Resource Library

At IDIN, we’re all about learning, especially when it’s hands-on. Here we’ve compiled some of our favorite resources, many of which are used at our trainings and summits around the world.

Handbook for Biomass Cookstove Research, Design, and Development

  • How-to

This handbook presents insights and methodologies from recent biomass cookstove R&D programs at multiple institutions to achieve higher performance, lower cost, and improved usability. This handbook will help cookstove designers and enterprises to integrate the latest R&D innovations into their products and support further innovation.

This handbook was written by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology D-Lab, led by Dan Sweeney, with research and editorial support from Megha Hegde, Kendra Leith and Amy Smith, in partnership with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. This was inspired by their work with small- and medium-scale cookstove and fuel manufacturers, including at the International Development Design Summit for Cookstoves in East Africa in 2017. Participants used design thinking and cookstove R&D to develop creative solutions to challenging problems in household and commercial cooking in the region.

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The Metrics Café

  • How-to

Funders need impact metrics. Grantees do, too. So who decides what gets measured?

Because funders’ and grantees’ measurement needs clash, they wind up with reporting systems that serve neither. This framework can help reconcile their needs, turning a tangle of metrics into genuine learning.

We explore four models:

  • Prix Fixe: All grantees report on same set of metrics.
  • A La Carte: Grantees choose from a menu of standard metrics.
  • Made-to-Order: Funder and grantee work together to come up with a set of metrics.
  • Bring your Own Lunch: Grantees come with their own metrics.

The framework presents pros, cons, implications and recommendations for each model. Drawing on cases from Root Capital, Development Innovation Ventures at USAID, Mercy Corps’ Social Venture Fund, and the Autodesk Foundation, this framework can help funders decide what model is right for them.

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IDIN Chapter Funding Application

  • How-to

This document explains how to apply for funding to support activites organized by an IDIN local chapter. 

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IDIN Chapter Activity Ideas

  • How-to

This document gives IDIN local chapters ideas for organizing and hosting different events on local innovation and design. 

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IDIN Maker Space Ideas

  • How-to

This document provides guidance on how to start a maker or innovation space. 

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IDIN Innovation Center Tips to Engage Community Members

  • How-to

This document gives Innovation Centers in the IDIN Network ideas on how to engage local community members in their activities and trainings. 

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Build-It: Battery-Operated Wood Block Phone Charger

  • How-to

This Build-It describes the tools and processes needed to build a battery-operated wood block phone charger.

Build-Its are curriculum designed to help experienced designers guide potential innovators through a design process and help familiarize new innovators with tools. All Builds-Its are a work-in-progress. Please master the Build-It individually before leading a larger group.

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Tips for Writing a Grant

  • How-to

This document provides guidance on writing a grant for a project. It is tailored to IDIN Network members applying for a microgrant, but its lessons are also applicable to other grants.

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Lean Research Framework

  • Research

The Lean Research Framework is a guide to principles for human-centered field research developed by researchers at MIT D-Lab, the Feinstein International Center, and the Fletcher School for International Diplomacy at Tufts University. 

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Learning to Adapt: A Case Study of a Climate Change Pilot Project in Shaanxi, China

  • Research

This report and case study presents the research of IDIN 2016 Summer Research Fellow Jessica Gordon, who researched an innovative poverty alleviation and climate adaptation pilot project in a village in rural western China.  The case study finds that the project was effective in influencing the local development plan for the area to take into consideration climate change adaptation and mitigation and to link these issues to poverty reduction, making this the first county in China to develop a climate resilient local development plan.

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