LOTIís mission is to meet basic needs of rural communities in developing countries through the use of appropriate and sustainable technologies, partnering with grassroots and indigenous organizations, and research and development of innovative solutions. LOTI seeks to serve the least of these, following Jesus model of holistic ministry, the whole gospel for the whole man. There are three basic needs that LOTI focuses on:
The LOTI approach consists of appropriate and sustainable technologies, partnerships with grassroots and indigenous organizations, and research and development. A. Appropriate and Sustainable LOTI defines appropriate and sustainable projects as both a process as well as a class of technologies. LOTI generally uses a class of small scale, renewable technologies to complete our projects. These technologies help ensure long-term community sustainability when used appropriately.
LOTI also follows a six stage methodology of (1) defining the problem with community leaders in the low-income community, (2) determining indices of performance (IP) by which to evaluate technology alternatives, (3) integrating design constraints into the development of technical alternatives through researching and prototyping technical systems, (4) ranking alternatives by IP, (5) testing and modifying alternatives based on results and input, and (6) developing an acquisition or implementation plan.
Technology acquisition requires precision in developing communities, as lack of resources and capacity to manage the technology can lead to system failure and contribute to cycles of dependence. Appropriate and sustainable technology solutions are those that are within the capability of the community to manage. This capability can also be described as the communityís capacity to manage a technology.
Often in low-income communities, ensuring that projects are sustainable means building capacity in the community. LOTI uses such tools as education to empower individuals with knowledge to work and maintain the systems that are installed, helping ensure sustainability. Additionally, micro-finance is often utilized as a sustainable way to introduce new technology within a community, thus, transferring ownership of the project to the community and building financial capacity.
LOTI operates exclusively through partnerships with grassroots and indigenous organizations, churches, NGOís, and individuals who work in developing communities. In this way, LOTI often acts as a consulting agency to poor communities and those serving the poor. LOTI provides technical expertise to help such organizations accomplish their overall mission of sustainably. LOTI partners with organizations that are established and ministering to the spiritual and emotional needs of the community. Thus, LOTIís investment in meeting the basic needs of the poor is coupled with a long-term emphasis of meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of individuals in the community. These partnerships ensure that individuals in low-income communities are loved holistically.
This model of partnership also facilitates sustainability, by ensuring that the partner organizations are working in the community long after LOTI leaves. LOTI is able to successfully work in various locations on a short-term basis because its partners have long-term commitments in these communities.
Both of LOTIís founder/directors are actively involved in rigorous and peer reviewed research in sustainable technology application in developing countries. This helps ensure that the technologies and systems that LOTI implements are excellent in their design and execution. In addition, the founder/directors oversee LOTIís university affiliate research partners, where students are able to work as part of their capstone research on LOTI projects.