Department for International Development Drivers of Urban Change
 entry page home framework offical documents site map viedo
Urban development finance
Informal economy
Labour market
Innovative financial mechanisms
Globalisation & SAPs
Urban - rural interactions
Participatory budgeting
Transparency & Corruption
Community activitism & CBOs
Democracy & empowerment
Participatory processes & tools
Social inclusion
Urban livelihoods
Violence & Human rights
Health Children & Education
Culture & Identity
Shelter & Settlement
City planning
Land tenure
Basic infrastructure
Appropriate technology
Transport & Mobility
Environmental planning
Health hazards & Pollution
Local Agenda 21


Promoting the use of appropriate technology, include the experimentation with new or improved construction techniques, the application of low cost building technology, the use of appropriate materials and the directions of applied research.

quick links

local level city level
  international level websites


local level

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Community Bridge Building, Kathmandu [pdf]

Nepal - BBLL was established to aid Nepali Communities to revive their traditional bridge building skills and self-help attitude. The technology that was subsequently developed was built on the traditional bridge of Baglung-District while local materials and local labor were maximized and the environmental impact minimized.

city level

Kumara, D.G.J. Prema (2000) - Compost Bins as an Alternative Solution for the Household Solid Waste Problem in Urban Areas - Sevanatha [pdf]

Sri Lanka - Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council (DMMC) is the second largest municipal council and is located adjacent to the Colombo Municipality in Sri Lanka. The total population in the DMMC area was approximately 217,000 in 1999. The total land area of DMMC is 21 sq. kilometres, of which 40% is covered with the low-lying wetlands and the beaches. Major industries of Colombo Metropolitan Area are
located within DMMC borders. Like many other cities in the developing countries, the DMMC urban area has been experiencing the challenges of managing its solid waste.

international level

Coupe, Stuart (2001) - Technology and Poverty - ITDG [pdf]

Poor people must be enabled to make technology choices. In developing countries, e.g. 65-75% of sub-Saharan Africa, most poor people do not have access to formal sector employment. They must forge their livelihoods in the private, informal sector, working in their fields, homes and small workshops, making vital decisions about the best use of their limited assets in order to survive on the tightest of margins. Development practitioners should apply the three A's test to whatever they do and ask themselves if the technology they are proposing is; 1. Affordable,
2. Appropriate, 3. Accessible.

Pauli, Gunter (1999) - Towards a Technology Strategy for Sustainable Livelihoods, UNDP [pdf]

There are 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty and suffering from major shortcomings in terms of food, water, health services, housing, energy and jobs. With so many basic needs unsatisfied, there must be a way to translate human creativity (Research and Development) into tools (Science and Technology) for the betterment of human living conditions. In addition, we are witnessing the
finite nature of natural resources and the beginnings of large-scale negative consequences of not designing technologies with the environment: We have seen as well the negative consequences of not designing the process within the context of the human user’s skills, interests, priorities, cultural orientation and resources. This paper lays the groundwork for consideration of these issues and attempts to set forth some of the strategies for adaptation of technology in the context of the Sustainable livelihoods approach.





Documents highlighting DFID's published work and publication in support of appropriate technologies in urban areas:

Barton,Tamsyn (2001) - "Integrated water supply project, Zimbabwe" - ITDG [pdf]

Zimbabwe - The project was conceived in 1995, after local leaders noticed ITDG's involvement in the Nyafaru micro-hydro scheme about 6km away. They approached ITDG's energy specialists, and out of this a truly cross-sectoral project began, with plans for water supply for consumption (60 litres per capita per day), for agriculture (total 30 ha) and energy supply for school and other public buildings including a community-owned mill. But the entry-point, after the participatory community survey, was water supply.

ITDG (n.d) - Technology, Post Disaster Housing Reconstruction And Livelihood Security: 4
Case Studies

Pakistan: Floods, housing reconstruction and gender vulnerability
Guatemala: Earthquake; Linking reconstruction to development
Peru: Earthquake;participatory technology development
Vietnam: Floods; Replication versus pragmatism

Lowe, Lucky (2001) - "Sustainable livelihoods in Sudan - Manager, Knowledge and Information Services Unit" - ITDG [pdf]

Sudan - This is the story of brick producers and their families in Eastern Sudan, living in a context where brick production traditionally is in the hands of middle-class businessmen, who reap the main profits and pay little to the workers. ITDG's project interventions gave support to a group of workers from the peri-urban village of Shambob to manage their own brick enterprise. Technological capacity-building aimed to improve brick quality, increase energy efficiency, and establish production in order to meet the demand of urban markets.

Lowe, Lucky (2001) - Nakuru - a study in urbanization - ITDG [pdf]

Kenya - The goal of ITDG's Integrated Urban Housing Project is to contribute to the international programme of work to increase the access of the low-income households and the poor to adequate safe and secure shelter. More specifically the project purpose is to identify and promote a sustainable shelter delivery strategy for the urban poor, which can be adopted by governments in Kenya and India. The project, supported by DFID, is researching and acting
at the local level to inform and influence the wider debate among agencies, public sector bodies and policy makers.

Khennas, Smail (2001) - "Stoves for rural livelihoods" - ITDG [pdf]

Kenya - More than two thirds of the population of Kenya rely on biomass (wood, charcoal and agricultural residues) for their energy needs. The majority of biomass energy users live in poor communities that are facing problems associated with the continuous use of inefficient stoves or three-stone fires. Although improved stoves are not the only means of addressing this issue, they play a crucial role in reducing fuel consumption and contributing to improving overall family health and safety in the kitchen.

Barton, Tamsyn (2001) - "Rainwater harvesting in Turkana" - ITDG [pdf]

Kenya - This series of projects originally arose as a response to the highly vulnerable context of famine, affecting Turkana herders in northwest Kenya. The Turkana are semi-nomadic pastoralists, mainly dependent on their herds of cattle, camels, sheep and
goats. Their nomadic lifestyle is a way of coping with periodic drought, moving animals to fresh pasture and water sources, but
this way of life is increasingly difficult, with less and less natural capital accessible to them.

2003 Development Planning Unit | Sikandar Hasan | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh || Tina Simon