Innovating against Poverty and prototypes for $300 houses

The $300 house workshop at Dartmouth brought together students, designers, planners, engineers, health care providers, business thinkers, and members of two communities in Haiti to develop design prototypes that will provide low-cost housing for those currently served by conventional housing programs. The plan is for work on the prototypes to continue beyond the workshop and eventually develop into pilot projects in Haiti.

The design of the $300 house won’t prove a magic bullet in and of itself, Kim said. The key is in how the innovation can be delivered to ensure the best outcomes for the poor. Eradication of a disease that affected 50 million people each year in the 1950s came about not only because of the development of the smallpox vaccine, but because of enormously successful management of an eradication program that focused on targeted vaccinations of those most likely to have come in contact with the disease, he added.

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