, taking traditional environmental and social concepts into account;

- joint analyses of the potential and definition of aims, with environmentally and socially compatible priorities;

- joint preparation of socio-economic and culturally integrated approaches to solutions based on open, consensus- and process oriented planning;

- joint analysis of experience as an instrument for controlling the process and learning together.

Appropriate technology - A process, not a state

by Klaus Lengefeld

For more than 13 years now, the GATE division of GTZ has been engaged in promoting Appropriate Technology (AT) in development cooperation. The essence of the AT concept, evolved as an alternative to large scale technology, was defined by Schumacher's famous dictum “small is beautiful“. Initially, the main emphasis was on proving the technical feasibility of alternative solutions, in particular in the field of renewable energies.

As a result of experience gathered in applying these technologies in developing countries, ever more nontechnical problems came to the fore.

The following are just a few examples:

- Although biogas can make a technically feasible and economicalIy desirable contribution to rural energy supply, farmers are often unwilling to modify their animal husbandry systems accordingly.

- In a region with water supply problems the wind-pump installed in one community is used on a communal basis, while in the neighbouring community it is out of operation after a short time because of disputes over distribution of the water.

- Pumps, whether manually operated, animal-driven or solar-powered.

help to ensure year-round water supplies for cattle breeders. It is thus possible to increase herd sizes, which can lead to over-grazing and accelerate desertification.

Experiences such as these have led to a re-orientation of the AT concept; the focus has now shifted to the following considerations:

“Appropriate“ - for what and for whom? Any technology can become an inappropriate technology if it is employed by the wrong people or in an inappropriate way. Conversely, any technology can be understood as appropriate, depending on the aims and criteria specified for its application. Even nuclear energy is doubtless an appropriate technology in the eyes of its main users, the electricity companies.

Appropriate means socially and environmentally compatible. Therefore, the concept of appropriate technologies centres not on any particular technical solution, but on set targets and criteria for evaluating their application. Accordingly, the use of a technology should, in particular,
- help to satisfy basic needs of broad sectors of the population and improve their living conditions;

- build upon existing skills and mobilize personal initiative, i.e. also create jobs;

- take existing social and cultural conditions into account and contribute to their further development; - exploit existing natural resources efficiently and in an environmentally compatible manner.

It is thus clear that the ambiguous term “appropriate technologies“ should be interpreted as “socially and environmentally compatible technologies“. When these criteria are applied the use of certain technologies, such as nuclear technology, for developing countries is ruled out from the start. On the other hand, experience has shown that there are other technologies which with a rather high probability will satisfy them. This is especially true of technologies such as biogas, animal-powered systems, solar and wind energy, sustainable agriculture and biological crop protection, i.e. technologies which exploit renewable resources without negative environmental impact, which can be produced and maintained locally and used decent rally.

Appropriate is not free of contradictions. The general criteria for adapting technologies represent only an approximate requirement, which has to be specified in detail for the respective applications of the technology. For example, what will be the reciprocal effects between social and environmental conditions and the application of the technology? For whom will those effects be positive or negative, etc. This will lead to many contradictions, in particular between social demands and the requirements of environmental and resource protection, as the above example of the pumps for cattle-breeders shows.

Natural and social conditions differ from region to region, and often even from village to village, and they may change more or less quickly. What is socially and environmentally compatible can thus differ widely from one locality to another, and what is appropriate today may be inappropriate tomorrow.

The introduction of technology can be either a cause or a consequence of such processes of change. If a source runs dry, drilling a well and installing a wind pump can solve the problem. On the other hand, replacing a wellbucket with a wind (or even diesel) pump may result in the well running dry because much more water can be raised with a pump.

Accordingly, AT is both a component and a result of development processes. The main protagonists in such processes are the users of the technology, while the mediators of proposed technological solutions play the role of catalyst.

What does this mean for the future role of Appropriate Technologies? In the early years of its existence, GATE acted mainly as a promotor for certain technological solutions, such as biodigestors, windpumps or solar dryers, for which suitable applications in developing countries were sought. In a number of cases, the result of this approach (“We have the solution, but where is the problem?“) was that success in disseminating appropriate technologies was very modest considering the cost and effort involved.

- In other cases a minimum input was enough to initiate the successful introduction of technologies such as bicycles or handpumps. It was just one solar home system sent to Peru from GATE, that evoked such an interest from rural people that one year later more than 100 systems had been sold although electric light had not been considered as an important basic need by development strategits.

- The leadership of the target group in the identification of the needs for which solutions are sought are crucial to the success or failure of AT. However, this process should be assisted by AT experts who consider whether appropriate technical solutions for the discussed needs are available at all.

The AT concept must therefore be included in development processes right from the start identification phases, rather than late, when the field expert is seeking the solution to an acute problem.

Is large-scale Charcoal Production Better for the environment? Pros and cons

by Rudiger Meicherczyk and Walther Hennig

Critics of Appropriate Technology occasionally point out to its supporters that the slogan “small is beautiful“ does not always apply. Charcoal production is one example: with simple earth and pit kiln technology the emissions of toxic substances are substantial. Should one therefore advocate large charcoal production plants? Does it, in any case, make more sense to burn fuelwood for domestic cooking and heating? Even within GTZ, questions linked to charcoal production cause some controversy. We print two authors' views on the subject. Walther Hennig, a planning specialist, works in the GTZ section “Promotion of Industry“. Rudiger Meicherczyk, a specialist in wood resources management, is on the staff of GTZ Division 301, Latin America East.

Advantages of Small-Scale Charcoal Production by Rudiger Meicherczyk

More than two thousand million people throughout the world depend on wood for cooking and heating. In the early 1980s the biomass thus consumed accounted for 47f all the wood cut down in the world - a total of 1.3 billion cubic metres. Since the industrialized countries' share of this total is a mere 12 %, it is clear that the Third World, which consumes the remaining 88%, is going to depend on wood as a fuel for a long time to come. And by doing so it is playing a major part in the destruction of forests in tropical and subtropical regions.

Most charcoal is produced from waste resulting from timber felling and forest clearance for other forms of utilization. The calorific value of charcoal is approximately double that of wood. Also, with its low bulk per calorific unit it has distinct advantages as regards transport and storage, and can be used for a wider range of applications. This compensates for the conversion losses in charcoal production.

In 1979, world charcoal production was 16 million metric tons, produced from about 140 - 160 million m3 of fuelwood, most of which originated from the sources mentioned above. Some of the charcoal used for metallurgical processes is produced from wood grown on plantations.

There are three basic methods of producing charcoal: earth and pit kilns, brick and steel kilns, and large-scale plants or retorts. These three methods differ essentially as regards the investment costs involved, the duration of carbonization, yield and labour-intensiveness (see Table1).

The availability of raw materials and the distance to consumers are crucial in deciding where and how charcoal should be produced. The available production methods enable both small and large quantities to be produced per carbonization process and can be operated on a centralized or decentralized basis.

Traditionally, charcoal is usually produced where the raw material is available and where a demand for it exists not too far away. In the past, environmental aspects were ignored (and for economic and/or political reasons are only considered in relation to large plants).

