50+ D-Lab students to work in 9 countries during January

Team Colombia from the fall 2019 D-Lab: Development class.
Team Colombia from the fall 2019 D-Lab: Development class.

Each January, during MIT's Independent Activities Period (IAP), D-Lab sends dozens of students abroad. Many of the students who travel will be advancing work begun with a community partner during the preceding semester, while others will be working on multiyear D-Lab research and field programs.

This year, 51 students from fall 2019 D-Lab classes, UROP engagements, and humanitarian innovation projects will be traveling to nine countries.


Community partner: These Hands

Trip leader: Leonie Marinovich

D-Lab: Development project: Follow-up work on prototypes started during past D-Lab Creative Capacity Building workshops and International Development Design Summits in two rural communities.


Community partner: Anjos do Sertao

Trip leaders: Gabriel Manso, Juliana Miranda Mitkiewicz

D-Lab: Development project: Youth empowerment and community innovation among cashew farmers in the state of Piaui.


Community partner: C-Innova

Trip leaders: Natalia Barrera Gutierrez and July Rojas

D-Lab: Development project: Needs assessment, ideation, and co-design with a sustainable coffee enterprise.


Community partner: Faros/Horizon Center

Trip leader: Heewon Lee

Project: D-Lab Humanitarian Innovation Program


Partners: MIT D-Lab Research & Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Trip leader: Megha Hegde

D-Lab: Development project: Needs assessment for a new collaboration in Bihar.


Community partners: University of Nairobi, Mama Maji, Society Empowerment Project

Trip leaders: Sai Rajagopal and Eric Verploegen

D-Lab: Gender project: Workshops on menstrual health and co-design of sanitary napkins.

Applications of Energy in Global Development project: Improving the design of room-scale evaporative cooling chambers.

D-Lab: WASH project: Working with Maasai women to: 1) build ISSB rainwater harvesting tanks 2) implement a ceramic pot filter marketing strategy based on lean marketing, and 3) conduct a 5-day WASH training course to "train the trainers."


Community partners: Oaxin, Tejiendo Alianzas

Trip leader: Libby Hsu

D-Lab: Development project: Skill-builder workshop with students at a university. Follow-up work on prototypes that came from a D-Lab Creative Capacity Building workshop in a fishing community. Early design of a plastic flattening device with a local recycling innovator.


Community partner: Universidad Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC)

Trip leader: Anne Thibault

D-Lab: Gender project: Movement building workshop with women miners in Secocha that weaves together public narrative and co-design


Community partners: Makerere University, TEWDI Uganda

Trip leaders: Anish Paul Antony and Olivia Waring

Applications of Energy in Global Development project: Designing a heat exchanger to help with non-solar fruit drying.

D-Lab: Development project: Running an annual, two-week Youth Innovation Summit for adolescents in Soroti.

More information

MIT D-Lab Classes

D-Lab Student Fieldwork Overview



Libby Hsu, MIT D-Lab Academic Program Manager