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Frugal Innovation in Practice


Admission requirements

The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the LDE Minor Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development.


The Frugal Innovation in Practice comprises of a 12 week field assignment which is usually conducted abroad. In this module students work on assignments that can be research or more practically oriented. Divided into teams of three or four, ideally with one student from each participating university (Leiden, Delft, Erasmus), they bring together and integrate their knowledge base with that of the others.

Field assignments will be arranged by the minor coordinators before students start with the minor. On Thursday 17 June 2021 (17.30 – 20.00 hrs.) there will be a matchmaking event in which the various field assignments options will be presented and students have the opportunity to talk to field assignment providers. Accommodating individual preferences as far as possible, the field assignment allocations will be made known by 30 June 2021. This offers students the opportunity to contact field assignment providers and supervisors in an early stage to allow for thorough preparation and arrangements. During the first part of the Bootcamp, and in collaboration with the assignment providers and academic supervisors they will draft a field assignment plan making their assignment more concrete.

The students have to finance the internship (travel, accommodation and living costs) themselves, unless (part of) the costs is covered by the assignment providers. The costs involved during the stay abroad are to a large extent country and context specific but between 2,500 and 3,000 Euros is a realistic estimate of the costs involved. Students will be provided with suggestions on where to find opportunities to apply for subsidies.

In principle the field assignment will be offered abroad. With the exception of 2020-21 due to Corona-related travel restrictions, the field assignments in previous academic years (2018-19, 2019-20) were arranged in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Cambodia, Malaysia, Surinam, Curacao and the Netherlands.

If, for at this stage unforeseen travel restrictions are still in place or if students prefer not to go abroad (for various reasons including health or other personal circumstances), field assignments can be hosted in the Netherlands through providers delivering services abroad.

Course objectives

Objective: To experience Frugal Innovation realities and integrate own knowledge base with that of the others.

Outcomes: After this module students are able to:
1) Apply and extend the knowledge and skills acquired during the theoretical part of the minor in a specific context and practical assignment;
2) Define and shape the contribution of own field in solving a specific problem of frugal innovation;
3) Collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds;
4) Foster an open mind and attitude that is sensitive to different cultural contexts;
5) Communicate and present on frugal innovation to academic and non-academic audiences.


A detailed timetable will be provided in Brightspace (Leiden University) in the minor syllabus.

Mode of instruction

Tutorials, guest lectures, in-class and out-class individual and group work, excursion.

Assessment method

Output and Outcomes of Field Assignment (70%)
Individual Performance Capabilities (30%)


Where practical same subtest as the first, within given timeframe.


Leiden University Brightspace LMS will be used for:

  • Announcements

  • Course information

  • Documents

  • Discussions

  • Grades

  • Calendar

  • Reading list

Reading list

All links and references to prescribed and recommended scientific and professional papers available in Brightspace (Leiden University). Strive to mostly use library and open source online publications.


Registration via uSis is verplicht.

Information about uSis website

Inschrijven voor vakken en tentamens

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Education Coordinator: Madi Ditmars

Back to FI4SGD homepage


Not applicable.