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Publisher’s Comment and Table of Contents – September 2023

| 22nd September 2023

Welcome to the Appropriate Technology September 2023 issue.

Firstly, we would like to express our gratitude to Colin Ley, who assumed the role of Editor for Appropriate Technology (AT) magazine with September 2019 Vol 46 Nr.3 issue. We commend him for his dedicated hard work, enthusiasm, and commitment during his tenure as Editor. He published particularly compelling stories, especially amidst the global "Covid-19" pandemic. Colin's insightful contributions to the "Editor's comment" section in each issue were consistently engaging. His final issue as Editor was in June (Vol 50 No.2). We extend our best wishes for his future endeavours and any new ventures he may embark upon.

Secondly, we are pleased to introduce the newly formed editorial board for Appropriate Technology. We warmly welcome Andy Crump, Emilio Velis, and Andrew Lamb to our team.

Andy Crump's association with AT magazine dates back to 1984 when he began contributing occasional articles to International Agricultural Development magazine, which later merged into AT magazine. In recent years, he has become a regular contributor, generously sharing his extensive knowledge and work with our readers.

Emilio Velis, Executive Director of the Appropedia Foundation, may be relatively new to AT magazine, but his numerous awards and affiliations underscore his unwavering dedication to sustainable innovation and climate justice. Currently, he leads Open Climate's 2023 Fellowship program.

Andrew Lamb's connection with AT traces back to 2008 when he served as the Chief Executive of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) UK. Appropriate Technology and EWB (UK) collaborated in organising events and publishing EWB (UK) projects. Together, these three esteemed editorial members bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to AT, enriching the content that our readers will undoubtedly benefit from. Welcome!
Ras Patel - AT Publishing Director

Meet the new Editorial Board

Andy Crump
Andy Crump graduated from universities in the UK and USA with degrees in Biological Sciences and Ecology/Ethology. This was followed by teaching and Environmental Impact Assessment work in the USA, and several years as a Research Biologist at Imperial College, London investigating the behaviour and biocontrol of Tsetse flies. Since then, he has travelled, observed, and reported, living and working in several countries in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, amassing over 40 years’ experience in all aspects of Communications and Information Design, with a particular interest in visual and cultural literacy.

He began his professional communications work with the UK’s Centre for World Development Education (CWDE) in the mid-1980s, prior to helping establish the audiovisual components of the PANOS Institute in London in 1988. In 1991, to coincide with the 1992 Earth Summit, he published the world’s first Dictionary of Environment and Development. In 1991, he was asked to set up a multimedia Image Library at the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) based at the WHO in Geneva. He relocated to Tokyo in 2004 and began working closely alongside Satoshi Omura, publishing many articles, TV and on-line materials detailing aspects of the ivermectin discovery, for which Omura was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

An accomplished, award-winning author, photographer and multimedia producer, his work in communications, especially in the science and health fields, is wide-ranging and diverse. His output has included a wide range of articles, books, multimedia products and interactive training packages. Clients have included UN agencies, NGOs, industry, academia and European Union and Japanese government agencies. He was a Visiting Professor at Kitasato University (2004–2021), where he taught Japan’s first ever Science Communication course, a Visiting Professor at Keio University and St Luke’s International University in Tokyo and currently at Yamanashi University. He has been mentoring young Japanese researchers, especially those associated with Japan’s Medical Governance Research Institute (MEGRI), as well as researching, writing, editing and illustrating various books and publishing in leading journals - and is a regular contributor to Appropriate Technology.

Emilio Velis
Emilio Velis is the executive director of the Appropedia Foundation, a global organisation that democratizes access to knowledge on sustainability and poverty reduction. Originally from El Salvador, Emilio is an industrial engineer with a career focused on how innovation, design, and technology intersect with social impact. Before working for Appropedia Foundation, Emilio developed his experience in volunteer-based work, resilience building, and resource development, most recently at Techo and Habitat for Humanity El Salvador. In 2014 Emilio co-founded Reacción, an open hardware initiative for environmental and social resilience, applying appropriate technologies and community mapping, especially for low-resource settings in Latin America. This project led him to win MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 Central America Award in 2015.

Emilio actively advocates for the responsible use of new technologies to solve global issues. He contributes to organisations and networks that include the Fab Lab Network, Internet Society, Creative Commons, the Internet of Production Alliance, and the Global Innovation Gathering. He was recently a part of the Green Web Foundation Fellowship program, where he explored how to motivate users of digital technol­ogies toward climate justice. Emilio recently became a fellow for the Post Growth Institute to engage in meaningful conversations around convivial societies. As a member of Open Climate, Emilio is designing and facilitating the upcoming Open Climate Fellowship in 2023.

