International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) at MIT

International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) at MIT

The International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) is a program led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-Lab; implemented by a global consortium of academic, institutional, and innovation center partners; and a part of USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network in the U.S. Global Development Lab.

IDIN empowers a diverse, global network of innovators to design, develop, and disseminate technologies to improve the lives of people living in poverty.

At a Glance

Innovations 36
Favorites 7

Program Status Update

By the Numbers, 2015 

• IDIN hosted four design summits, welcomed 174 new innovators to the Network, and brought 26 new projects to our technology pipeline

• IDIN’s Network now numbers 601 members hailing from 59 countries.

• IDIN trained 1377 people in collaborative design through design summits, village-level trainings, and innovation centers.

• IDIN counts 112 active innovations in its pipeline. At this crucial midpoint of the program,

• IDIN supported 20 classes, 56 field practica, and 38 researchers. Additionally, it has supported 116 students from developing countries through scholarships and stipends for technology and venture development.

Major Milestones, 2015 

Expanding Design Summits: IDIN organized four major design summits this year, spanning three continents: IDDS Zero Waste in Colombia, IDDS Aarogyam in India, IDDS D’Kar in Botswana, and Rethink Relief in Uganda. These four summits welcomed 174 new innovators to our Network and 26 new projects to IDIN’s pipeline, and each kicked off a burst of grassroots innovation activity. Just months after the summits, local chapters of alumni are independently teaching design trainings, founding new innovation centers, and organizing design summits.

Supporting Innovators and Innovations: This year, IDIN has also made a tremendous effort to identify the needs of its innovators and to adapt its programs to support them. This effort has included the launch of a formal mentorship program for microgrant recipients, the introduction of a student-project matching initiative, and increased efforts to partner strategically with other actors in the innovation space. This has proved fruitful, as more IDIN projects have progressed along the pipeline and attracted external recognition and funding. 

Strengthening the Local Innovation Ecosystem: IDIN’s Consortium solidified in Year 3, bringing year round design trainings, small grants, tools, and resources to innovators in seven countries. This includes an expansion of the IDIN community of innovation centers to eight, 17 Creative Capacity Building (CCB)trainings and two CCB Trainings-of-Trainers reaching 337 community members, and 45 picogrants helping local innovators prototype new technologies. These key partnerships have allowed IDIN to expand its reach and deepen its impact in communities.


Innovation lives everywhere, from the halls at MIT to the bustling streets of Kumasi, Ghana to local favelas in Brazil, but local innovators often lack the support to take their promising solutions to the next level


IDIN seeks to create and build a network of changemakers to enable the design, development and dissemination of innovations that address key development challenges.
IDIN accomplishes this goal by introducing people around the world to a collaborative design approach and then connecting them to a network of other innovators and an ecosystem of support. These individuals then generate solutions to development challenges and spread the approach of collaborative design.