Appropriate Technology

Appropriate Technology

What is Appropriate technology?

Appropriate technology can be described as the simplest level of technology that can achieve the intended purpose.

Economist Dr. Ernst Friedrick “Fritz” Schumacher coined the concept of appropriate technology in 1962, yet called it Intermediate Technology.


He was principally concerned with development in low-income countries, and recommended a technology that was aimed at helping the poor in these countries to do what they were already doing in a better way.


Schumacher's intermediate technology had the following characteristics:

  • methods and machines cheap enough to be accessible to anyone.
  • small-scale application.
  • room for human creativity.
Appropriate Technology is a movement (and its manifestations) encompassing technological choice and application that is small-scale, decentralized, labour-intensive, energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and locally autonomous.


Appropriate Technology
Appropriate Technology

The Importance of Appropriate Technology:

  • Appropriate technology is important due to its holistic nature.
  • Permits local needs to be met more effectively through community involvement, and for this reason it tends to be aligned with local values and traditions.
  • Utilizes human labour by developing tools rather than machines. This enables people to self-organize without complicated management training and specialized knowledge.
  • Minimizes transport of goods in an era of expensive and environmentally harmful energy, allowing greater local industry participation and implementation of local resources, both human and material.
  • Reinforces local control which provides a cushion against the effects of outside economic changes.
  • Establishes a self-sustaining skill base and reduces economic, social and political dependency between individuals, regions and nations.
  • Recognizes the will of local people to act on their own behalves, and is a technology made by and for the people. The benefits of Appropriate Technology can be realized globally, and plays an undoubtedly critical role in building sustainable communities.

An Alternative Form of Economic Development

Empowering people to be brought back from outside the economy, into the economy by producing product for the most essential need - A job, an income, a skill, a home.

Technologically sophisticated, though simplicity in design.

It is important to realize that use of appropriate technology does not mean turning the clock back to the 18th or 19th century. Although the technology involves simple, easy-to use designs, it is based on sophisticated, 21st -century technologies. One example is the invention of moladi, a modular injection moulded formwork system that is assembled on site in any configuration, allowing the local community to participate in constructing their own homes, schools, clinics, etc.


Appropriate Technology - Low cost housing

Appropriate Technology - Low cost housing

Click on the links below for additional information:


  • Responsible Business Forum – UNDP – Sustainable Development Goals – Reduce Inequalities
  • World Economic Forum – Future of Construction – World Bank: moladi operating in 24 countries Case Study
  • Reduce cost of Affordable Housing #BOP market – Link
  • How to get the unemployed working and the homeless sheltered – JOBS FOOD through SHELTER - Link
  • Finweek – The Builder of the Future - Link
  • Classrooms for the learners - Link
  • moladi model home in Trinidad - Link
  • Hennie Botes - TV Interview - Vision and Purpose - Link
  • Brick and Mortar vs. Injection Moulded Construction System - Link 
  • Youth Employment and skills Development Program Link
  • Disrupting the construction industry with new technology -Link


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For more on moladi

Green Building Council - Sustainable Affordable Housing Delivery

Jobs-Producing-Food-Shelter