- What We Do
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
- Economic Growth and Trade
- Ending Extreme Poverty
- Environment and Global Climate Change
- Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment
- Global Health
- Water and Sanitation
- Working in Crises and Conflict
- U.S. Global Development Lab
- Cornerstone Partners
- Partner With The Lab
- Lab Vacancy Announcements
- Development Innovation Ventures
- Data & Analytics for Development
- Digital Development
- Global Development Alliances
- Grand Challenges for Development
- Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN)
- International Research & Science Programs
- Leveraging Universities
- Makers For Development
- Pioneers Prize
- Research and Innovation Fellowships
- Science at USAID
We have been makers since the dawn of time. From Beduin tents to yurts, saris to suits, and foods to philosophies, we have changed, broken, mended, explored, connected, minified and magnified the world around us. New machines have been engineered and new techniques invented, including 3D printers, programmable microchips, tiny sensors and the internet synergizing them - tools that amplify, accelerate and empower.
Public spaces - fab labs, maker spaces and hacker spaces - have developed around the world to democratize access to these otherwise capital intensive tools and foster a community around them. These are spaces for the young and old, educated and uneducated, alike. Spaces for creativity, thinking, problem solving, learning, making, inventing, doing and changing.
Colloquially called the “maker movement”, this emerging global ecosystem is about solving local challenges through collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Projects everywhere benefit from this - ideas can be cheaply transformed into prototypes; products become customized for culture, climate and people; manufacturing becomes local and just-in-time; and goods become easy and affordable to repair and recycle.
To highlight the potential of these spaces, we showcase twelve of these projects in this catalog, projects that are low in cost but rich in potential. Because ultimately, these spaces empower the maker within each of us and catalyze our collective development.
Last updated: July 31, 2014