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Academics + Fieldwork

International Development Innovation Network



D-Lab In the News

D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellow Zubaida Bai

Innovation Within Reach
New York Times

UTEC and MIT develop innovation projects in Peru
El Commercio

Zubaida Bai | A Pack of Good Health
Live Mint, Wall Street Journal

Design: where dollars are scarce and need is great
Marketplace Morning Report

Three D-Lab alumni selected as 2014 Echoing Green Fellows
MIT News

D-Lab Fall Courses

A hands-on introduction to international development and appropriate technology.

Design, analysis, and application of technologies that support the construction of less expensive and better performing schools. 

A multi-disciplinary approach to managing waste in 
low-and middle-income countries. 

Students work in teams to develop established technologies into manufacture-ready designs. 

Building entrepreneurial ventures targeting emerging markets and underserved consumers everywhere. 

Supply chain design and operations for products intended to improve quality of life in developing countries.  

Selections from the D-Lab Blog

Scale-Ups: Improving Livelihoods in Morocco: Solar Light Field Evaluation (picture above)

IDIN & Scale-Ups: ayzh to Develop Healthy Newborn Kit in Support of United Nations Strategy for Maternal and Child Health

IDIN: Introducing the International Development Innovation Network’s Research Program (And Three Ways You Can Help)

Scale-Ups: Scale-Ups Fellow Jodie Wu Increases Impact through Distribution Partnerships

IDIN: IDIN Awards 11 Microgrants to Support Prototypes and Ventures Worldwide

Student Blog: D-Lab: Education, Uganda

New Staff at D-Lab

Pedro Reynolds-Cuellar,
Pedro will be co-teaching 
D-Lab: Education and D-Lab: Waste, and is advancing
D-Lab's partnerships in Peru and supporting D-Lab's Youth program. Originally from Colombia, Pedro first came to MIT as a Visiting Scholar at the Media Lab. 

Greetings from D-Lab!

September is one of my favorite months—the weather in New England is glorious, local farms are having a bountiful harvest and it is an exciting time of renewal on campus, with classes starting and an enthusiastic crop of new students arriving. In this edition of the D-Lab Digest we are happy to share with you an update on the wide variety of D-Lab programs. The past few years have been a time of tremendous growth at D-Lab, and many of these programs are now beginning to bear fruit. I hope you enjoy hearing about what is going on, and we'd also love to hear about what is going on with you ... Please feel free to drop us a note, or come by and visit the lab.                                    
                               - Amy Smith, Co-Director

D-Lab Academics + Fieldwork

D-Lab: Education Summer Field Work in Colombia, Uganda, Haiti, and Ghana

D-Lab: Education students had a busy summer! The Colombia team was collaborating with a community-initiated school in Malambo, Instituto Pedagógico Miguel de Zubería. In Haiti, D-Lab instructor Jessica Huang followed up on a project at Ecole Communautaire FATEM de Nicolas, a primary school in Mirebalais. In Ghana students worked with the Dega Senior Secondary School in New Longoro. And in Uganda, Nai Kalema worked with the Kasiisi Project!  Read blog.

D-Lab Study Abroad Students to Spend Spring Semester in India

D-Lab Study Abroad is back! In spring 2015, four students will spend the semester living in India and working with long-standing D-Lab partner Avani, while earning MIT credit. This program, a collaboration between D-Lab and the MIT Global Education and Career Development office, provides students and partners the opportunity to make significant progress on research and community development projects. Read more.

International Development Innovation Network

Bicycle-powered coffee bean sheller, an avocado oil press, and an app to test for anemia—all from the 2014 International Development Design Summit

Nearly 50 innovators from Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Germany, Brazil, the United States, and other countries came together this summer to create low-cost, practical technologies with the potential to alleviate poverty. From avocado oil presses and bicycle-powered coffee shellers to anemia testing applications and rainwater harvesting systems, their prototypes spanned a wide-range of practical technologies. Read blog.

Design Summits in Colombia, Ghana, and Botswana Planned for the Coming Year

IDIN has announced four 2015 International Development Design Summits! 
- Rethink Relief: Nov 8-15, MIT, Cambridge, Mass.
- IDDS Waste: June 14-28, Cali, Colombia
- IDDS Ghana: July 5-Aug 8, Kumasi, Ghana
- IDDS Botswana: Aug 15-30, D'Kar, Botswana

D-Lab Scale-Ups

Tish Scolnik reflects on progress of all-terrain wheelchair over the course of her Scale-Ups Fellowship

"Two years after beginning the Scale-Ups fellowship, we now have a fully operational production line in India, we have delivered across India as well as to Nepal, Brazil, and most recently Easter Island, and we have made significant progress on a new version of the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) aimed at the US market. To date, we have sold over 1,200 LFCs, empowering people with disabilities around the world to conquer obstacles in their way." Read full blog.

What if world-leading organizations teamed up to develop and scale technology and business solutions to poverty?

In the last issue of the Digest we announced the fall launch of the Practical Impact Alliance. Since then, the initiative has been gaining steam. The PIA website will launched in early September and the founding members announced in October. This month, NextBillion featured an article describing how PIA came to be and what activities are on deck for members in the first year. Read article.

D-Lab Research

MIT D-Lab & Berkeley National Lab Grow Understanding of Cookstoves and Fuels

Are charcoal briquettes really an efficient and safe alternative to wood charcoal and firewood? Are improved cook stove technologies making significant improvements in emissions as well as fuel consumption? What effect does solid fuel use have on indoor and regional air quality? What about global climate change? Researchers from MIT D-Lab and the Berkeley National Lab are investigating. Read blog.

Bringing Moroccan Farmers Access to Affordable Animal Feed

D-Lab's Gwyn Jones and summer research associate Belinda Richardson have been in Morocco’s Tiflet region to evaluate the area’s meat and dairy value chains in order to assess the potential of technology interventions to increase farmer income. From their preliminary conversations with small-scale dairy producers, a clear picture emerged: the high cost of cattle feed is a limiting factor for increasing milk production, subsequently limiting potential income for the poorest farmers. Read blog.

Developing a Lean Research Framework

Respectful, relevant, rigorous, and right-sized. These are the guiding principles of a movement toward “lean research” in international development proposed by a team from MIT D-Lab and the Tufts Fletcher School to a gathering of nearly 50 academics, practitioners, policy makers, and donors at MIT on August 1st. Read more.

Header Images (l-r): 
D-Lab Scale-Ups, Morocco; IDDS, Tanzania; IDDS, Tanzania: LFC, India.


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

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