General References

Last is a chapter on technical education in less developed countries. The authors “hope that the book will be of use as a text supporting courses on the subject of appropriate technology in universities in the Third World.” The book emerged from the materials used in a masters program in development technologies at the University of Melbourne, which is a program that has attracted students from a variety of developing countries

Bibliography of Appropriate Technology Information for Developing Countries: Selected Abstracts from the NTIS Data File, Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-22,452 pages, edited by Paul Bundick, 1983, accession no. PB83-113 852.

This bibliography contains 2000 annotated entries, chosen from the materials held by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). The editor hopes that this information can be adapted for “direct benefits which foster self-reliance and a sense of dignity among the poor.” This publication came out of a collaborative effort between NTIS, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and VITA.

Unfortunately, few of the reports included were originally written with any sensitivity to the concept of appropriate technology. These are mostly reports on research projects; there are virtually no practical publications with information that can be directly applied. Recommended only for those willing to work their way through a lot of extraneous information in search of a few valuable items. To label this collection of government (mostly AID) research papers

“appropriate technology” is to ignore the dramatic shift of development strategy represented by the appropriate technology movement.

An awkward dilemma facing A.T. supporters is the question of how to extract the valuable technical information from past research efforts which neglected social factors, and which were based on now discredited assumptions (e.g. about acceptable levels of investment per job.created). Because this bibliography does not help the reader to identify the relevant portions of these research papers, we recommend that you handle it with great caution.

Guide to Convivial Tools, Library Journal Special Report #13, Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-83, 112 pages, by Valentina Borremans, 1979, R.R. Bowker Company, New York, out of print.

This annotated bibliography was produced by Valentina Borremans, director of the Centro Intercultural de Documentation (CIDOC) in Cuernavaca, and a close associate of Ivan Illich. (It was Illich who coined the term “convivial tool”—see review of Tools for Conviviality). The bibliography “lists and describes 858 volumes and articles that, in their turn, list books on alternatives to industrial society or people who write on that subject.”

“This new discipline deals with the cultural, social and political conditions under which use-value oriented modern tools can and will be widely used, and with the renewal of ethics, politics, and aesthetics which is made possible by the democratically decided limitation of the industrial mode of production.”

There are three kinds of people in the intended audience: 1) the librarian attempting to create a specialized research library away from the large general libraries; 2) the librarian in the industrialized countries who wishes to expand the reference section on this topic; and 3) the individual researcher without access to a library at all.

Non-Agricultural Choice of Technology: An Annotated Bibliography of Empirical Studies, Available in the AT Library. INDEX CODE MF 02-49, book, 84 pages, by Gareth Jenkins with an introduction by Frances Stewart, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, 1975, Oxford University, out of print.

Provides access to a fascinating list of studies on technology choice, with implications for many of the debated economic aspects of appropriate technology theory. The annotations make very interesting and valuable reading even without going to the original articles.

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