HESN (Higher Education Solutions Network)

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The Higher Education Solutions Network is a partnership between USAID and seven top universities, designed to harness the ingenuity and passion of university students, researchers, and faculty to deliver the greatest impact and develop innovative solutions to global development challenges. Each HESN Development Lab takes a unique approach to answering the most pressing questions in development with science, technology, and innovation:

At a Glance

Innovations 46
Favorites 13

Program Status Update

  • Duke University – Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD)
  • Makerere University, Uganda – Resilient Africa Network (RAN)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology– International Development Innovation Network (IDIN)
  • Michigan State University – Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI)
  • The College of William & Mary – AidData Center for Development Policy (AidData)
  • Texas A&M University – Center on Conflict & Development (ConDev Center)
  • University of California, Berkeley – Development Impact Lab (DIL)


The universities established eight Development Labs, collaborating with a network that extends beyond 400 partner institutions in academia, civil society and government across more than 60 countries.

These Development Labs will enhance the Agency’s ability to create revolutionary approaches in addressing development problems; test and catalyze new tools within science, technology, and engineering; and, promote entrepreneurship to sustain and scale these tools and approaches. USAID’s investments in pioneering scientific, technological, and innovative approaches to development challenges can produce new solutions, attract new solvers to the Agency, including from the developing world, and help countries grow past aid.