Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Development Innovation Ventures of USAID to Implement Innovative Ideas

Deadline: Ongoing

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) accepts Letter of Interest (LOI) for innovative ideas to pilot and test them using cutting-edge analytical methods, and to scale solutions that demonstrate widespread impact and cost-effectiveness. The primary objective of DIV is to support the discovery of better ways to solve big problems.


  1. Proof of Concept/Initial Testing – The DIV grants support the introduction of a solution in a developing country context to gain an early, real-world assessment of the solution. This includes testing for technical, organization, distribution, and financial viability. Key activities could include assessing user demand, willingness to pay, and correct usage of products and services, as well as documenting social outcomes and real world costs to implement the solution. Grant ranges from $25,000 to $150,000 to implement the activities for up to two years.
  2. Testing and Positioning for Scale – The DIV grants support testing for social impact, improved outcomes and/or market viability, as well as operational refinement to build paths to sustainability and scale. Grant ranges from $150,000 to $1,500,000 to implement activities for up to three years.
  3. Transitioning Proven Solutions to Scale – The DIV grants supports transitioning proven approaches to scale. This includes adaptation to new contexts and geographies. Operational challenges for scaling should be identified and addressed, allowing refinement and iteration along defined pathways to scale. The funding and support provide a runway for applicants to grow, while engaging additional partners who will help scale the project beyond DIV support, but for whom more evidence of success and track record are needed. Categories – A & B. Grants available for Category A range from $1.5M to $6M, and Category B awards range from $6M – $15M to implement activities for up to five years.
The DIV model implies an open grant competition supporting the most promising solutions that demonstrate cost-efficiency and the potential to scale up. DIV is supporting teams of young entrepreneurs, world-class development economists, public-private partnerships, international NGOs, and others around the developing world. Teams are implementing scalable and cost-effective development solutions that address problems in maternal health concerns, election transparency, renewable energy, and other sectors in dozens of countries worldwide.

Applicants can be ideally anyone, any sort of organization or institution from any country in the world where USAID operates. It can be a lab in a university, a local organization with deep contextual knowledge, or a passionate entrepreneur. Innovations are expected to eventually scale up through the public sector, the private sector, or in some cases a combination of the two.

Eligibility Criteria

  • U.S. and non-US organizations, individuals, non-profit, and for-profit entities, provided their work is in a country where USAID operates.
  • Applicants must have the potential to deliver great development impacts.
  • Applications can be made at any stage.
  • An applicant can submit unlimited number of unique LOIs; however they can only submit one Letter of Interest at a time for the same idea.

If the letter of intent is selected, applicants will be sent the full application form with submission instructions. The selected full applications will be awarded funding to implement the activities.

For more information, please visit Development Innovation Ventures.

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