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Development Impact Lab


The Development Impact Lab (DIL) is a global consortium of research institutes, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and industry partners committed to advancing international development through science and technology innovations.

With the support of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and in collaboration with the U.S. Global Development Lab, DIL is formalizing the application of academic science and engineering disciplines to social and economic development. This approach is embodied in a new field called Development Engineering. This system of inquiry and practice combines engineering and the natural sciences with insights from economics and the social sciences to generate sustainable, technology-based solutions to development challenges. DIL is co-managed by CEGA and the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley, and funds rigorous development and impact evaluations of technologies for the problems of poverty.


Over its five-year core award, DIL’s approach leveraged the innovative capacity of world-class universities by competitively funding innovative research projects that couple technological advances with novel economic and behavioral interventions. To date, DIL has supported more than 100 research projects in more than 35 countries. These solutions are designed with scale in mind and rigorously evaluated in the real world. By designing and iterating around evidence on incentives, willingness to pay, and economic barriers, new products and interventions will achieve better impact and sustainability. Ultimately, proven solutions are transitioned to partners outside of the university—governments, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, and/or social enterprises—for scale-up and dissemination.

To formalize this approach, DIL has established a new field called Development Engineering (DevEng), which helps to train the next generation of development innovators to more effectively create, evaluate, and scale solutions for the complex challenges associated with poverty. DIL has begun institutionalizing this new field by launching new curriculum, a PhD designated emphasis, a new open source textbook, “Introduction to Development Engineering,” and the new journal Development Engineering: The Journal of Engineering in Economic Development. By supporting events and this new field, CEGA and its partners have established a new academic infrastructure that measures and optimizes the impact of technological change in the developing world.


  • Blum Center for Developing Economies

DIL Research


Exploring the Use of Mobile Money Services among Tea SACCOs in Rwanda

Jenna Burrell | Rwanda

Using Cell Phone Based Microscopy to Diagnose Schistosomiasis In Cote d'Ivoire

Daniel Fletcher | Côte d'Ivoire
Data Science for Development

MOSAIKS: A Generalizable and Accessible Approach to Machine Learning with Global Satellite Imagery

Solomon Hsiang | United States

Studying the Use of Mobile Money Platforms Among Savings Groups in Rwanda 

Mercyline Kamande | Rwanda

GridWatch Phase II

Catherine Wolfram | Ghana
Data Science for DevelopmentTechnology

Low-Cost Air Pollution Monitoring

Engineer Bainomugisha | Uganda
View More DIL Research

DIL Resources


DIL Cash Benchmarking Studies Brief Brief

Reports & Policy Briefs   |   Technology

Factsheet: Gridwatch

Reports & Policy Briefs   |   Technology

Factsheet: The Electrochemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR) Technology

Data Science for DevelopmentTechnology

Machine Learning and Mobile Phone Data Can Improve the Targeting of Humanitarian Assistance

Working Paper   |   Technology
Work & Education

Pollution in Ugandan Cities: Do Managers Avoid it or Adapt in Place?

Working Paper   |   Work & Education
Work & Education

Cash versus Kind: Benchmarking a Child Nutrition Program against Unconditional Cash Transfers in Rwanda

Working Paper   |   Work & Education
View More DIL Resources


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