Table 1: Charcoal production methods

Yield %

Carbonization duration


Capital costs

Labour intensiveness

Earth and pit kilns


1-5 week




Brick and steel kilns

1, 500-

medium -


1-12 days

10, 000 DM


- high

Large-scale plants/retorts contineuslely


20-30 hours

1 - 10

mill. DM



Charcoal production generates toxic substances in solid, liquid and gaseous form - tars, phenols, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides. Theamounts vary depending on the type of wood and the production method, but the pollutants and residues can be intercepted and used as raw materials for other products.

This applies in particular to large plants: as the amount of charcoal produced increases, sodoes the quantity of pollutants, so that collecting and processing these substances can be economically viable. However, the pollutant emission levels of large plants are so high that although some of these by-products are utilized the majority are not. A result the pollution they cause is more serious than with small plants.

Small plants not a “clean“ alternative

But small plants do not represent “clean“ alternative, either, because they produce the same pollutants; although in smaller quantities per plant, and distributed over a larger area, but the total is more than that produced by large plants. This forces to consider how production in small plants can be made more environment-friendly.

With earth and pit kilns this is practically impossible. Operators of such plants should therefore be made aware of improved technologies such as brick or steel kilns; and the design of these processes should be such that the toxic substances they produce can be intercepted and the amount of unavoidable pollution minimized. It has been shown with experimental plants that this can be done. However, the investment costs are higher.

A further advantage of small-scale plants is that their output can be adjusted more readily to seasonal fluctuations in charcoal demand for cooking and heating. They can also be located close to consumer centres. Since they are highly labour-intensive, and are usually situated in economicaly neglected regions. their importance as regards employment should not be underestimated. In addition, small plants can be operated as individual kilns or in batteries.

For large plants, on the other hand, a number of preconditions have to be met. Due to the high capital investment involved they have to operate continuously and at the highest possible capacity. This presupposes an availability of sufficient raw material and steady demand. Moreover, they require only a small - but highly qualified - workforce. Local and regional markets seldom permit continues operation, and large-scale plants are thus usually built for a specific purpose (e.g. the iron and steel industry) or to supply international markets.

Large charcoal production facilities offer considerable scope for environmentally compatible operation and reducing pollution. However, in the Third World, there is little environmental legislation or monitoring, and toxic emissions can attain levels which jeopardize health. For these reasons preference should be given to small plants despite the environmental problems associated with them. Large plants should only be built when they have no negative impact on the labour market and when the availability of raw material, demand, and quality criteria make production in small kilns unrealistic. However, an environmental impact assessment should be performed and its results verified during construction and operation of the plant.

Earth and pit kilns should be rejected, for environmental reasons and because of their low yield. Brick and steel kilns should be further improved - reducing toxic emissions and increasing the yield - and their operators should be trained. Charcoal production is still a major cause of pollution. Intensive research and prompt application of research results in practice are needed to reduce it.

Charcoal Production - An Industrial Task by Walther Hennig

Unless integrated into a sustained forest management plan (to prevent deforestation), charcoal production is altogether a problem. As regards energy efficiency, the widespread use of charcoal instead of firewood in households, e.g. for heating or cooking, makes little sense.

The use of charcoal can only really be justified where a higher energy density and its specific physical and chemical properties are required, for example in metalworking trades and the metallurgical and chemical industries.

This article does not advocate charcoal production. However, if charcoal is produced, then it should be under efficient industrial conditions, which are monitored and thus also controlable, rather than by the more simple (and widespread) kiln method.

The process

Wood is carbonized by a procress known as “dry distillation“ , i.e. thermal decomposition. The raw material is wood, either air-seasoned or dry. A typical analysis of the raw material is presented in Table 1.

The carbonization process can be divided roughly into two ranges. In the range between ambient temperature and somewhat above 200° C, the reaction is endothermic. The principal effect, at about 150° C -177° C, is expulsion of mechanically bound water from the wood. In the range above 200° C, which can extend to about 800° C depending on the desired charcoal quality (high temperature high carbon content) the carbonization process is exothermic (- 270 kcal/kg). In the exothermic range large quantities of gas and crude wood vinegar are expelled.

Arguments against carbonization in kilns

Taking energy-related, ecological and economic factors into account, charcoal production in kilns, as opposed to modern industrial facilities, involves major disadvantages and hazards.

Energy: When producing charcoal in a kiln, the energy required in the endothermic, low-temperature carbonization range is generated by burning some of the wood. In other words, that wood is wasted. Also, the energy produced in the exothermic range of the process is simply given off unused - again a waste.

In an industrial plant the thermal energy contained in the hot gas is recovered and used to preheat the wood Fig. 1).

In a kiln, for instance, between 15 % and 20 % of the air-seasoned wood is burned as kiln fuel, and about 8% of the energy consumed is exhausted with the wood gas. The respective energy balances are shown in Table 2.

- In practice, the percentage of the energy obtained from charcoal which is actually used is even lower. Kilns are not usually situated at central locations. Industrial and domestic users need (or prefer) charcoal in lumps. In the course of production, handling and transport charcoal dust is produced, which is discarded as “waste“.

- At a steelworks in Brazil it was established that only 50% to 70% oft the lumpy charcoal delivered to the works could actually be used directly. (Not only are the high charcoal dust dumps at Brazilian foundries a typical sight; the dust emanating from them is also a permanent nuisance).

- In industrial charcoal plants, the fines can be agglomerated and then used to make a variety of products; e.g. barbecue briquettes.

Fig.1 : Principle of an industrial charcoal production process

Continuous wood carbonization plant working on the S.l.F.l.C. priciple (output: 1000 metric tons of charcoal per month)

a) SIFIC retort

g) gas heater

b) tar extractor

h) raw wood vinegar collecting

c) condensor tank

d) cola gas blower

I) preheating zone

e) gas scrubber

j) carbonization zone

f) hot gas blower

k) cooling zone

Table 1: Typical analysis of Wood as raw material


- air-seasoned

15 - 20% moisture content

- dry

2 - 8 % moisture content

- specific weight

0.47 - 0.78 kg/ dm3

- av. chemical composition

C = 50/6%, H = 6.2%, O2 = 42%

(% by weight)

Environmental considerations: With kiln technolgy, wood gas is given off during the carbonization process. Apart from the loss of energy, this exhaust gas also constitutes an environmental harzard. In addition to the principal gases, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, wood gas contains approx. 13% methane (CH4).

Charcoal kilns also produce the substance known as crude wood vinegar(or “condensate“, because in industrial plants it condenses during cooling of the exhaust gases). As Table 3 shows, the quantities of wood gas and crude wood vinegar are substantial.

The low yield of charcoal (and therefore of energy)from kilns as compared to industrial plants also means a waste of natural resources.

Wood vinegar has been shown to contain about 10, 000 ingredients (e. 9. phenols, cresols, benzol, toluol, anthracene, pyridine), many of which are toxic and/or carcinogenic. They should not be allowed to escape freely into the environment.

Economy: In addition to the higher efficiency of industrial plants with regard to the charcoal yield, the raw wood vinegar fraction obtained is an important economic factor. Apart from the acetic acid, many other valuable substances are obtained by further processing. They are used in pharmacies, industry or the home. The value of these substances obtained from the crude wood vinegar is approximately the same as that of the charcoal itself.

When charcoal is produced in kilns neither the wood gas nor the crude wood vinegar produced are recovered and utilized. Thus, both energy and valuable substances contained in the wood vinegar are wasted - a major economic disadvantage. The method also appears highly undesirable due to the toxic emissions involved.

