Center for international development

Center for International Development at Harvard University
Type Academic research center
Director Ricardo Hausmann
Location 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA

The Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID) is a nonprofit, academic research center located at Harvard University. As Harvard’s primary center for research on international development, CID works to generate shared and sustainable prosperity in developing economies. This research hub actively creates, applies, and integrates knowledge from across the university and beyond to advance understanding of development challenges and solutions.

The Center’s mission is to improve development practice and resolve the dilemmas of public policy associated with eradicating global poverty. To accomplish this mission, CID engages directly with policymakers and governments to effect good policy decisions and increase prosperity in all regions of the globe. CID's primary activities and programs seek to:

  • Change the way that growth strategies are conceived, designed, and implemented
  • Reinvent production-related policies to facilitate countries' move to higher productivity activities
  • Extend markets to the underserved and empower the disenfranchised
  • Improve governance and service delivery in education, health, and other social services
  • Promote the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development to meets human needs while conserving the earth's life support systems

Programs and Projects

The Empowerment Lab

To advance global research on financial empowerment, CID launched the Empowerment Lab to promote innovations that extend the reach of markets to developing countries. The Lab focuses on research and activities to promote economic inclusion, uncovering and promoting finding sustainable ways to empower the global poor by providing them with access to key markets.

The Growth Lab

Led by Ricardo Hausmann, Dani Rodrik, Andres Velasco, and Lant Pritchett, CID's Growth Lab works to understand the dynamics of economic growth and translate those insights into more effective policymaking in developing countries. The Lab serves as the global hub for Structural Transformation, which places complexity at the center of the development story and uncovers how countries can shift to industries that offer increased productivity.

The Observatory of Economic Complexity

The The Observatory of Economic Complexity is a joint venture with the MIT MediaLab, which intends to produce new and more sensitive economic measures. One of such is the economic complexity index(ECI), a new measure based on the network structure of an economy. As the developers of the concept show (Ricardo Hausmann, Cesar Hidalgo, et al.), the ECI has a much more powerful predictive value for economic growth than the traditional governance measures of the WB or the IMF.

Evidence for Policy Design

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) promotes and supports applied microeconomic development research to inform public policy in low-income countries. EPoD aims to improve the effectiveness of international development policies, programs, and institutions through research based on rigorous assessment and scientific evaluation. The research of EPoD is designed and conducted in close collaboration with local governments, civil society organizations, and other in-country partners in order to best ensure local relevance and ownership of research findings for policy impact.

The Sustainability Science Program

Harvard's Sustainability Science Program harnesses the University's strengths to promote the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development. The Program addresses the challenge of sustainable development by advancing scientific understanding of human-environment systems, improving linkages between research and policy communities, and building capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability.

The Entrepreneurial Finance Lab

The Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL) aims to unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the developing world's “missing middle.” This includes promising companies not served by existing models of finance because they are too large for microfinance and often too small for venture capital. EFL facilitated profitable investment in the missing middle by providing financial institutions with rigorous, low-cost, low-information methods to identify high-potential entrepreneurs.

The Mexico Program

The Mexico Program is an academic collaboration between the Harvard Kennedy School and the Graduate School of Public Administration and Public Policy (EGAP) of a leading private Mexican university, the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). This program is sponsored by ITESM and aims to foster collaboration in research and teaching between EGAP and Harvard Kennedy School faculty.

The Migration Project

The Migration Project is committed to understanding and strengthening the links between migration, remittances, and prosperity. The Project is also working to expand the possibilities for comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. by bringing a development lens to the domestic policy debate.


Faculty and fellows affiliated with CID frequently publish books, academic articles, working papers, reports, op-eds, and other documents related to international development. Publications are regularly updated at the CID Publications Page.

Events and Updates

During the academic year, CID hosts numerous events for the Harvard community and the interested public.

CID Leadership

Ricardo Hausmann, Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the Kennedy School and former Minister for Planning in Venezuela, became the Director of CID in 2005, and Marcela Escobari is the Executive Director. CID draws upon faculty, staff, and researchers from various parts of Harvard University such as:

CID also has a Faculty Steering Committee, which includes noted Harvard faculty such as:

External links

  • CID homepage
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