In 1990 Intermediate Technology Development Group worked with local researchers on case studies of technical innovation and adaptation among women technology users in Asia. In October the researchers presented the conclusions of their work at a seminar in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Technology development, where it is understood to mean introducing machinery from abroad, may have the effect of weakening the skills and capacity to innovate of local small-scale entrepreneurs. 'Technology' includes both the hardware and the software aspects of production – both machinery and skills – and to neglect the latter is to ignore the capacity to innovate which is essential when entrepreneurs face changes in their environment. Women's technical skills and innovations are often ignored because they may relate to their domestic responsibilities, or because they do not have obvious income-generating potential. Those working with women need to be aware of these skills, however, partly to help women derive the maximum benefit from them, and partly because a recognition of their own technical capabilities is a considerable boost to women's self-confidence.