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Investigating project sustainability. Technology as a development object in a community-based project in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan

Cieslik, Katarzyna and Dewulf, Art and Foggin, J. Marc (2022) 'Investigating project sustainability. Technology as a development object in a community-based project in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan.', Oxford Development Studies .


The imperative of project sustainability has become explicit policy within development. This is especially true for technology transfer: ‘development objects’ are to be used by prospective beneficiaries long after the project’s closure. We argue that the link between project sustainability, technology and ‘success’ requires deeper scrutiny. We investigate a community-based project in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan, which included the transfer of smartphones, weather stations and camera traps. Upon the project’s closure, we compare the stakeholders’ viewpoints regarding the future use of the equipment, showing how technological objects attract new actors into the project’s network, change its course and enhance its impact. We use actor-network theory to explain how development objects shape development processes by generating own networks and transforming social relations of power. We propose a dynamic view of sustainability as: (i) continuation of delivery of project’s goods and services, (ii) durability of the achieved changes and (iii) feasibility of independent growth..

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:10 May 2022
Date of first online publication:16 February 2022
Date first made open access:10 May 2022

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