March 07, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

MARCH 7, 2014
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON, DC
FISHER COLLOQUIUM, MCDONOUGH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, RAFIK B. HARIRI BUILDING (MAP)

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?

How can we facilitate the adoption and scale-up of promising pro-poor innovations?

The conference will create 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.

Remote and low-resource settings often lack the infrastructure used in wealthier countries to collect consumer data. Instead, international development practitioners and engineers have traditionally relied on small-scale, infrequent surveys and focus groups to capture households’ self-reported preferences. These methods can be costly to implement and prone to measurement errors.

In recent years, however, social scientists and engineers have developed novel techniques to more accurately capture information from underserved communities. These include participatory data collection methods, qualitative approaches, behavioral experiments, low-cost meters and sensors, and large digital data streams.
The convening will include presentations of some of the most recent tools developed for revealing demand; critical reviews of the design and deployment strategies of promising technology innovations; and case-specific breakout sessions fostering inter-disciplinary networking and partnership opportunities.

Development Impact Lab (DIL) Conference link

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