The Development Laboratory for Research Methods in Economic Development (DevLab) is an interdisciplinary laboratory supported by the Division of Social Science at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) to assist faculty and students from a variety of fields in their research work in Development. The DevLab serves as a focal point at NYUAD to create knowledge and training for faculty and students to pursue field work in Development. Researchers seeking guidance, information, or funding can tap into the resources of the lab for planning and executing projects. Students seeking best practices and training on implementing research based on field experiments, randomized control trials (RCTs), and non-experimental methods will find resources in the lab.

The DevLab is led by NYUAD faculty in economics, politics, social sciences, and more broadly computer science and the sciences. DevLab members share a deep experience conducting field work and research in Africa, Asia, the Gulf, and Latin America. The research topics explored by members of the lab include Agricultural and Commodities Markets, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Communications and Web Access, Development Economics, Economic Growth, Experimental Economics, Food Security, Human Capital, Labor Markets, Political Economy of Development, Public Health, Research Methods, and Social Networks. The DevLab draws on cross-campus resources and collaborations with its partners NYU Africa House, the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED), and the Development Research Institute (DRI).


Center for Technology Economic Development

Founded with the support from the NYUAD Research Institute, the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED) focuses on the development of innovative and cutting-edge technologies to significantly impact economic development with a specific focus on problems faced in underdeveloped areas around the world. Spanning Africa, Asia, and the Gulf, CTED’s research covers economic theory, global labor markets, migration, and the impact of technology on development. 

Since its founding in 2010, CTED has housed several research projects aiming to tackle a wide range of developmental problems across areas including: migration, commodities trading, artificial intelligence, GIS mapping, remittances, food and water, healthcare, financial access, energy, and education. CTED has research centers in Abu Dhabi (UAE), New York (USA), and Accra and Kumawu (Ghana).

NYU Africa House

NYU Africa House is devoted to the study of contemporary Africa, focusing on economic, political, and social issues on the continent and programs in the arts. Part of Africa House’s core mission is to advance the understanding of the links between Africa and the rest of the world, through social, historical, economic, and other lenses. Related to this, Africa House has relationships with the African immigrant communities in New York City. NYU has a large number of professors

and students conducting research in the areas of economic development, economic growth and macroeconomics, microfinance, analysis of the effectiveness of foreign aid, politics and political economy, and law and legal institutions. NYU Africa House regularly convenes high-level talks, seminars, and forums with African heads of state, ministers, and policymakers. Programs take place in New York City and in various African countries.

Development Research Institute (DRI)

The Development Research Institute (DRI) is home to a team of researchers and students. Through their work, they seek to expand the number and diversity of serious commentators on economic development, primarily in emerging economies but also in the western and developed world. Critical scholarship has been created on foreign aid and its often negative impact. A key goal of DRI is to have a positive impact on the lives of the poor, who deserve the benefit of high-quality economic research applied to the problems of world poverty.