Abstract

This technical brief is an attempt to report a case analysis of Engineering for Global Development (EGD) research from India. As a part of the engineering design and research project, two models of improvised betel nut cutter (IBNC) are designed, manufactured and field-tested. Engineering ethnography is adopted as a research tool during the design process of IBNC. The “engineering ethnography” facilitated the participation of local stakeholders in the design process which is found to be effective for contextual understandings of the target community’s needs, aspirations, constraints, and socio-cultural norms and values. The technological intervention is expected to solve the problems like finger cut and health drudgery (musculoskeletal pain, back pain, etc.) of the women involved in the supari business in Assam, India. It will also improve productivity and efficiency in the supari cutting practices of women. This case analysis depicts the effectiveness of trans-disciplinary effort in solving complex engineering problems at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP). Evidence gathered from this study is expected to be a useful resource for future endeavors in EGD research.

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