Track: Case Studies
The United Nations (UN) defines community development as “a process designed to create conditions of economic and social progress for the whole community with its active participation and the fullest possible reliance on the community’s initiative”. Within the context of a community engagement project, the technological solution and systems installed in the community to solve the problem, cannot be viewed in isolation. The community engagement project must be viewed from a socio-technical perspective, where the design, development and implementation of the solution must consider the impact on the community and their interaction with the solution. The implementation of technological solutions to community needs must therefore consider both the societal and technological inter-relationships; as well as creating an awareness of the sustainability and impact of the engineering activity on the social, industrial, and physical environment. This paper considers rural community engagement as a socio-technical construct and discusses the value and contribution of technological intervention within the social and economic system of a rural community towards self-sustenance.