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Thesis Outline April 26, 1999





Supervisor: Marc Audetat

Student: Rina Tani Moratalla

Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne






Nowadays, the transfer of the technology in order to develop non-industrialised countries is been carried out in several levels (organisational, institutional,..., governmental level) and between differents sectors (private-private, private-public, public-public). This process is increasing due to the growing demand from both sides in such way of co-operation. There are however a lot of obstacles which difficult an optimum and sustainable transfer due to tha fact that it is founded by a politic based on technological determinist way of thinking. Although at first glance it could seem adaptable to the context of the destination. In order to clarify this point, it will be descripted several examples of failure cases based on such kind of transfer, specially carried out at the decade of seventy and eighty by certain NGO located in the industralised countries. This analysis will carry us the neccessity to consider not only the difference of the industrial development between North and South countries but the difference at cultural, economic, social, political and geographical level as well, to achieve an optimun transfer mentioned above.

Due to this preliminar consideration, the analysis will follows mainly three steps.

The first step include the study of the process of redesign of the technology and strategy of the transference, in order to adapt it to the context and to raise an effective transfer. It is carried out by the Organisations and the engineers's works within the technical aspect as well.(influence of non technical actors in the design of an technological artefact itself).

The second step analyse the differents modification which it will suffer, once it has been transfered, becouse of the action of all dimensions mentioned, and at same time, it will be analysed the action and its result at the opposite sen.

The last and thirth step is the innovation of the strategy (for the transfer) and technology itself. It will be done at the organisational level, where the modiffication and response of the second step have been considerated in order to integrate it with social, cultural and economical dimensions which are, as it has been demonstrated, tightly interrelated to the technology.

Locating the last step at the biginning, a second iteration can be carried out.

This iterative process enable us to understand how the process of transference and the technology transfered can be shaped, by actors non-related to the technology a priori, users. It can be understood the neccessity of the reconsideration of the strategy of the transfer, due to the non-independence of this process it self, as mean to contribute to the industrial development.

The second main object of this report is to study how the actors contribute to the redesign process (which include the innovation of the strategy in the organisational level and the technological redesign itself), and the result of those influence as well.

Finally the concept of technological transfer, in which it is integrated all dimensions mentioned above, will be discussed.

To achieve a clear and systematic study, it will be included two case study related to this domain as base in which the analysis will be founded.


2.Key literature.

Vast amount of literature exists in the fields of technological transfer, cooperation North-South and sustainable development. It has been taken into account several references within them, as well as information obtained in scientific guidebooks and newspapers.


The following methods will be used in order to achieve the object of this report:

1.Literature search.

2.Documental review.

3.Interview of key actors (for the1st case study).



Aims and objectives.



Technology involving all dimensions mentioned above.

Schematic historical analysis of technology.

At the end of the study of general concept, it will be defined the technology of nowadays in a more specific way as follows:

1.1.1.Advanced technology.

This point will study the characteristics of certain artefacts based on the knowledge of modern science, which belongs to current industrialised countries.

1.1.2.Traditional technology.

This is the definition of the technique used by main part of the world population. It is founded by the empirical knowledge instead of scientific research.

Once the analysis has been concluded, the second step is the study of the concept of transfer.


2.1.Difference of socio-economical situation between north and south countries.

In order to understand this point and to define the factors involved in this process in depth, the study of the situation on both sides must be carried out. The situation will be defined by the dimensions that follow:







During the process of analysis of those dimensions, it must be kept in mind if there is any relationship between those dimensions and technological development of the country and in such case, how each one influence to the other.

This process of decomposition will be realised for the both cases.

2.2.Transference in short term(direct transfer).

It will be defined the its mean.

2.3.Case studies.

Case1:UNIFEM report.

Case2:Swissaid report.(elephant blanc).

The case can be changed, depending on the direction which will take the research.

These case studies will give a concrete vision for the analysis which follow:

2.4.Current situation in this domain. (Difficulties making the transfer inadequate.)

In opposition to the rural sector, the transfer process is not only slow but also often negative within the industrial field. This failure, obstacle, is due to the:

-The intrinsic inefficiency of the process itself.

-The socio-political factors of the receptor region.

The evidence of the failure makes necessary the deep study of its causes, which are enounced as follow:

-Non adaptability.

-Non competence.

-Non infrastructure.


The differents actors defined in(2.1) will be considered in this point in order to study the difficulties mentioned above.


The deep analysis of the difficulties will enable us to obtain knowledge about different and more effective forms of technology transfer. Each actors involved in the process will contribute to the redesign(shaping) of the T.


In this point, a reflexion will be carried out in order to obtain a clear vision of the issue.

The influence of each actor on the technological development will be analysed systematically. The positive and negative �factors of the technology transfer and the effectiveness will be, respectly, mentioned.

General comments about the result and redesign.

The answer about the possibility of effective will be discussed in this point. The possibility of redesign of technology in order to adapt to the necessities of the context will be discussed as well.



Ziauddin Sardar.(1988) The revenge of Athena. (Science Exploitation and The Thirth World) Mansell Publishing Limited.

Troisieme rapport au club de Rome.(1986)Nord/Sud du defi au dialogue? Sned/dunod.

Documentation of several NGO related to the technological co-operation. (1986-1998)

5.Time Table.

26April-May: Key literature and document search.

June: Interviews(for the case study), write up(Interaction with supervisor).

July-August: Major write up.

September: Interaction with supervisor, re-writing.

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