Elias Damtew Assefa

Affiliated Postdoctoral Researcher

Elias is a postdoctoral associate with the Local Innovation Group, based at MIT's Sociotechnical Systems Research Center and affiliated with MIT D-Lab. Elias is conducting research for the MIT D-Lab | CITE project Evaluating Capacity for Local Innovation on conceptual approaches and practical methodologies for assessing changes in local innovation capacity.

Elias received PhD in August 2020 from the Knowledge, Technology, and Innovation (KTI) group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. His PhD focused on understanding socio-technical change processes, focused specifically on how social learning and different forms of information and communicative interventions shape the collective action practices of rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Elias's journey of doing development-oriented social science research in resource-constrained parts of the globe started after he got his master's degree in Rural Development in 2012 from Haramaya University in his home country, Ethiopia. Previously, he worked as a lead consultant on a joint research project conducted by the CGIAR and Wageningen university studying innovation processes for the scaling of agri-food technologies in Africa and Latin America.