Table 2: Energy balances of kiln and industrial charcoal production plant




Wood (air-seasoned) (av 3, 500 kcal(kg)




20 - 25%


qty. (%/wt.)

Chacoal(av 700 kcal/kq) = 82%, 4% Hz, 14% O2

40 - 50%



Table 3: Material losses to the environment in kiln carbonization

Wood gas

Basais:1000kg wood (dry)

= 190kg(= 12;Nm3)

CO2 49 %, CO 3 4 %, CH4

13 %

C2H42 %

Calorific value: :'200


Crude wood vinegar including

- tar(sol)

- acetic acid

= 460 kg

wood spirit




tar water

3 %

7 %


Biogas technology at municipal level: Pioneering innovations

Meeting of Experts in Hohenlohe, FRG by Christopher Kellner and Lucie Neumann

Since last year's conference marking ten years of the GTZ Biogas Extension Programme the diailogue between biogas experts working in development aid and those working onthedissemination of thetechnology in Germany has been intensified. That dialogue is now starting to bear fruit. At a meeting held in the Hohenlohe region of Germany in December, the focus was on the application of biogas technology at community level.

The discussions at the meeting, attended by 110 experts, were dominated by such topics as cofermentation, solid manure fermentation, storage systems, and co-generation concepts. Behind these terms are technical solutions which in future will be more important than ever, also for the GTZ programme. As stated in the protocol of the meeting, biogas is not only of interest for individual users, but is also important for “holistic municipal planning“.

Mr. Schulz, of the Weihenstephan Agricultural Engineering Association in Freising, near Munich, presented a paper emphasizing how biogas technology can benefit municipalities, given current environmental problems. Calculations relating to the avoidance of pollution, e.g. by reducing emissions of methane and ammonia, the use of digested sludge as a substitute for chemical fertilizers, and on reduction of ground water pollution are becoming increasingly important. For the individual farmer, biogas meant less work, said Mr. Schulz. For example, digested sludge reduced the capability of weed seeds to germinate, at the same time causing plants to be far healthier than conventional fertilizers.

Co-fermentation concept

Professor A. Gosch, of Friedberg Agricultural College in Giessen, presented a pioneering co-fermentation concept. Nutrients are added to substrates to be fermented to improve the yields of biogas plants. Gosch recommended an extremely economical method which is also environmentally compatible: lawn cuttings, maize silage, used cooking fat, sour whey, brewery waste, household waste, can be used as additives. In one plant, even fat from a deep fryer was processed - a waste product that poses a problem for restaurants in particular. Professor Gosch explained that the bacteria had to be “weaned“ to the new substances gradually.

Instead of composting household waste, which involves heavy costs for municipalities, this alternative waste disposal plan proposes that farmers should be paid to dispose of them. As a result, the energy yield of biogas plants would be increased and the nutrients would enrich the (biological) fertilizer. Farmers in Baden-Wurttemberg have put forward a proposal for small, decentralized plants with capacities of 1, 000 tonnes p. a. to process the biowaste of communities with 700 to 15, 000 inhabitants. The financial benefits are said to be appreciable, both for the municipality and for the plant operator. (Professor Gosch is offering two publications on co-fermentation at cost price. Address: Wiesenstra14, D-6000 GieBen, FRG)

The remarks on plant engineering in connection with solid manure technology reflected recent findings concerning the profitability and energy yield of plants with steel tanks and concrete slurry pits. The use of solid manure and bedding straw is the most far-reaching recent chance in the technology for agriculture.

Solid manure technology

Due to the higher percentage of organic dry matter in the substrate the gas yield can be tripled as compared to the yield from the more liquid dungurine substrate. To achieve this, however, the solid components must be thoroughly pulverized with a powerful stirrer, first in the influent collecting tank and then in the digester.

Today, there are two types of plant which optimize gas production using a stirrer - the concrete pit plant (biogas storage plant) and the steel tank plant (through-flow type). With the concrete pit plant, a concrete liquid manure tank with a concrete cover is expanded to convert it into a biogas plant. Storage and digestion take place in the tank. The gas produced in the digesting chamber is collected in the chamber itself, in a bag made of plastic sheet.

As a variant of this, open manure pits can be covered with double plastic sheet. The outer, fabric-reinforced sheet keeps its shape stable, while the lower sheet rises and falls depending on gas production and consumption. By combining the liquid manure with the digestion chamber the plant is more compact than a steel tank plant, and can be built with less labour and materials. The onIy d is advantages are those resulting from mixing fresh substrate and fermented material from the digesting chamber. Thus, the quality of the biofertilizer and compatibility with (vegetable) plants are reduced, while the odour is stronger.

In addition, the storage plant method leads to considerable fluctuations in gas production over the year. In practice, this problem is counteracted by using co-generative motors, excess power being fed into the grid. Since 1991, the utility companies have bought this power at 75% of their resale price.

On the other hand, the steel tank plant has proved to be a reliable type of through-flow biogas plant for 30 years now, even with problematic types of liquid manure. The heart of the plant is a horizontal steel tank- normally a used heating oil tank - with a paddle type stirrer. The gas is stored in the tank. The only disadvantages of this type of plant are the weather protection and the space requirement.

Fuel for block-type thermal power stations

The south-west German division of the Technical Surveillance Association (TUV) has so far laid down only minimum technical requirements. These include in particular safety devices to control blowback, overpressure and vacuum and automatic gas flow interruption during motor operation.

However, regulations for lowpressure operation are much more urgently needed, because according to the TUV expert unjustified or excessive demands are already pushing investment costs up.

Fig. 1 Storage-type biogas plant with double-skin pit cover and swivel-mounted gaslight stirrer.

Biogas as a fuel for block-type thermal power stations represents the ther best possible way of utilizing the energy thus produced. The outlook for co-generation has become all the more interesting since legislation was passed in Germany ensuring that electricity fed into the grid from private producers is paid for.

Internal combustion engines normally generate far more heat than electrical power, but if combined with a gas storage tank it would be possible to conclude agreements with power station operators to provide them with electricity in particular to help cover peak loads. The heat given off by the engine can be used to heat the plant and residential accomodation.

Many different technical solutions have been evolved for co-generation. Various models were presented by different speakers. While the Fiat Totem (Total Energy Module) is commonly used in digester gas technology, one could just as easily imagine using a Chevrolet engine for other applications.
In tests, a converted turbo diesel engine attained a level of efficiency in electricity generation 40% higher than that of conventional block-type thermal power stations. A low-cost variant of a co-generation “kit“ might also be suitable for developing countries, as was shown during the presentation.

Model calcurations presented at the meeting indicated that the technology would be profitable only with a 25% government subsidy - at today's prices! On the other hand, the calculations did not take into account the future benefit of the plant if it is used for disposal of biowaste, with a higher energy yield and production of higherquality fertilizer.

The heart of the plant is a horizontal steel tank with a paddle-type stirrer. Plants of this type have proved highly reliable, one having been in use for 30 years without giving any problems.

In particular, it copes well with floating scum, sediment layers and congestions, even with problematic manures such as liquefied solid manure with a high straw content and pig manure, which tends to form sediment layers. Nor are there any problems with gas-tightness or thermal insulation.

