This open access textbook introduces the emerging field of Development Engineering and its constituent theories, methods, and applications. It is both a teaching text for students and a resource for researchers and practitioners engaged in the design and scaling of technologies for low-resource communities. The scope is broad, ranging from the development of mobile applications for low-literacy users to hardware and software solutions for providing electricity and water in remote settings. It is also highly interdisciplinary, drawing on methods and theory from the social sciences as well as engineering and the natural sciences.
The opening section reviews the history of “technology-for-development” research, and presents a framework that formalizes this body of work and begins its transformation into an academic discipline. It identifies common challenges in development and explains the book’s iterative approach of “innovation, implementation, evaluation, adaptation.”