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International Development Innovation Network
D-Lab Alumni

New Publication from D-Lab Scale-Ups

D-Lab Scale-Ups' brand new User Research Framework provides in-depth guidance on how to create a qualitative research plan and approach cross-cultural interviews, observation, and immersion activities as well as D-Lab's co-design method. Download here!

D-Lab In the News

D-Lab Scale-Ups fellow Danielle Zurovcik and Dr. Gita Mody monitor the Wound-Pump on a patient at University Central Hospital of Kigali during their phase one clinical trial in Rwanda.

Yough grad could make worldwide health impact Scale-Ups Fellow
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Nov 26, 2014

D-Lab offers hands on lessons in meeting energy needs
Energy Futures, Fall 2014

Engineering Students Design “Happy Feet,” 3D Printed Shoes for Kenyans Afflicted by Jigger Infection IDIN,  Nov 19, 2014

D-Lab Scale-Ups fellows to tackle irrigation in India and grain storage in Zambia
MIT News, Nov 18, 2014

Ten global organizations join MIT D-Lab's Practical Impact Alliance
MIT News, Nov 12, 2014

MIT D-Lab 2015 Spring Courses


D-Lab: Design
Instructor: Amy Smith

D-Lab: Dissemination WASH
Instructor: Susan Murcott

D-Lab: Earth
Instructors: Eric Reynolds & Ariel Phillips

D-Lab: Education
Instructors: Heather Beem, Pedro Reynolds-Cuellar, Jessica Artiles

D-Lab: Energy
Instructors: Libby Hsu & Amit Gandhi

D-Lab: Reflection and Action
Instructors: Amy Smith, Libby Hsu, & Laura Budzyna

Prosthetics for the Developing World
Instructor: Bryan Ranger

Upcoming International Development Design Summits


IDDS Zero Waste
Jun 14- Jun 29, 2015
Cali, Colombia
IDDS Aarogyam
Jul 6- Aug 1, 2015
Chennai, India
Aug 3- Aug 14, 2015
D’Kar, Botswana

New Staff at D-Lab

Richard Brewer
Administrative Officer
Richard joined D-Lab to lead the administrative functions of D-Lab, including financial operations and human resources. He brings to his new position over two decades of experience at MIT. An avid cyclist and world traveler, Richard received an MBA from Babson College and is a Cambridge native. Read more about Richard.

Great New Video: Engineering Trash into Treasure

From the MIT+K12 Video "Science Out Loud" series
"Folks at MIT's D-Lab are turning trash into treasure - specifically, trash to heat homes and cook in developing countries. It's not magic - it's engineering!"

Watch video!

A season of reflection and appreciation

The end of a year always sets the mood for reflecting back on what we have accomplished as well as looking forward to what we hope to achieve. In this issue of the D-Lab Digest you can read about some of our recent events and programs and get a peek at what is coming up in the spring semester. I also find this season to be a time for appreciation of friends and family and want to acknowledge the hard work and support from the people who make D-Lab so special—the people working here at MIT, our partners around the world, and friends who support us in so many ways. Thank you and best wishes to you during this holiday season!

             - Amy Smith, Founder and Co-Director

D-Lab Academics

D-Lab offers hands-on lessons in meeting energy needs 

In the D-Lab: Energy course, offered in the spring semester since 2010, students design and build prototypes of alternative energy technologies for the developing world. During spring break 2014, students from this course traveled to Brazil and El Salvador to investigate the real-world conditions their innovations were designed to address. Read the MIT Energy Initiative's Energy Futures story here.

Preview: January 2015 student fieldwork

Each January, during MIT's Independent Activities Period, D-Lab sends students into the field to work with community partners. This January, D-Lab will send 30 students in six teams to Botswana, El Salvador, Ghana, Peru, Tanzania, and Uganda. Read more about the student projects!

International Development Innovation Network (IDIN)

IDIN announces 2014 microgrant winners!

This fall, IDIN awarded 11 microgrants to IDIN network members to support innovative and scalable technologies and ventures that address basic social and environmental needs. Microgrants will support projects including an efficient bee pollen dryer developed by David Saleh in Colombia (pictured above), a mobile irrigation system prototypes from Agriworks in Uganda, and a stand-alone water quality measurement and dispensing unit in development in Pakistan. Read about all 11 projects!

Rethink Relief 2014

Rethink Relief 2014, which took place from November 9-20, brought together 33 participants from 16 countries in Pader, Uganda, to identify challenges and develop solutions that bridge the gap between short-term humanitarian relief and long-term sustainable development. Rethink Relief, an annual design summit, is supported in part by IDIN, headquartered at D-Lab. Read full story.

D-Lab Research

Improving Livelihoods in Morocco: Solar Lantern Field Evaluation

In partnership with the NGO Targa-Aide and the microfinance institution Al Amana, D-Lab Scale-Ups conducted an evaluation of solar lighting products for generally low-income rural households—both offgrid and on-grid—in Taounate, Morocco and mobile street vendors in Kenitra, Morocco. The study results provided information to help identify the most suitable solar lighting products for these populations and insights into the most effective and sustainable strategies for distribution and sales. Read the four-page D-Brief.

Improving Livelihoods in Morocco: Needs Assessment of Small-Scale Cattle Farmers 

D-Lab carried out an in-depth study to characterize and assess the small-scale dairy and beef production system in Morocco. The D-Lab Scale-Ups team selected and interviewed small-scale farmers in the Tifelt region about their cropping and livestock management practices.The findings suggest that production of rain-fed cereal crop silage would decrease cattle feed costs and increase revenues for these small-scale cattle farmers as well as improve cattle nutrition and milk production. Read the four-page D-Brief.

D-Lab Scale-Ups

Ten global organizations join MIT D-Lab's Practical Impact Alliance

D-Lab Scale-Ups' newest initiative, the Practical Impact Alliance (PIA), has announced its founding members. They include multinational corporations Ajinomoto, Danone, Greif, Johnson & Johnson, and Unilever; nongovernmental organizations the Grameen Foundation, the Melton Foundation, and World Vision International; and social enterprises Community Enterprise Solutions and Greenlight Planet. Read MIT News story.

New D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellow Carl Jensen

Having grown up on a farm and with a Master of Sciences degree in International Agricultural Development, Carl Jensen is an entrepreneur with deep roots in agriculture. He and Zasaka co-founder Sunday Silulngwe met at the International Development Design Summit in Zambia in 2013. Zasaka builds farmer-led value chains to introduce life-altering technologies and services to subsistence farmers. Their first technology and service package virtually eliminates absolute and qualitative loss in postharvest storage. Read more about Carl and Zasaka.

D-Lab Alumni

D-Lab Alumna Sydney Beasley

Sydney Beasley graduated from MIT in 2014 having taken D-Lab: Development, Design for Scale, and D-Lab: Cycle Ventures, was an intern for the Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation, and served as D-Lab's tour guide. Sydney says, "D-Lab played an important role in shaping my undergraduate experience as well as my professional goals. It introduced me to the role that technology can play in international development and the integrated approach that needs to be taken in deploying these technologies."  Read Sydney's blog.

Header Images (l-r): Farmers and grain storage bags, Zambia (courtesy Zasaka); children in Qantara, Morocco with solar lanterns; participants at Rethink Relief 2014, Uganda.

Copyright © 2014 MIT D-Lab, All rights reserved.

MIT D-Lab is tackling the poverty challenge through experiential learning, real-world projects, community-led development, and scalability.

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