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Revealing the Demand for Pro-poor Innovations


Many barriers hinder the take-up and diffusion of promising innovations that could substantially improve the lives of the poor. New technologies are often inappropriately designed, unaffordable, or inaccessible to those they seek to serve. How can we better capture the demand from consumers at the bottom of the economic pyramid? How can we facilitate the adoption and scale-up of promising pro-poor innovations?

The conference created a forum for technologists, social scientists, NGOs, and policymakers to exchange tools for measuring low-income communities’ preferences, demand, and willingness to pay for new technologies. We hope that project ideas will emerge from this dialogue, enabling new technologies to rapidly evolve to meet the demand of consumers in low and middle-income countries. Available materials include:

Presenters included Digital Green, Sanergy, Lumeter Networks, Gram Power and Flashcast.

Date and Time

Mar 7, 2014 9:00am — 5:00pm


Georgetown University, Washington, DC


Emerging Tools for Understanding Demand
Social scientists and engineers have developed innovative techniques to better capture the needs and preferences of potential users from underserved communities. This session reviewed these novel approaches:

Case Studies in Consumer-driven Technology Design
This session featured real-world case studies of technology deployment in developing countries. Drawing from their own experience, presenters reviewed different challenges in terms of product design, marketing, and adoption by local communities.




Pascaline Dupas (Stanford University), Nathan Eagle (Harvard University and CEO of Jana), Prabal Dutta (University of Michigan), Susan Wyche (Michigan State University)


Development Impact Lab (DIL), Blum Center for Developing Economies, gui2de, USAID, HESN, Institute of International Studies


This was an open event. Anyone was welcome to register and attend.