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Editor’s Comment and Table of Contents – September 2021

| 14th September 2021

What next for life-changing support?

Children in Afghanistan with bags of newly harvested carrots.
Credit: David Mark/Pixabay

Expressing an appropriate reaction to everything that has happened in Afghanistan in recent weeks has been a daunting process. While the international media has justifiably focused on the desperate plight of those involved in the evacuation from Kabul Airport, we have concentrated on a few simple accounts of how the lives of ordinary Afghans have been changed by aid-backed projects over the past 20 years.

Providing a mother of six with a micro greenhouse so she can finally afford to heat the family home, enabling her to sell surplus produce for the first time in her life, captures the heartbeat of development aid (pages 28 & 29).

Irrigation projects which have revitalised rural communities are equally impressive, alongside training pioneer farmers so they, in their turn, can share knowledge and techniques with their neighbours.

As previously supportive governments and international development agencies absorb the sudden change of circumstances in Afghanistan, the clear message from many such organisations is that the people themselves need our support ‘now more than ever’ (page 5). Translating that core desire into ongoing and sustainable action will not be easy, but the alternative is clearly unacceptable.

The other key concern we’ve sought to highlight in this issue of Appropriate Technology is climate change. With just a few weeks to go until world leaders gather in Scotland for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), the need to shine a spotlight on the environmental impacts of global warming could not be greater.

We take a detailed look at the newly published report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and examine how climate-smart agriculture might enable smallholders in Rwanda to cope with future extreme weather shocks (pages 18-21).

Our pages also reflect food security issues caused by drought in some parts of the world and the loss of land and vegetation to raging fires elsewhere. This is a challenge for all nations, of course, but most drastically for developing countries where the margin for error is so small. Hopefully, as the Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chancellors of the world’s most powerful nations meet in Glasgow on October 31, they will determine to implement an agreement that truly reflects the accelerating gravity of climate change.

AidEx returns
It is a delight to devote a run of pages to the return of AidEx to live action in Brussels on November 17 and 18. A hugely important humanitarian aid event, AidEx has been greatly missed during its enforced Covid-19 postponement. Now back for its 10th anniversary appearance, AidEx is accompanied this time by the debut presence of Development2030.

Our preview features an early guide to some of the key topics to be explored during both events. The list includes a headline debate on the global growth in authoritarian and populist governments and their possible impact on the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The first Development2030 programme, meanwhile, is headed by a debate on the impact of Covid-19 on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. A key question for speakers and delegates concerns the extent to which the pandemic will affect delivery of the SDGs over the next decade.

We also take an AidEx-inspired look at a few new product ideas and innovations, very much in tune with the energy and enthusiasm which is always generated within the Brussels exhibition hall.

Welcome to DIHAD 2022

Comment by Colin Ley - Editor Appropriate Technology

And finally, a very warm welcome to DIHAD 2022, the Dubai-based conference and exhibition event which serves the International Humanitarian Aid and Development Community in the Middle East, Africa, and the world. Appropriate Technology is pleased to announce the agreement of our Media Partner status with DIHAD 2022, which is due to be held in Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE, from March 14–16, 2022.

Table of Contents


Editor’s comment: What next for life-changing support?
News briefing
Climate change
Practical Action Technical Brief
Engineering for change
GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Last word


AidEx 2021 – back with a purpose!
AidEx blog: Is the wider East African region at risk of a ‘hunger pandemic’?
AidEx Products & Solutions

Solar & water
Sustainable water production for arid regions of the world

Send a Cow
Push-Pull technology expansion in Uganda

First innovation fair celebrates farmer ingenuity in Cameroon

Development progress in Afghanistan
World Bank’s 20-year development partnership in Afghanistan

UC Davis
New research is testing how to build rural resilience in Ghana

Development project
€100 million Dutch-backed programme boost prospects in the Sahel

Smartphone project
Deployment of smartphones in Kenya

Dealing with drought
Protecting wheat from drought: understanding the mechanisms of antitranspirant sprays

New zinc-rich rice variant approved in Bangladesh

Tomato pest programme
Biocontrol programme targets tomato crop pest

Genomes and poultry
Improving genetic performance in African poultry
Environment drives DNA changes in Ethiopian chickens

Front Cover: Bangladesh flooding.
Credit Pixabay/Maruf Rahman (see page 19)

Published in Appropriate Technology – September 2021, Vol 48, No. 3


Category: Editor's comment

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