General References

World Neighbors in Action, quarterly newsletter.

This newsletter sometimes has how-to-do-it information. In particular, the following issues may be of interest:

Vol. 4, No. 1E: how-to section on visual aids.

Vol. 6, No. 1E: information on soil testing.

Vol. 6, No. 2E: how-to section on contour ditches for soil conservation (Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-67).

Vol. 7, No. 1E: information on growing, pruning, and grafting fruit trees.

Other printed materials from World Neighbors include:

a) Visual Aids Tracing Manual (Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-65, 20 pages): Ideas and step-by-step instructions for making filmstrips by drawing on polyvinyl or acetate plastic. Pages of drawings included to aid an extension worker in making his or her own filmstrips. Available in English, Spanish, and an African edition in French.

b) The Use of Radio in Family Planning (Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-63): 60 Pages of text and 100 pages of appendices including family planning radio scripts from 18 countries.

c) Introducing Family Planning in Your Neighborhood ( Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-42, 40 pages):

Designed to help family planning workers organize their approach in the community, and to enable other community development workers to include family planning motivation in their current extension work. Includes 14 “experience stories” illustrating some of the problems faced and how they have been overcome.

d) There are two catalogs of identical information, one in English and one in Spanish. Both list all of World Neighbors overseas development publications including filmstrips, flip charts, newsletters and books on agriculture, food production, health care and nutrition, community development, and family planning. Ordering information is included. Catalogs are free. There are now more than 75 filmstrips listed. Prices of the filmstrips start at $10.00. About half of these are on family planning. Other subjects include: rat control, fish farming, mushroom growing, grain storage, taking soil samples, small plot irrigation, rabbit raising, and the proper care of young and sick children.

Small Technical Libraries, Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 31-768, booklet, 40 pages, by D.J. Campbell, 1973, reprinted 1980, UNESCO, out of print in 1984.

In this valuable little book you will find lots of good ideas that will prove very helpful in organizing and effectively operating a small technical library to support the work of a small research institute or technical information clearinghouse. The author emphasizes frequent meetings with the research staff to better understand and provide for their information needs, and make them aware of newly arrived reference materials of possible interest.


How to Build Up a Simple-Multidimensional Documentation System on Appropriate Technology, Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-73, paper, 8 pages, by Urs Heierli, 1982.

The addition of a card catalogue to a small library allows information to be found more easily by creating a simple index. This is because several or many cards can be filed on a document, allowing the user to find it when looking at cards for any major topic covered by that document. For example, a paper describing a wind-powered irrigation pump in Thailand might have cards filed under “windpower,” “irrigation,” “waterpumping,” and “Thailand.” If shelf placement is the only system of filing, a document can only be found by looking in one place.

This short paper describes a simple card catalog. For a more extensive discussion of how to organize and operate a library for the specific needs and interests of your organization, see Small Technical Libraries.

Microcomputers in Development: A Manager’s Guide, paperback book, 188 pages, by Marcus D. Ingle, Noel Berge, and Marcia Hamilton, 1983.

“There is little question that within several years microcomputers will play a substantial role in the less developed countries. At the same time we must recognize the potential for dysfunctional as well as beneficial effects of the introduction of microcomputers. Microcomputers can build or block the maintenance of a collaborative relationship within working groups. There are many indications that how the microcomputer is introduced will influence its success profoundly. For example, the capabilities of microcomputers can give the illusion that centralized control is appropriate for situations that require greater local autonomy for effective performance of tasks. Finally, whatever the potential net advantages of microcomputers in a specific situation, one must reckon with and be prepared to cope with the transitional costs and difficulties involved in the introduction of any new technology.”

“This guide is intended for development personnel who are associated with the management of projects or institutions. It focuses on individual managers, management teams, or related support personnel who are likely to purchase a single-user microcomputer or who already have one and are interested in expanding and sustaining its use in a development organization.”

Written specifically for use in development work in developing countries, this book provides a solid overview of what the introduction of a microcomputer can mean to a project or institution, examining both positive and negative aspects. A good deal of attention is paid to assessing whether a microcomputer would be of use in a given situation, and how to select the proper equipment and software. Examples are given of how microcomputers have been used in the development context, and several systems which were purchased for work in development are given as examples of complete packages.

Some of the equipment described is no longer available or has been replaced by better alternatives, and some of the experience reported has now become outdated. However, we imagine that these shortcomings will be corrected in a new edition of the book scheduled in 1986.

Appendices include information on how to provide a stable, safe electrical power supply for the computer, and lists of periodicals and names and addresses of computer manufacturers. Very useful.

The Women’s Computer Literacy Handbook, book, 254 pages, by Deborah L. Brecher, 1985..

This clearly-written book uses non-technical language to introduce the terminology, hardware (or physical components), and software (or programs) of microcomputers, providing the reader with a solid understanding of the basic concepts. It includes very good explanations of software for word processing and data base management. Although some of the material is quite sophisticated, the text never gets heavy and difficult to read.

For those planning to purchase a computer, there is some discussion of the important categories (IBM-compatible, CP/M, etc.), but no attempt is made to present an exhaustive list of products. Since this book is intended for a U.S. audience, the numerous special considerations for developing countries are not treated. Equally appropriate for women and men.

Dick’s Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes, Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-26, book, 607 pages, originally published in 1870, reprinted 1974, out of print in 1985.

This book is from an era when American families were largely self-sufficient.

It contains 6400 formulas and recipes for a wide range of household and small workshop processes. It is not a cookbook, but instead covers subjects such as making soap entirely from natural raw materials, waterproofing, making glues and cements for many different applications, and making paints, inks and lacquers. The majority of these recipes will probably not be relevant to appropriate technology practitioners, but there is such an enormous volume of information here that the useful material may still make the book a good purchase.

Some of the terms used are no longer common in English, and a large number of the basic chemicals and substances will be unfamiliar. However, it may be easier to obtain these basic substances in some developing countries that have chemist’s shops remaining from colonial times.

We suggest this book for use only by people who understand English well.

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