Projects & Current Studies

Lean Research

How can research in international development create positive impact for all stakeholders and participants in the research process? 

Lean Research is a project co-led by researchers at MIT D-Lab, the Tufts Fletcher School, and Root Capital to develop standards of excellence and best practices for conducting research in communities affected by poverty.  Through this project, a group of researchers and practitioners from leading development institutions are refining, implementing, and testing an approach to research that minimizes waste and maximizes the positive impact of the research process and results on participants and end users. 

Learn more on the Lean Research website! 

Local Innovation Ecosystems

How can we identify and represent the elements that contribute to local innovation processes as well as the nature of relationships between those elements?

This project is exploring various methods of identifying and systematically mapping the components of a local innovation system, so that these can be described and analyzed in a variety of different places using a standard approach. 

Learning from Local Innovators

What can we learn about how local innovation works from people who are directly engaged in local innovation processes?

This project includes a variety of methods of learning directly from local innovators, including interviews, a series of local innovator profiles, and case studies of local innovations, local innovators, and places with strong local innovation ecosystems.

Local Innovation Index

How can we assess the extent of local innovation in a place and compare this systematically across contexts and time?

This project is developing a framework and quantitative tool to systematically assess the extent and nature of local innovation within a particular place.  This project includes work to define local innovation and develop a series of tools to assess specific dimensions that constitute core elements of the local innovation process.