Energy consumption for mixing is very low. When the liquid manure is pumped in daily, the same quantity of fermented material overflows into the manure storage tank at the other end. The elongated shape of the tank helps to prevent loss of unfermented manure.

Used heating oil tanks with a capacity of 50 to 100 m3 are normally used.

They are between 2.5 m and 2.9 m in diameter end from 12 m to 14.5 m long. If necessary several tanks can be combined.

Through-Flow-Type Biogas Plant

The plant is insulated on the outside with 20 cm thick Rockwool A digester volume of 16 - 20 m3 is required per cubic metre of liquid pumped in daily The plant takes up more space than a storage-type plant and requires weather protection, but the gas is stored in the same way.

Innovative proposals for mushroom cultivation in the tropics

by Werner Baensch

In contrast to many countries in the Far East and South-East Asia, mushroom cultivation is not widespread in the tropical regions of Africa and Central and South America. This article takes a closer look at the main problems associated with mushroom production in tropical countries, and examines how present or future projects could attract more interest. Some of the proposals outlined here are based on discussions at the XlIlth International Mushroom Congress, which we; held from 1 to 6 September 1991 in Dublin, Ireland.

In the course of the last ten years experts and development organizations have repeatedly referred to the potential for growing mushrooms in the Tropics. But in many developing countries mushroom production is still limited to isolated experiments.

Reports on simple techniques of mushroom production have been published in gate (issues 3/87 and 4/88). However, much documentation and many studies on mushroom cultivation remain unpublished. Generally speaking, interest in mushroom-growing in the Tropics is still not in the same level as for other kinds of agricultural produce.

One reason for the low level of interest couId be traditional habits in the developing countries (Asian countries excepted), where mushrooms are still not customary as part of a vegetable diet.

In fact, the large quantities of protein, minerals and vitamins that mushrooms contain could be important in improving the balance of nutrition in Third World countries. But who would want to grow mushrooms when popular consumption is currently low and the market shows no sign of expanding?

For small farmers and community projects alike, investing in innovative schemes without any prior assistance for feasibility studies would involve a considerable risk.

Improved knowledge

In recent years much more has become known about mushroom cultivation in the Tropics, and many species of mushroom have been adapted to the various subtropical and tropical climates.

When choosing the most appropriate variety of mushroom seeds (spores) suitable for mycelial growth and fructification, the mean temperature and availability of agricultural waste must be considered.

There are several varieties of mushroom which can be cultivated successfully and with high yields in the Tropics:

Oyster mushroom/Pleurotus

abalonus, citrinipileatus, cornucopiae, eryngii, fabellatus, florida, fossulatus, sajor-Caju;

Stropharia species: rugosoannulata;
Volvariella species: volvacea;

Oak mushroom (Shii-Take)/Lentinus species: edodes;

Wood ear mushroom/Auricu/aria species: polytricha;

Medicinial mushroom/Treme/la species;

Agraricus bitorquis is gaining in popularity as the “hot“ mushroom found in hilly areas in the Tropics.

Large quantities of agricultural waste can be used (a) for mushroom

Peter Oeil Uanual of Mushroom Cultivation. Techniques, species and opportunities for commercial application in developing countries

Published and distributed by TOOL PUBLICATIONS

Sarphatisstraat 650

NL-1018 AV Amsterdam the Netherlands

Tool/CTA 1991.
SBN 9070857227

price: 32.50 (excluding shipping and handling)

This book list written primarily for extension workers in developing countries. It provides biological information on the nature of mushrooms, a general outline of mushroom cultivation, spawn preparation and substrate preparation in general. It also contains advice on growing techniques, with examples showing how to perform a feasibility study and how to market the product.

cultivation, an (b) as a valuable compost for soil improvement. Reports from mushroom farms in developing countries indicate that cassava stalks, cocoa pods, coffee bean husks, coffee pulp, corn cobs, corn stubble, cotton seed cake, shoots, prunings from plane trees, pulse husks, rice hulls, sawdust, sugarcane bagasse, tealeaves, tobacco stalks and wheat straw are already being used as mushroom substrates. When spent, the substrate has to be mixed and fermented with animal manure before it can be recycled as an organic fertilizer for crop soils.

Preparation of sterile substrates

To cultivate mushrooms successfully, one must have a comprehensive knowledge of the skills involved in substrate production, sterile handling and the care and propagation of mushroom-cultures. Until now, farmers have used mother-cultures from overseas mushroom laboratories. These imported cultures are usually very expensive and not well adapted to local environments. They often arrive in a unfertile condition. The need for pest and disease control also has to be borne in mind to avoid losses in mushroom production.

For all these reasons it is advisable to prepare sterile substrates on a central farm, to ensure correct humidification and substrate fermentation. After filling the plastic bags with spawned substrate, they can be distributed to mushroom farmers. Subsequent cultivation, harvesting and commercialization can either be individual, collective or decentralized.


The marketing of fresh mushrooms in the Tropics requires special care. Most mushroom varieties should be consumed with in three oder four days of harvesting to avoid spoilage and/or dehydration. One economical and widespread method of preserving mushrooms is solar dehydration. Canningislikely to become very important in the future for long-term preservation and export.

Cooperation with agro-industries

Last bust not least, it is important to have qualified assistance at the start of a project. In Latin America and some Asian countries there are already a number of sucessful community projects which could satisfy all the above-mentioned criteria and solve the problems of spawn provison, substrate production, harvesting and commercialization of mushroom production. However, we do not yet know how projects of this kind might work in African countries.

A common feature of all these successful projects is that they do not work in isolation. They have become involved in joint ventures with regional agro-industries, or cooperate closely with regional universities or national research institutes. These organizations provide practical training courses and run extension workshops dealing with the basic concepts of mushroom-growing. In such cases appropriate mushroom mothercultures are always available in fertile condition and at low cost. For the smalI farmer, this makes it easier to grow mushrooms and thus to generate additional income.

In the ligth of experience gained so far in developing countries, we believe that it would be a good idea for GATE to support the setting-up of a “Mushroom Mycelium“ consisting of interested groups of local farmers, community projects, universities, research institutes and agro-industrial companies. The result would be an international technology exchange for mushroom cultivation, to gather more information.

Creativity That Surpassed Expectations

Second International Fair of Popular Creativity, alternative technologies and the environment in Chile

by Andres Patuelli

In a world dominated by the market, it is rare to find one self in a place where there is less interest in selling than in stimulating creativity and sharing with others the underlying secrets of the technologies on display. Yet that was the case during the 2nd International Fair of Popular Creativity, Alternative Technologies and the Environment held from November, 21 to 24, 1991 in the “El Canelo de Nos” center, a Chilean NGO on the outskirts of Santiago.

This second international technology show surpassed all expectations. A total of 72 exhibitors took part, hailing from various parts of Chile and other countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and North America. Universities, nongovernmental organizations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and independent inventors were among them.

Moreover, the more than 40000 visitors - over twice as many as had attended the previous years's fair were able to participate in a number of supplementary activities aimed at inculcating the spirit of the fair. 24 open discussions were held and a series of 14 video films shown about topics related to development, the environment, social policies and technology transfers. There were also open-air concerts, theater performances, and book presentations.

