I have some goals, and wish to try to enrol the help of the list and/or of list members to achieve these goals: The aim is to expand the quality and quantity of free and/or low-cost information on development technologies (including appropriate technology) which is presently available. There are 2 sources of computer CD info which are or can become of major importance to locals and foreigners working for 3rd world development:

  • the www.humaninfo.org sets, mainly the CDL 2.0 CD, which is in a windows-based proprietry format, greenstone digital library. Each CD is free to 3rd world users and approx USD 20-00 to others. CDL 2.0 contains 1,550 publications with 160,000 pages on one CD (and also a large number of diagrams).
  • the www.vita.org CD, issued in 1994, in some windows-based proprietry format (textpro lite). The CD I think is currently USD 50-00 each (was USD 100-00). It contains approx 190 subject areas, with 13 Megabytes of text and 4,500 diagrams.

In addition, with regards to AT, then probably ITDG have the largest quantity of material, which is mostly of high quality, but which is almost entirely paper-based. We are talking approx 1,000 publications, 500 kg for a set of each pub, and probably USD 10,000-00 purchase price for the set, excluding transport cost for the 500 kg to country of use. The complete contents would fit on one CD-rom, costing less than USD 1-00 to produce and weighing less than 0.100 kg…

Another significant source is “where there is no doctor”by David Werner, which is available on paper for approx. USD 18-00, or on CD from www.villageearth.org (I think) for USD 25-00. The publishers/information owners are www.hesperian.org and www.path.org

My objectives are to:

  1. Persuade ITDG to digitialise all or most of their collection, and to make it available at cost or free of charge to any and all requesting 3rd world countries, organizations and individuals.
  2. Persuade VITA to issue the HTML re-mastered version of their CD, and to make it available at cost or free of charge to any and all requesting 3rd world countries, organizations and individuals. I personally remastered their CD at their request in January 2002, but it has not yet been issued. I also machine-translated the text into 5 languages including Spanish, French and Portuguese.
  3. Persuade Humaninfo to move over time to an open standard (HTML with JPG and/or GIF file images), which would open up their CD’s to Mac, Linux and Unix users.
  4. Persuade all the above to include on CD Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic and other major development languages, in addition to the present-day English language material.
  5. Include additional material from organisations such as www.cta.nl, www.kit.nl, www.skat.ch, www.nri.org, and also from many other relevant organisations such as www.villageearth.org and from other relevant sources.
  6. issue all the above as one DVD, which however is splittable into CD’s for cases where DVD readers are not yet available
  7. have the DVD updated probably once per year or once per 2 years, with a website for dynamic updates between DVD batch updates.
  8. have work done (organised or disorganised) on enhancing the content, especially in 2 areas:
    1. more useable technical and engineering drawings
    2. more costings included in the equipment designs, and with that, some basic examination of the economic feasibility of the equipment or process being described (depending of course on important factor costs such as labour and material inputs)