About us

The Development Learning Lab (DLL) is a research and learning centre based in Bergen, Norway.

Our goal is to have research-based knowledge be used to enhance learning and improve the results of development programmes.

We partner with NGOs, multilateral organisations, and governments to provide evidence and do research at all stages of development projects and programmes.

Our contribution is to make research-based knowledge more accessible, fill knowledge gaps about what works and why, and provide a systematic approach to learning from research and experience – within and across organisations.

Why we started DLL

In our experience, development organisations are eager to learn how to enhance the effectiveness of their projects and programmes. However, reliable evidence of what works and why is often lacking, and research that does exist may be hard to access and interpret for practical use. DLL partners with development organisations to overcome these challenges.

Knowledge that can enhance development effectiveness should be shared across organisations. This does not happen by itself. DLL facilitates knowledge sharing between organisations and between researchers and practitioners.

Founding partners

The Development Learning Lab was established in 2021 as a collaboration between four respected research institutions based in Bergen, Norway: the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), the University of Bergen (UiB), the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and its Centre for Applied Research (SNF).

DLL originates from a long-standing collaboration between CMI and two Centres of Excellence at UiB and NHH: the Centre for Experimental Research on Fairness, Inequality and Rationality (FAIR) and the Centre for Intervention Science in Maternal and Child Health (CISMAC). 

DLL is physically located at CMI’s premises in Bergen.

What we offer

Broad thematic and geographic expertise

DLL offers thematic expertise on a wide range of development challenges in Africa and Asia, including poverty, health, private sector development, climate adaptation, gender equality, tax, and governance.

Long-term commitment

DLL is committed to working together with our partners in a long-term engagement to continuously learn and improve policies and practices.

Systematic approach to learning

We systematise and make sense of the research literature.. Our Learning Arenas create platforms for sharing and learning from research and practical experience.

High-quality research

DLL was initiated by CMI and two research centres – FAIR and CISMAC – both of which have been awarded Centre of Excellence status by the Research Council of Norway. DLL offers expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods for assessing the effects of development programmes. 

Hub of researchers

DLL collaborates with research institutions nationally and internationally.

We do our research in collaboration with research institutions in implementing countries, benefitting from our wide network of long-standing research partners in Africa and Asia.

DLL hosts a network of researchers complementing and enhancing DLL’s own expertise.