In 2022, Emilio was a mentor for socially-oriented innovation projects for the Critical Making Mentoring Programme and open-source hardware projects for Open Hardware Makers. He joined the United Nations Global Surgery Learning Hub technical committee, which will work on strat­egies for opening access to surgical training materials. In 2020 and 2021, he co-facilitated the Media and Technology for Development Proseminar, part of the Master of Arts in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University. He currently teaches two classes on innovation and digital fabri­cation at ESEN.

Some of his latest research includes topics such as: how data-driven games can facilitate community empowerment in citizen science, ways to improve collaborative documentation and assessment of surgical training, how open hardware documentation is a valuable source of prior art for patent registration, and why open knowledge must become a crucial component for addressing climate change.

Andrew Lamb
Andrew Lamb MEng, MA, MIET, FRSA graduated in 2005 from the University of Cambridge with an Masters degree in Electronics, Information & Systems Engineering and has worked in international devel­opment aid and humanitarian disaster relief for 20 years, with a particular focus in the East Africa, South Asia and the Pacific regions.

Andrew’s key roles include growing the international humanitarian innovation organisation Field Ready as its Global Innovation Lead (2012-2022) where he worked on distributed manufacturing and its role in humani­tarian relief, and with Engineers Without Borders UK (2002-2013) in senior positions including as its first Chief Executive (2008-2013) where he worked on decentralised technologies in poverty reduction contexts. Andrew is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in distributed manufacturing in the Global South, in scaling humani­tarian innovations and in global engineering and technology capacity building. He has been developing the infrastructures and system changes needed to enable distributed manufacturing in the Global South.

Andrew’s current roles are as the Chair of the Internet of Production Alliance, Co-founder of the Local Procurement Learning Partnership, and as the Director of his company Massive Small Manufacturing Ltd (focuses on scaling small-scale plastic recycling in the Global South and accelerating the scaling of humanitarian hardware products). He is also on the board of the Appropedia Foundation, Helpful Engineering and FabLab Winam. He is on the Supervisory board of the Global Innovation Gathering.

Previous roles include being the Technical Editor of the first UNESCO Engineering Report, consultant to the World Federation of Engineering Organisations on strategy and communications, and to the World Bank on open data initiatives. Andrew was also part of the team, along with Practical Action and others, that organised the Small Is Beautiful Festivals that celebrated appropriate technology and the work of E F Schumacher.

Previous work has been in the development of innovations using 3D Printing, digital fabrication, maker-spaces and traditional manufacturing to make humanitarian aid items in response to conflict, natural disasters and chronic crises. Andrew recently became an advisor to the Tolocar Project, part of GIZ’s response in Ukraine, to the World Economic Forum’s project on Distributed Manufacturing and to The Polyfloss Factory plastic recycling start-up.


Table of Contents

Publisher's comment and meet the new Editorial Board more

News briefing
Bond's CEO Stephanie Draper to step down in the autumn
AIIB provides further financial support to Uzbekistan
African leader Gerardine Mukeshimana joins UN rural development agency IFAD as president
The swansong of African hydropower?
New partnership to promote decent work across food systems
Spatial technology creates opportunities for vulnerable small-scale food producers as IFAD and ESA join forces
CRDF Global acquires DIG LLC

Agriculture and Food
Black Sea grain deal collapse presages increase in global hunger and food insecurity
WorldFish and Norway join forces to promote climate-smart technologies for aquaculture in Egypt

Clean Water and Sanitation
Rwanda: safe water for all

Health and Wellbeing
Ending hunger worldwide out of reach; future prospects bleak
Malaria vaccines: helping regain lost ground in the fight against malaria
Philippines the first country to approve the commercial production of Golden Rice
SURGhub: Empowering global healthcare providers through online education
West Point cadet uses low-cost simulators as the future of surgical training
Q&A: Connecting poverty status, resilience and mental health for development impact

Engineering for Change
Promising prototypes to watch in 2023

Ashden Awards
Ashden Awards finalists: Africa dominates list of trailblazing climate solutions

Rural women in Mozambique innovate to restore their landscape
Observing local innovation in Swayimane, South Africa

Sand Dams Worldwide
From a dry land into a green one
Harnessing solar power to improve water access
Respite after years of hardship
Unity and peace brought by sand dams


Last Word
Scaling an internet of production that's ready for disaster relief

Front Cover: Safe water points like this are being installed throughout Rwanda to make life easier, especially for women and girls. Credit: Patricia Debinta/ Wikimedia Commons



Category: Publisher's comments

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