The Nexus between (Frugal) Technology and Institutions

Official project title:          Frugal Innovation for Inclusive Development.
                                          A Case Study on Power Tillers in Tanzania  
Project leader:                   Dr. Donald Mmari
Duration:                           2014 - 2014

This research project aimed to examine the institutional processes underlying the introduction and adoption of power tillers in Tanzania as an example of potential application of the concept of frugal innovation. By means of case studies in the agro-processing sector in Tanzania, we aimed to better understand the nexus between technical and institutional dimensions that determine the success of the inclusiveness of frugal innovations.

This pilot project was carried out to ascertain how different actors were involved in introducing and applying power tillers in Tanzania. Overall, the study suggests that power tillers in Tanzania were introduced using top-down, state-induced innovation that was not adequately informed by technical and agro-ecological differences in Tanzania. As a result, power tillers were imported from various Asian countries, and no re-engineering was carried out to match their designs to local needs.

Featured items about this project

Read the blog post by dr. Donald Mmari on frugal technology and institutions project

Read the Q&A about The Nexus between (Frugal) Technology and Institutions Project