Good, nice-looking and inexpensive

In order to identify those who would exhibit at the fair, five months earlier the technicians of El Canelo de Nos
scoured the entire country. They visited NGOs known to them and after dead regional fairs looking for alternaive technologies, and they also searched for independent workingclass inventors. In the end, they came up with a total of 110 specific technologies. Some had been created by their own people, others were invented by professionals working for support organizations, and a third group comprised traditional grass-roots technologies that had been salvaged and improved upon by the NGOs.

An example of such collaboration between technicians and rural residents is the hand water pump de /eloped by Roberto Mansilla of the Mapuche Society for Rural Development (SODECAM).

“The pump that you see here,“ he explains, “is a model that we have already modified five times since starting to produce it. Right now, some 900 pumps made by us are already in use in the rural sector of Temuco,“ (an area in southern Chile populated mainly by members of indigenous groups). “Even with this number, we have succeeded in changing the region's health statistics“.

“And what advantages does it offer?“ “We have pumps for wells up to seven and thirty meters deep that cost only a fourth as much as other" comparable pumps available on the market. But we're aiming at providing more than a simple pump. This model raises water up to a tank situated four meters above the ground, which in turn supplies a dishwasher, a shower, a hose, and a sprinkler that the water pressure causes to spin. I got the original idea from the pumps the fishers of Chilo‚ use, “(a region of Chile further to the south)“ but it was the farmers who suggested all of the improvements. I kept building models and showing them to them, and that is how all the little details were gradually worked out. For us, the important thing is for a technology to be not only appropriate to the needs of a community, but also practicable. Or to put it another way, the people must understand it, adopt it, and modify it if they like it.“

- In the field of energy development, one was struck by the novelty of the proposed schemes, many of which were also quite spectacular to behold, such as windmills and solar-powered stoves. A large number of applications utilized solar energy, wind energy, and efficient use of fuelwood and other energy sources, such as the so-car led hot <<boxes>> for cooking.

- A great deal of attention was also devoted to housing. Various low-cost but technically high-quality design systems were exhibited. And also services for integration into homes, such as latrines, water heaters, and waste management systems, among others.

One of these was the housing unit proposed by El Canelo, which incorporates various low-cost construction techniques. It is earthquake-proof; its walls consist of wooden frames with fine wire mesh - like that used in Chile to make poultry pens-covered with mud, straw and cement. The floor is also made of cement, and the roof of pressed-cardboard shingles coated with an anticorrosion agent to keep the interior cool and dry. Its designers estimate that a house of this type, with a floorspace of more than 60 square meters, would cost just under US $ 2700.

Such approaches, in contrast to the large-scale technologies of the capitalist industrialized world, are within the reach of all societal groups, and are gradually helping to refute the belief that alternative technologies can only benefit those “who don't have enough money to buy something better.“

“Of course I'd live in a house of this kind,“ stressed Lui Arancibia, one of the designers of the module that was set up at the fair to demonstrate the housing unit's underlying principles of constructions. “I believe in what I do. And everyone wants the things they're going to use to be as comfortable as possible.“

Expectations exceeded

This fair improved on the previous one by two hundred percent, in terms of both quantity and quality, in the opinion of Pedro Serrano, an electronics engineer in charge of the national organization of the exposition. There was a great deal of grass-roots creativity, he assured, but also many professional engineers of good standing.

“As a negative aspect of the fair, it shouId be said, that we weren't able to meet the enormous demand for information on the part of the people,“ commented Serrano. “Everything that the exhibitors brought to sell, brochures and books, was used up quickly. We just weren't expecting so many visitors. Specifically, the support provided to foreign exhibitors will have to be improved. It was too expensive for those invited from Africa and Asia to bring their products with them, and all they could do was show pictures and scale models. That put them at a disadvantage compared to local exhibitors“.

As regards thetechnological level of the fair, Pedro Serrano explained that this time stricter selection criteria were applied to the exhibitors than the year before. However, the challenge that the 3rd fair will face is to raise the standards even further.

An alternative concept of progress

Francisco Vio, executive director of the Centro El Canelo de Nos, which is the institution that organizes the fair, is quite satisfied with the work that has been done, and expresses optimism as to the contribution that this event can make towards proposing and implementing alternative technologies. He observed: “/“ is the only fair of its kind, because it tries to link technology with environmental topics and the necessity of changing our life styles. The normal approach would be to evaluate technology solely on the basis of its specific functionality. But if a broader view is taken, then the people become aware that in the long run, alternative technologies will be the more efficient ones. To be sure, adopting them means changing to a way of life that is superior in quality but more austere.

“This fair is grass-roots-oriented, and is therefore alternative. Because it challenges the monopoly that an intellectual elite has on the creation of knowledge, an elite that customarily has close ties with specific economic interests.“

And the grass-roots nature of the fair gives rise to another of its distinctive features, explained Vio: the valuable opportunity for the independent inventors to take part in an international forum.

“Generally speaking, they are poor and isolated, with very low selfesteem. Simply granting them to chance to be seen and participate in a relevant undertaking unleashes a quite spectacular display of energy on their part. After this event the African delegates, for example, decided to organize national fairs of their own, culminating in a pan-African exposition. The reponse of the Asians was similar; they have agreed to meet in the Philippines.“


Economic Building: Journals & Newsletters, Books New GATE Publications Sustainable Agriculture

Economic Building

- Journals & Newsletters


P O. Box 30030
Nairoby, Kenya
Fax(+ 254)2520724
Telex 22996 UNHAB KE

Official Newsletter of the United Nations Centre for Hunman Settlements (Habitat). It is published three times a year and distributed free of charge.


Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd. Liancre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX 28 DP, UK Fax: (+ 865) 3108 98

CITIES is a journal published four times a year. The journal provides an international and interdisciplinary platform for the exchange of ideas and information between urban planners and policy makers. Annual subscriptions: œ 125 (Europe), œ 130 (Rest of the world).


Editorial office: PloeniusstraBe 18 D-6100 Darmstacit Orders to: Magazin-Verlag Schweffelstra6 D-2300 Kiel Tel. (+ 431)565899 TIRIALOG is a German quaterly journal for topics of planning and construction in the developing countries. Articles in German, some in Englisch, Subscription: Rates: DM 40, - (individuals), DM 60, - (institutions).

ISBN 1 85574 013 3

Concept Media Ltd.
Fourth Floor
13/ 7 New Burlington Place
Regent Street
London W1X 2JP, UK
Fax.(+ 71)7340627

MIMAR is published quarterly. Mimar means: “Master Builder“ in several languages of the developing world (Arabic, Farli, Turkish and Urdu). It is a term that brings together design and building and culture. The journal aims to encourage communication between architects of the developed and developing world and between the East and the West. Subscription Rates:

œ 39 (UK/W EuropelAustralasia), œ 50 (Rest of the World).

Institute for Construction Training and Development

123 Wijerama Mawatha Colmbo 07

Sri Lanka

The Journal of the Institute for Construction Industry Training and Development wan published in 1989 for the first time. In every issue: a feature article of topical interest to the construction industry of Sri Larka, some technical articles, statistical informations and construction news. Subscription Rate: 100 Rs.



Quisquis 130 y Riobamba P 0. Box 10.270 Guayaquil/Ecuador Tel. (+ 306) 716 - 310725

Domus is a bi-monthly publication for architects and construction engineers. Readers can find a lot of informations on local available building materials.

APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY NEWSLETTER in support of rural and urban development

Appropriate Technology Information Centre, CSIR P O. Box 395 Pretoria 0001 RSA Fax:(+12)862869


Habitat Intemational Coalition Cordobanes 24 03900 Col. San Jose Insurgentes Mexico D. E Fax: + 5453263

JOURNAL OF THE NETWORK of African countries on local

building materials and Technologies
Mario Piche/UNCHS

P O. Box30030

Raul Vicencio Commonwealth Science Council Marlborough House Pall Mall London SW 1Y 5HX, UK
Chief, Information, Audio-Visual and Documentation Division UNCHS (Habitat) P 0. Box 30030 Nairobi, Kenya

- Books

Compressed Earth blocs

The latest book in the series “The Basics of...“ is The Basics of Compressed Earth Blocks, also available in a French edition, Le bloc de terre comprimee - elements de base. The book compiled by CRATerre, was published by GATE in 1991.

It contains basic information on the production and use of compressed
earth blocks (CEBs), and is addressed to building materials producers, building contractors, decision makers, technicians and anyone else who wants to find out more about CEBs. Like the various GATE product information folders on equipment for producing building materials, The Basics of Compressed Earth Blocks is also a useful tool for the BASIN technical enquiry service. In addition to a description of compressed earth blocks, their advantages over other wall-building materials and their production, the book provides the following information:

CEBs for organizations

CEBs for private contractors and entrepreneurs

Investment and production costs
Cost of CEB building

- Key questions to potential producers

- Ten steps to set up a successful production unit

Identifying the right product
Raw materials

Vocational training
Building design

Select bibliography.

If you wish to order this publication, please write to:
GTZ/GATE-BASIN Attn. Mrs Hannah Schreckenbach PO. Box 5180 D-6236 Eschborn 1 Germany
Standards Guidelines

FCR/MCR Toolkit (Element 4):

Standards Guidelines - Fibre or Micro Concrete Tiles. 49pp. St. Gallen 1992: ISBN: 3-9OB001-24-2.

These guidelines for Government officials, standards institutions and engineers/architects define quality standards for FCR/MCR-products.

They constitute the fourth element of a series in which different guides and standards are described as part of promotion and producer kits for the FCR/MCR-technology.

The guidelines are a co-publication of the Swiss Centre for Appropriate Technology (SKAT) and the International Labour Office (ILO), supported by the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC). They are used by the international “Building Advisory Service and Information Network (BASIN).“

The standardization of FCR/MCR products constitutes the last step in the developments of the technology. A standardization of the product would cut out low quality producers or force them to improve their production.

The aforementioned guidelines aim at helping official institutions, which issue quality standards for construction materials and building regulations on a national level to design their own standards for FCR/MCR products which are valid for their specific countries, taking the requirements and characteristics of the local context into consideration. The guidelines also help architects, engineers, buiIding in spection institutions and contractors to carry out their own tests, if national standards are not available or the quality of the product is questioned. For further information on the publication, please write to:

Karl Wehrle or Heini M ller SKAT

Tigerbergstr. 2

CH-9000 St. Gallen Switzerland

Fax: + 41 71224656
The publication is distributed by the SKATbookshop (at the above address) or by ILO, INSTEAD
Route des Morillons 4 CH-1211 Geneve 22
Biological Monitoring

Hermann Ellenberg et al.: Biological Monitoring. Signals from the Environment. GATE/Vieweg Eschborn and Braunschweig 1991, 318 pp, DM 38, -. ISBN 3-528-02302-3.

The concepts of “biomotoring“ and “bioindicators“ are awakening widespread hopes that new, effective approaches to evaluation and monitoring of the environment are now within our grasp. By observing and measuring the reactions of plants and/or animals to changes in their environment across temporal and spatial gradients, we can take advantage of the fact that, in order to survive, living organisms must process and assimilate environmental influences affecting their habitats - reflecting their net impacts over time and, in the case of animals, across space as well.

This approach offers promising prospects for direct detection of the impact of contaminants on organisms that can be meaningfully studied in lieu of human beings, their crops, or their livestock. Nonetheless, biological and ecological know-how is essential for interpretation of the observed and/or measured reactions of organisms.

“Biological monitoring“ is ideal for supplementing, broadening and achieving greater investigative depth of physical and chemical environmental measurement programs. When this is done, under favourable conditions only a limited number of expensive measuring stations are needed to corroborate the results obtained with relatively little cost and effort from a large number of bioindicators.

The Self-Reliant Potter

Henrik Norsker, James Danish: Forming Techniques - for the Self-Reliant Potter. GATE/Vieweg Eschborn and

Braunschweig 1991.194pp. DM 29, 80. ISBN: 3-528-02061-X.

- his is the third book in a series of manuals for the use of cottage and small-scale ceramics production, primarily in developing countries.

- the book begins with a discussion on choise of products and their possible markets. Following this are chapters on forming techniques for the potter's wheel, jigger jolley, extrusion, press moulding, and slip casting. All processes are described in detail covering the many practical problems involved and with a wide range of machinery designs. Also included are practical instructions on how to produce plaster from raw gypsum and how to produce plaster moulds for jiggering and slip casting. Other topics are drying systems and better production work flow.

Much of the material is based on the direct experience of the authors in developing countries, in particular Nepal, Burma, Tanzania, India, Bangladesh and Thailand, where the authors have been involved for several years in ceramics development projects, and have looked closely at the various problems and solutions, past and present.
The GATE publications may be ordered from booksellers or directly from the publisher: Friedr Vieweg & Sohn GmbH P.O. Box300620 D-5090 Leverkusen 3 FRG

New Books

Sustainable Agriculture

Willem C. Beets: Raising and Sustaining Productivity of Smaliholder Farming Systems in the Tropics. A Handbook of Sustainable Agricutural Development. AgBe Publishing (P O. Box 9125, 1800 GC. Alkmear, Holland)

1990 ISBN 97485676 4 a 750 pp.

Bertus Haverkort/Johan van Kamp/Ann Waters-Bayer: Joining Farmers's Experiments - Experiences in Participatory Technology Development ILEA Readings in Sustainable Agriculture, ISBN 1 85339101 a IT Publications, Southbampton Row. London WC1B4HH, UK.260pp.9, 95.

Proceedings of the International Conference on Alternatives in Animal Husbandry. (Witzenhausen/University of Kassel, July 1991). Prof. E. Boehake, Universitat Kassel. Abteilung Landwirtschaft. NordbahnhofstraBe 1 a. D-3430 Witzenhausen, FRG.

Fax: (+ 5542) 503588

Topics discussed at the conference included innovations in facilities for pig-breeding, new objectives in cattle breeding, the importance of genetic engineering for animal breeding, viable animal breeding in developing countries, and the role of veterinary medicine in alternative animal breeding.


One-Year Pilot Phase
Agreed on for Participative Impact Monitoring

The GATE project “Participative Impact Monitoring“ was the subject of a workshop held in December 1991 in Oberursel, near Frankfurt. In talks with partners of GATE and GTZ and representatives of German development NGOs, the project moved a stage closer to implementation. The aim of the workshop was to design the concept and testing phase of the project.

