About Us

When a person lives on less than $2 a day — as some 2.7 billion people around the world do — there isn’t room for a product like a solar lantern or a water filter to fail.

Investing in a product that fails undermines future innovation by reducing confidence and depleting scarce resources.

It’s a challenge development agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and consumers themselves face every day: With so many products on the market, how do you choose the right one?

The Comprehensive Initiative on Technology Evaluation (CITE) is the first-ever program dedicated to developing methods for product evaluation in global development.

CITE is led by an interdisciplinary team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and draws upon diverse expertise to evaluate products using a 3-S methodology.

CITE evaluates products’:

  • Suitability—does a product perform its intended purpose?
  • Scalability—can the supply chain effectively reach consumers?
  • Sustainability—is a product used correctly, consistently & continuously over time?

CITE seeks to integrate these criteria — suitability, scalability, and sustainability — to develop a deep understanding of what makes products successful in emerging markets.

Our evaluations provide evidence for data-driven decision-making by development workers, donors, manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers themselves.

In addition, CITE evaluations lead to significant development insights, helping us better understand and address global development challenges.

Beyond evaluations, CITE seeks to share its approach through global replication, education, and dissemination.

CITE develops courses on product evaluation in global development for university students and practitioners looking to apply CITE’s methods in current or future work. We also develop toolkits and models for practitioners who want to replicate our approach in their own work.

CITE is generously funded by the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID, and is one of eight programs that makes up the USAID Higher Education Solutions Network.  

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