Dr Rebecca Hanlin

Senior Lecturer in Development Policy and Practice

After completing a BSc (Hons) in Development Studies and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, Rebecca worked in Tanzania and Nigeria. During this time in Africa she worked both in private industry and as a consultant for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the area of malaria prevention technologies and public-private partnerships. Rebecca also holds an MSc (Econ) in Health Policy, Planning and Financing, a joint award from London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an MSc (Res) in Science and Technology Studies from University of Edinburgh. Rebecca’s PhD investigated health innovation partnerships and their capacity building activities in Kenya. Rebecca joined Development Policy and Practice (DPP) in October 2007. She has been Director of Health Innovation with the Innogen Centre and is currently Innovation and Development Specialist with the AfricaLics network of innovation and development scholars based in Africa.

Rebecca’s work is in the area of innovation and development with a specific focus on health and energy innovation and its implications for the provision of inclusive development. Her current research interests include: scientific research capacity strengthening and the application of innovation systems concepts in developing world settings. To see more on these areas of work please visit: www.africalics.org www.innogen.ac.uk http://www.ipg.open.ac.uk http://thesys.open.ac.uk

Rebecca was co-chair of TU871, the postgraduate course ‘Development: Context and Practice’ and member of the module team for U213, the undergraduate course called ‘International Development: Challenges for a World in Transition’. She co-developed the remake of TU871 into T877 making it wholly online. Rebecca also coordinated the development of the first part of the remake of the OU’s undergraduate course, TD223, ‘International Development: Making Sense of a Changing World’..

Are Asian Driver capital goods pro-poor?

This project currently supports three PhD students who are researching the question of whether Chinese (and Indian) capital goods provide an opportunity to improve pro-poor innovation in East Africa. Specifically the students are researching: tractors in Tanzania; wood and metal working tools in Kenya and; textile machinery in Uganda.

Bioeconomy, pharmaceuticals and the global economy

This research focuses on the transformation of the bioeconomy in the last decade. The decades after the 1950s witnessed major growth in the bioeconomy, at the same time as the rise and maturation of the drug discovery system. This system is now in crisis and the research focuses on the relationship between changes in the bioeconomy and changes in the global economy, including the growth of more...

Innovations for Pro-Poor Growth

A burgeoning area of interest for DPP members is the issue of how innovative activity can promote and support entrepreneurship in order to raise the income, welfare and agency of the poorest in society.  Initial ideas for the project and its conceptual base are available at www.ipg.open.ac.uk. This project currently supports three PhD students who are l...

Product Development Partnerships

An Innogen funded project, this project is currently in its Third Phase having first started in 2001.  This current phase of the project is concerned with questions of partnership objectives, inputs, process and outputs; and the connections between these.  We are particularly interested in knowing whether product development partnerships for new health technologies produce sustainable institu...

Public health and innovation policy linkages: The case of Malaria Nets

Rebecca Hanlin is conducting an exploratory project with funding from IKD to investigate the current state of indigenous mosquito net innovation in Tanzania to develop lessons for promoting more joined up public health and innovation policy. 

Scientific capacity building in Africa

This project brings together a series of commissioned pieces of work with on-going academic study of what it means to build scientific capacity in Africa and the implications of this for innovation and health goals set by governments, funders and research institutes.  In addition, working with our partner in Kenya, the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), we have developed training ma...

The next generation of low-cost efficient appliances and devices to benefit the bottom of the pyramid (LCT)

This project is funded by EPSRC-DFID is a three year project, starting in January 2015. It will use energy as the central theme to increase global understanding of the demand from various bottom of the pyramid segments with respect to low-cost energy-efficient technologies, and how such products can be sustainably developed and deployed in developing countries to have large-scale impact.  Nota...

Biomedical Technologies

Rebecca Hanlin discusses biomedical technologies in a global development context. 

Innogen research on existing biomedical technologies highlights the multiplicity of factors that impact, because we take a novel social-science based approach. 


Blog post: Energy and Inclusive Innovation by Rebecca Hanlin

In this blog Rebecca Hanlin reports on inclusive innovation in the field of energy in Kenya

Domestic Energy Technologies

Some initial findings from the next generation low cost efficient appliances and devices to benefit the bottom of pyramid

DPP participates in Africalics

AfricaLics Workshop

 In partnership with ACTS, DPP will be participating in, and helping to facilitate events at the Africalics Workshop on 2-3 December 2013 in Maputo, Mozambique.

 The African Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (AfricaLics) was launched in Dar es salaam, Tanzania, in March, 2012. It is a network...

Health innovation for the world's poor: Who are the players and what is the game?

Joanna Chataway, Rebecca Hanlin, Joyce Tait and David Wield

A variety of public private partnering arrangements and innovative financing mechanisms has begun to change the neglected disease landscape over the last decade.  How significant are these public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements?  Are these players likely to endure?  Do they deserve the continued support of develo...

Innovations For Pro-Poor Growth

On 6 November 2013, Innogen hosted an ESRC Festival of Social Science event on "Innovation Generation: Shaping a New World".

In this 20x20-style video, Rebecca Hanlin discusses innovations for pro-poor growth. Innogen puts forward its thinking on promoting and supporting entrepreneurship to raise the income, welfare and agency of the poorest in society.

LCT Survey Fieldwork report

LCT Survey fieldwork report from the project Next generation low cost efficient appliances and devices to benefit the bottom of pyramid

Low Cost Technologies Market Survey Report

This is an output of the project:
Low Cost Technologies (“The next generation of low-cost energy-efficient appliances and devices to benefit the bottom of the pyramid” (LCT))


Dr Rebecca Hanlin

Development Policy and Practice
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1908 858 572
Fax: +44 (0) 1908 654 825
E-mail: Rebecca Hanlin