Participative impact monitoring (see the Focus section of gate 3/91) is concerned with assessment of projects by the people involved in them. With regard to project planning, this means “How can the change of attitude of participants in a project in the course of its implementation be used as a monitoring instrument?“.
At the workshop in Oberursel, a one year pilot phase was agreed on with three of GATE's partners, the NGOs UNDUGI-Society of Kenya, SIBAT of the Philippines and INDES (Instituto de Desarollo Social y Promocion Humana) of Argentina. Each of GATE's partners will carry out and document participative impact monitoring in one development project.

It is planned to hold another workshop next year to analyze this pilot phase. GATE's partners left the Oberursel meeting with, among other things, the following question for the pilot phase:

- Who are the participants in the monitoring exercise?

- What is the role of the donor agency in this monitoring?

- Who benefits from the monitoring?

- Who does not benefit from it?

- Who suffers as a result of it?

- Is the target group interested in the monitoring?

- How useful is this monitoring for the project process?

- How does this monitoring exercise contribute to achieving the people's objectives?

(For further information please contact Joachim Prey of GATE.)

Indonesia: Treatment of
Industrial Wastewater

At the “Intensive Workshop for Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plants“ held at the end of September 1991, Emil Salim, the Indonesian Minister of State for Population and Environment, stressed the Indonesian authorities' determination to apply and enforce that country's environmental laws and injunctions.

The Indonesian workshop was organized on behalf of GTZ by the German Centre for International Training in Water and Waste Management (DZWA) and the German Association for Water Pollution Control (ATV).

The topics at this workshop and a previous workshop held in 1990 were water resources management, environmental impact assessment, design, the detailed planning and construction of treatment plants, the treatment of waste water from the metal, fertilizer, pulp and paper, textile, chemical and other sectors of industry. The two workshops were attended by a total of 90 Indonesian engineers and managers.

In 1989, the Indonesian government introduced a “Clean River Programm“ including a number of legal measures and taking a total of 20 rivers into account. The programme regards the treatment of industrial wastewater as a task of prime importance.

SATIS: Secretariat in Dakar/Senegal

In 1991 the Secretariat of SATIS (Socially Appropriate Technology Information Service) has been transfered from Utrecht in the
Netherlands to Dakar in Sengal.

Address: SATIS B. B 2664 Dakar Senegal Tel.: (+ 221) 2175 95. Fax:(+ 221)212695 Telex: 090651456. Electronic Mailbox: geo2:satis

Mali Rual Stoves Workshop

From 11 - 18 November 1991 a Rural Stoves Workshop for Francophone countries was organized by GTZ (Germany) in cooperation with Bois de Feu (France), Intermediate Technology Development Group, ITDG (UK) and FWD (Southern Woodstove Network) in Bamako, Mali. The main objective of the workshop was to exchange information and to develop guidelines for the implementation of rural woodstove programmes.

Workshop participants representing various governmental and nongovernmental institutions and organizations came from Mali, Niger, Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Cameroon, Chad, Kenya, Ruanda, Sweden, UK and Germany. The guidelines will be available shortly and GATE/GTZ any non-participant interested in receiving the guidelines can request them either from GTZ/GATE, FOOD, Bois de Feu or ITDG.

GATE AT Documentation

In December 1991, GATE completed work on expanding its AT documentation. More than 15, 000 documents (books, articles, pamphlets, project reports etc.) are now available to help answer enquiries from both industrial and developing countries. The majority of these documents deal with agricultural problems.

The documentation can be consulted either by visiting GTZ in Eschborn or by making use of the GATE Question-and-Answer Service. The Question-and-Answer Service answers enquiries relating to any field of Appropriate Technology (e. 9. energy, construction, agriculture) free of charge. Close links with many AT
organizations both in Europe and in developing countries mean that extensive research is also possible outside GATE.

Address your enquiries to
Attn. D Franken or A. von Lossau
P O. Box 5180
D-W-6236 Eschborn
Federal Republic of Germany
Fax (+49) 6196 7948 20

German Development Scene

BMZ Project Evaluation

An analysis of 51 evaluations of German government-funded development aid projects carried out in 1989 concludes that “considerable difficulties“ were to be found in more than half of the schemes investigated “as a result of organizational, financial and staffing deficits with the project organizers in the recipient country“.

The study, published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation BMZ in December, further reveals that the “sustainablilty“ of the projects is judged positively in only roughly 30 per cent of the cases investigated. Forty per cent of the projects are felt to have as many positive as negative aspects, while roughly one quarterare judged as failures.

When presenting this report, Minister Carl-Dieter Spranger said that the results were “in no way respresentative“ , as the evaluation had only dealt with three per cent of all the development aid projects currently being funded by the Federal Government. Nevertheless, said the Minister, the results of the study called out for action. The “attendant circumstances“ in the developing countries were of decisive significance for the success of a project. These included the political, cultural, social, environment-specific and organizational-administrative conditions in a given country.

"Involvement of those responsible in :he counterpart country in the planning, the implementation and, more importantly, in the developmental and expert guidance of schemes“ were important if the aid programmes were to be lastingly effective. For Spranger, the results of the study werde confirmation of the BMZ's new political criteria for development aid, These criteria meant that the amount and type of aid depended on respect for human rights, popular participation in political processes, the guarantee of stability of the law and the creation of a market-friendly economic order.

BMZ: New Principles for Preservation of Tropical Rainforests

In January, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation BMZ presented its new guidelines for schemes to preserve the tropical rainforests. The guidelines stipulate that strategies to preserve the tropical rainforests should “not only effectively protect vital natural forest areas but also allow ecologically and socially tolerable forms of forest use, thus providing a secure existence for native ethnic groups“.

Bilateral aid programmes should be incorporated in national or regional action programmes. With this aid concept, the BMZisalso taking a lead from schemes funded by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO and the EC.

These principles underline the importance of overall political and economic conditions. As the Minister for Economic Cooperation, Carl Dieter Spranger, told journalists, “Where forest destruction is mainly due to the pressure of population, landless small farmers, large-scale cultivation and settlement programmes, land speculation or corruption, approaching the problem technically with improved forestry techniques or reforestation will be of little help“. Schemes to preserve the tropical rainforests would, he said, have to“ take account of the socio-cultural needs and efforts of the people living in the forest and consider the supraregional, if not global, ecological importance of the tropical rainforest zones“.

According to Spranger, the Federal German Governmentisassuming a pioneer role in international schemes to preserve the tropical rainforest. Spranger pointed out that Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl, for example, had had the topic included in the agenda of the annual summit of the G7 group of leading industrialized nations, and had been the driving force behind an international pilot scheme to preserve the Brazilian rainforests (aid amounting to $ 250 million over three years). The approximately DM 300 million provided by the Federal Government is about 15% of all the money provided internationally for tropical rainforest schemes ervery year. The BMZ's tropical rainforest scheme includes 54 countries.

Cartoon Images of “Discovery“ of America



The fifth international cartoon competition organized by Exile-Kulturkoordination (Essen, Germany) attracted more than 100 sketches and cartoons

from 27 countries dealing with the “discovery“ of America 500 years ago. The cartoons are to be shown in an exhibition that will tour German cities. Exile Kulturkoordination, FriederickenstraBe 41, D - 4300 Essen 1

International Development Scene


“Agenda for the Sons and Daughteirs of the Earth“

In December, in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), representatives of more than 500 nongovernmental organization (NGOs) passed a plan of action in Paris. It was the goal of the Paris conference to prepare 92 “Global Forum“, the alternative NGO summit meeting to be held concurrently to UNCED. More than half of the NGOs were from the South. UNCED will take place in Rio de Janeiro from 1 to 12 June this year.

