The Development Impact Lab (DIL) hosts a series of conferences each year, including the annual State of the Science Conference. These provide opportunities for experts from universities, NGOs, government agencies, social enterprises, and private industry to share ideas and articulate new perspectives, research priorities, and opportunities.

To get involved in conference organizing, propose themes for future conferences, or submit general questions, contact us.

TechCon 2014

November 8 – November 10, 2014
University of California, Berkeley

RSVP for the event here

Join the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN), and the Development Impact Lab (DIL) for TechCon 2014: Connecting to accelerate global development.

HESN TechCon 2014 is a unique convening of academics, students, development experts, field practitioners and the private sector focused on innovative approaches to solution creation, testing, scaling for international development. TechCon 2014 will showcase the innovations and innovators coming out of HESN’s Development Labs that have been produced both in the lab and with development beneficiaries through the Network.

Program Highlights:

  • Interactive sessions that aim to highlight new innovations and data from the Development Labs
  • Opportunity to learn from development professionals, industry leaders, discuss development challenges with leading academics, “investing” in new solutions in the innovation marketplace
  • TED Talk–style keynotes
  • Small group challenge sessions
  • “Shark Tank” pitch competition
  • Opportunities for networking and spontaneous “unconference” sessions

Register for the event here. If you have specific comments or questions, please contact us at

Past Events

State of the Science 2014 Conference: Revealing the Demand for Pro-poor Innovation

March 7, 2014
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Fisher Colloquium, McDonough School of Business, Rafik B. Hariri Building (MAP)

Download: Agenda | White Paper | Event FlierConference Report
For more materials from the event, including presentations and photos, visit USAID’s Learning Lab website.

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.

Sponsors: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), USAID Higher Education Solutions Network, Development Impact Lab (DIL), UC Berkeley Blum Center for Developing Economies, UC Berkeley Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), UC Berkeley Institute of International Studies (IIS), Georgetown University Initiative on Innovation, Development, and Evaluation (gui2de)

Download: Agenda | White Paper | Event FlierConference Report

Please contact Guillaume Kroll (gkroll [at] berkeley [dot] edu) with any questions.