D-Lab’s research program including needs assessment, product evaluations, and sector-specific applied research. Undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs and research staff are all engaged in the D-Lab research program. In addition to our research groups and areas, D-Lab offers resources such as research guides and frameworks.
D-Lab Research Groups
BIOMASS FUEL & COOKSTOVES GROUP
The D-Lab biomass fuel and cookstove team has developed innovative methods for testing and evaluating biomass fuels and cooking technology in the lab and in the field, as well as a range of approaches to measuring performance and impact. The team works closely with producers of alternative fuels in Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America, to seek lasting solutions to the environmental, health, and security dangers resulting from the use of wood and wood charcoal.
MOBILE TECHNOLOGY GROUP
The Mobile Technology Lab, established in 2014 by Rich Fletcher and based at D-Lab, develops new mobile technologies for a wide range of applications that have social impact, including: mHealth, global health, mobile psychiatry, and intelligent agriculture. Their research spans the areas of electronics / sensor design, advanced signal processing algorithms, machine learning, and user interface design.
OFF-GRID ENERGY: ASSESSMENT & IMPLEMENTATION
Energy access is a critical enabler of development, and is essential for providing clean water and sanitation, increasing productivity, promoting economic development, improving health, reducing poverty, and protecting the environment. The D-Lab Off-Grid Energy team works to support organizations based in off-grid regions of the world to select and implement solutions that meet the energy needs of their communities.
LOCAL INNOVATION & DEVELOPMENT GROUP
(INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INNOVATION NETWORK)
IDIN’s research program explores the role of local innovation and grassroots problem solving in improving community wellbeing and addressing development challenges associated with poverty. Their research is organized into three areas: 1) local innovation processes and ecosystems: 2) development impacts of local innovation; and 3) enabling and scaling local innovation.
COMPREHENSIVE INITIATIVE ON TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION
The Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) is the first-ever program dedicated to developing methods for product evaluation in global development. CITE is led by an interdisciplinary team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and draws upon diverse expertise to evaluate products.
Research Resources from D-Lab
Lean Research is a framework and emerging approach to field research in the contexts of development work that seeks to maximize benefit and minimize burden and waste for all stakeholders in the research process. The Lean Research community includes over 100 researchers, practitioners, donors, and policymakers working in the international development and humanitarian fields.
USER RESEARCH FRAMEWORK
D-Lab Scale-Ups' 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.