3S Methodology: Sustainability

Summary of Week 5 of Technology Evaluation for Global Development(edX – MITx)

CITE considers a product or intervention to be sustainable when it continues to have a positive impact (to people living in poverty) over its lifecycle considering technical (focus on maintainability), social, economic, institutional (strength of organisation promoting the technology) and environmental factors. CITE breaks the definition of sustainability into 3 key areas: user sustainability, implementation model sustainability and environmental sustainability. They also use a complex systems approach with 5 layers (nano, micro, meso, macro and mega).

CITE typically surveys users on their demographic data, decision-making process, cost, and user experience with the product. Implementation models describes how the end user receives the product and how organisations facilitate its adoption and continued used over time. There are 3 types of implementation models: commercial, grant-based and hybrid. The type of model can have a significant impact on the product’s adoption and scale over time.

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