R.J. (Rachel) Howell


I have a bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the US, and MSc from TU Delft in Engineering and Policy Analysis. I have spent most of my working and studying life working on and researching technology for development with experience in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Somaliland), Cameroon, and Latin America. I worked for startups in solar energy and now I’m researching frugal innovation in East Africa in an interdisciplinary NWO funded project. My main interests are impact evaluations of development interventions and business in emerging markets.


My PhD work is part of the Leiden Delft Erasmus Center for Frugal innovation in Africa and I’m looking how business models for frugal innovation can achieve a balance between firm profits and development impact. The research is primarily in Kenya with cross country comparison done in Rwanda and Uganda. Besides the PhD work, my master thesis research was an economic impact evaluation of rural electrification efforts in Uganda.  

Rachel Howell

PhD Candidate

Values, Technology and Innovation

Economics of Technology and Innovation

Research interests:
Management of responsible innovation
Frugal innovation in Africa


Additional information