Our Approach

Compatible Technology International (CTI) is a nonprofit that designs and distributes innovative tools that help families in the developing world rise above hunger and poverty.

InterviewHow do we work?

First, we listen. Using a human centered approach, we start by talking with farmers, many of whom are women, to understand their concerns, their needs and their culture. Once we have a good understanding of their post-harvest needs, we research existing solutions and develop new prototypes in collaboration with communities in the developing world. New innovations are first launched in a pilot program, where we assess the effectiveness of a new tool, research its potential impact, and develop a distribution plan.

We know collaboration is key. Our work doesn’t just happen in the shop. We take our innovations forward through regional distribution centers at our US headquarters, in Central America, and in West Africa. Recognizing that ‘give aways’ are largely ineffective, we are committed to providing tools at an affordable price and we work closely with in-country partners who manufacture our tools and provide financing and business training to local communities.  

How do we measure impact?

We measure and evaluate our approach by monitoring our design process, the social and economic impact of our tools and our method of distribution. We measure a number of indicators, to fully understand and improve the impact of our tools, including: food quality and yield; time spent processing and preparing food; household food security, nutrition, and access to safe water; and income generated.



1. Strengthen food security and markets for small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • CTI will finalize our emerging tools for groundnut, grain, and vegetable processing.
  • CTI will expand the distribution of our tools across Sub-Saharan Africa with the goal to improve food security and income generation for 150,000 people spanning at least four countries.

2. Provide safe water in Central America

  • CTI will double the distribution of our water chlorinator to reach 400,000 people in Nicaragua.

3. Empower women entrepreneurs

  • CTI will double our grinder distribution.
  • CTI will develop a grinder business toolkit to help women entrepreneurs develop and sustain small enterprises.

4. Inspire innovation

  • CTI will organize a global partners' conference on post-harvest agricultural innovations for small farmers to expand the network of experts working together.
  • CTI will champion 2 design projects on post-harvest technology solutions.
  • CTI will spearhead 'agriculture innovation' seminars.

Click here to read our full strategic direction for 2014-2017.