Evaluation of Technologies for International Development

Animated by a major grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to establish the Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) at MIT, this seminar will focus on new methodologies for assessment of technologies intended to improve the quality of life and future socio-economic prospects of low income households in developing countries. Sessions will explore methods of pre-deployment evaluation of products and associated services to ensure that those products and associated services are technically suitable, scalable and sustainable. Led by faculty and research scientists from the Engineering Systems Division, and Urban Studies and Planning, and drawing on presentations by practitioners from USAID, Partners in Health, Mercy Corps, and Oxfam America, this seminar will facilitate cross-disciplinary learning bridging a number of fields including systems engineering, institutional analysis, experimental design, supply chain analysis, poverty focused economics  and community development. Students will be expected to focus on specific technologies and services and develop individual research proposals for evaluating such technologies and services. Students writing the most promising proposals may be asked to formally join the CITE research team by the end of the seminar and continue to work closely with CITE team leaders to conduct field based testing of technologies and services over the summer 2013.  This class will support the broader integrated development of a comprehensive evaluation technology under the umbrella of the CITE program.