What is the InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia?

InSTEDD, in partnership with Google.org, launched the first iLab located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2008.  The goal was to help the social and technical sides of the humanitarian sector come together to collaborate on health, safety and development issues affecting the Mekong Basin region.

At the iLab Southeast Asia, solutions are developed and evolved in the field. Our team designs and uses context-appropriate tools to help our partners overcome obstacles that hinder collaboration, allowing them to work more effectively to improve health, safety and development. We work side-by-side with our partners in their communities throughout the process of design, implementation and evaluation.

Our team works collaboratively to invent new technologies, adapt existing tools to the local context, provide training and support, and evaluate outcomes in a cycle of continuous improvement.


InSTEDD’s Innovation Labs (aka iLabs) are spaces for innovation, research and consultancy with a focus on collaborative technologies for social good.  Each iLab promotes cross-sector collaborations that bring people together to explore solutions to regional health, safety and development problems.

Part of what sets the InSTEDD iLabs apart is that building local capacity is a crucial part of everything we do.  By focusing on developing local technological skills, we help to ensure that the systems created are more relevant than when introduced by outsiders, and that necessary innovation will continue beyond the life of a single project.

The iLab approach is a unique blend of the social and technological development spheres, which have traditionally worked on problem solving in isolation from each other. We focus on working together to explore shared solutions in order to foster collaborative engineering practices, multidisciplinary dialogue, cross-sector partnerships and entrepreneurial innovation serving the public good.

Each of InSTEDD’s regional iLabs act as enabling environments for technology transfer and collaboration between software developers, governments, NGOs, universities, private sector companies, local communities and experts from a variety of disciplines.