Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE)

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Field Testing of Solar Lanterns

MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning will lead the CITE effort in developing a rigorous methodology for evaluating technological solutions to challenges in the developing world; this methodology will help donors and policy-makers identify and invest in the best of these solutions. 

CITE is one of two initiatives at MIT that are part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN). 

“Right now there is no shortage of technologies that are in the market but there is very little assessment as to what works. We are bringing together a group of people around the world, including universities, entrepreneurs from private sector, the government research centers, to innovate in international development.” – Bish Sanyal

CITE Activities

CITE’s research and evaluation program will lead to new and better products focused on poverty alleviation, an outcome in line with USAID’s focus on innovation in development. CITE will initially focus on technologies that support the priorities in USAID’s 2011-2015 Policy Framework, including, for example, technologies that bring clean drinking water to poor families, innovations that bring reliable power sources to remote rural communities, and solutions to pressing health dilemmas.

Technology Evaluation Protocols & Reports
CITE will develop comprehensive technology evaluation protocols, eventually leading to the development of comparative Technology Evaluation Reports.

Bi-Annual DevTech Conferences CITE will host Bi-Annual DevTech Conferences to share knowledge about new technologies, innovations and design/evaluation methods.

CITE Fellows program The CITE Fellows program will develop a cadre of future development professionals, designers and entrepreneurs in the field of technology evaluation and design.

Product Design Challenges Through its evaluations CITE will identify and articulate specific Product Design Challenges which will assist private sector actors, researchers, innovators and students in targeting the most intractable development problems and create a pipeline of innovative technology options for the development community.