The plan of action, which has been given the Swahili name Agenda ya Wananchi (“Agenda for the Sons and Daughters of the Earth“), is a comprehensive manifesto for a new model of environmentally sustainable development in the 1990s.

In its preface, the plan of action criticizes the socially and ecologically ruinous effects of the dominant development model set by the North, with its extravagant standards of consumption, and of the unjust world economic system. In their stead, the plan stresses the need to initiate an alternative form of development, based on a strategy of satisfying basic needs, participatory democracy, cultural plurality and the right to a clean environment. It is hoped that the NGOs will commit themselves to global support for this utopian vision at every level.

The document demands a worldwide report on the debt crises and the democratization of the structure and procedures of international financial organizations. The agenda further demands that military spending be reduced by at least 50 per cent, and that these funds be transferred to antipoverty and environmental management programmes. It calls for a stop to the dumping of subsidized European agricultural exports in the South.

Agenda ya Wananchi wants the North to stop subsidies and other incentives encouraging the export of environmentally hazardous or outdated products and technologies that are no longer acceptable in their country of origin.

It is hoped that improved technology transfer between North and South as welI as the promotion of alternative forms of technology based on the traditional knowledge of indigenous people will encourage this ecological transformation.



- The Indigenous People's Conference on Habitat, Environment and Development and The Earth Parliament

May 21 - 31 and June 3 -12

(Held parallel to United Nations Conference on Environement and Development).

Venue: Kari Okai Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

- Solar Energy Conference June 2 - 4, 1992 and
- Appropriate Technology for the Third World June 8-10, 1992

Venue: Windhoek/Namibia

Address: The Engineering Profession Association of Namibia
P O. Box 21885

Windhoek/Namibia Fax: 264 612248 63

- 8. Internationales Sonnenforum (ISF):

Energy and Environment June 30 - July 3, 1992

Venue: ICC Berlin

Address: DGS Augustenstra79 D-8000 Munchen 2 Tel. (+ 89)524017 Fax: (+ 89) 5216 68

Critics of official development aid do not be belive that “greening“ of existing aid
programmes is possible Cartoon: Panos


- International Course on ECONOMIC CONSTRUCTION AND LOCAL BUILDING Materials. Conducted by BASIN under the auspices of UNIDO and UNCHS

Place: School of Architecture of Grenoble, 10 galerie des Baladins

38100 Grenoble/FRANCE

25 May - 3 July 1992

Language: English


Architects, planners, engineers, economists, sociologists (max. 15 persons).

The course is designed for the following categories of participants:

- professional staff, responsible for planning and executing building programmes;

- government planners, administrators and programme managers at national and regional levels;

- architects, planners and project coordinators of non-governmental organizations;

- experts and technical advisors of international agencies, donor governments and voluntary organizations.

The participants must have at least five years of professional/project experience in professions connected with planning and project implementation.

The 6-week course is divided into 6 blocks of 5 days each:

Block l: What is economic construction and what are the problems connected with it and the production of local building materials?

Block ll: Building with earth. Block lIl: Wall Construction. Block IV: Roofing.

Block V: Cements and binders.

Block Vl: Strategies for know-how transfer and instruments for promoting the local building materials industry.


CRATerre - EAG
Attn.: Mrs. Marina Trappeniers
BP 2636

Phone: +33 7640 14 39
Fax: + 33 7622 7256


- Cranfield School of Management. A Training Programme of the Enterprise Development Centre.

Finance for Micro-Enterprise
June 7 - July 3, 1992
Fee for programme: œ 3, 250
Managing Enterprise
July 12 - August 21, 1992
Fee: œ 4, 750
Training for Enterprise
August 23 - September 18, 1992
Fee: œ 3, 450
Bedford MK 43 OAL England
Tel.: (+44)234 751122
Fax: (+44)234751806


- Development Planning Unit, University College London. One Year Master's Degree Course: Housing in Development


Admissions Secretary
Development Planning Unit
University College London
9, Endsleigh Gardens
London WC1 HOED, UK


- The Oxford School of Architecture MSc/Diploma/Short Courses in Development Practices

An international programme offering a combination of special studies in the following areas: Housing, shelter and settlements, disaster management and mitigation, settlement planning for refugees and involuntary migrants, urban development and urban management planning.

Beverly Bhaskare
The Wyatt Centre Oxtord Polytechnic
Gipsy Lane Oxford OX3 OBP
Fax + 8 65 8192 98

- African Regional Centre for Engineering Design and Manufacturing.

On the job training courses for African Engineers

Training Courses in Design and Manufacture of Spare Parts for Machinery Repair and Maintenance July 6 - September 24, 1992

September 28 - December 17, 1992

Training Courses in Design and Manufacture of Jigs and Fixtures

Fee: 4, 000 US-Dollar
KM 9 Ibadan-lwo Road
P.M. B. 19, U J. Post Office
Ibadan, Nigeria
Telex: + 311 67 ARCEDEM NG or
- International Training Course on Biogas Technology. April 15- May 30, 1992 July 15 - August 30, 1992. Chengdu, China Fee: 3, 870 US-Dollar
Liu Tian/Song Yuhua
Chengdu Biogas Research & Design In
No. 13, Fourth Block, Peopl's South St.
Chengdu Sichuan 610041
P.R China
Fax: + 581849
Telex: + 60109 JJH CN


German Appropriate Technology Exchange Centro Aleman pare Tecnologias Apropiadas Centre allemand d'inter-technologie appropri‚e Deutsches Zentrum fur Entwicklungstechnologien

GATE is not only the name of this quarterly. It also stands for German Appropriate Technology Exchange, founded in 1978 as a special division (Division 4020) Of the government-owned Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH (German Agency for Technical Cooperation).


GATE is a centre for the dissemination and promotion of appropriate technologies for developing countries. GATE defines “appropriate technologies“ as those which appear particularly apposite in the light of economic, social and cultural criteria. They should contribute to socio-economic development whilst ensuring optimal utilization of resources and minimal detriment to the environment. Depencing on the case at hand a traditional, intermediate or highly developed technology can be the “appropriate" one.

Activities GATE focusses its work on the following areas:

- Technology Dissemination: Collecting, processing and disseminating information on technologies appropriate to the needs of the developing countries; ascertaining the technological requirements of Third World countries; support in the form of personnel, material and equipment to promote the development and adaption of technologies for developing countries.

- Research and Development: Conducting and/or promoting research and development work in appropriate technologies.

- Cooperation in Technological Development: Cooperation in the form of joint projects with relevant institutions in developing countries and in the Federal Republic of Germany.

- Environmental Protection: The growing importance of ecology and environmental protection requires better coordination and harmonization of projects. In order to tackle these tasks more effectively, a coordination centre was set up within GATE in 1985.


GATEoffersafreeinformationserviceinappropriatetechnologiesforallpublic and privat development institutions in countries dealing with the development, adaption application and introduction of technologies.

Deutsches Zentrum f r Entwicklungstechnologien
Dag-Hammarskj ld-Weg 1
D-6236 Eschborn 1
Federal Republic of Germany