|GATE - 1987/1 - Research and Development (GTZ GATE, 1987, 52 p.)|
If many projects in the early days of development aid were based on the assumption that the most important problems in developing countries could be solved relatively quickly simply by transferring Western technologies, the experience gained to date has led to the conviction that it is necessary to adapt technologies to the socio-cultural environment of the recipient country. This can be done, among other methods, by so-called "'down-grading" of modern technologies from the industrial nations, by "up-grading" already existing technologies, or by developing new technologies that husband resources, respect the environment. and are adapted to the conditions of the countries concerned.
All three procedures require close cooperation, intensive exchange of experience between those concerned and the willingness to learn together. This cooperation is achieved, firstly, in the foundation and extension of regional technology centres which are to be enabled to identify, select, adapt, develop and disseminate technologies suited to local requirements; secondly via local research institutions within the framework of pilot projects that assist the development and trial of technologies; and, thirdly, by strengthening the research and development capacities of universities and companies in the partner countries.
These activities still sometimes suffer from the fact that in some cases they follow too closely patterns of thinking imported from the industrialized nations and thus do not produce the desired success. it is thus to be hoped that, in future, the partner countries will become more self-confident in developing independent technology concepts derived from their historical experience and the prevalent socio-economic conditions.
Dr. Wolfgang Morbach