Low-cost domestic water filter: The case for a process-based approach for the development of a rural technology product
AbstractThe paper describes the case of development of a rural technology product in a high-technology IT (information technology) environment. The product is a low- cost water filter for which there is a definite need in rural India. The case brings out how even a simple- looking concept for water filtration has to go through several well-defined steps for successful introduction into the field. These evolutionary steps resulting in a process for product development were found to be not too different from any high-technology product process (including a software product process) leading to the inference that in general the steps for a successful product process are the same whether the end use is for a high -technology application or a low- technology application. The usefulness of carrying out work within a process framework is highlighted. Since the project aims at technology transfer to the rural poor for generating rural livelihoods, appropriate financial models and the general sustainability issues for such an activity are briefly discussed. The usefulness of an IT environment in facilitating the development activity is pointed out. The lessons learnt in this exercise are documented.
WaterSA Vol.28(2) 2002: 139-148