Sunday, June 12, 2011

USAID: Investing In Innovation

In this day and age, market capitalism is the major, driving global force. So why use it as an advantage to improve global development? USAID Innovation Ventures seeks to do exactly that!

USAID has begun pursuing market-driven solutions to involve the business community in a new venture called Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), which invests in creative development ideas. "We believe this can lead to game-changing innovations in development," stated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This program emphasizes the importance of investing in innovation.

DIV emphasizes producing development outcomes that are more effective and cost-efficient. DIV encourages a wide range of input from entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses, NGOs and academics, asking them to submit proposals for cost-saving developments and improving outcomes, rather than focusing on incremental changes. People are able to submit applications that have innovative ideas for addressing development challenges and supports projects with the potential to reach wide-scale.

How it works:
1. A non-profit, private or public sector applicant submits an annual program statement.
2. If the project has potential, the DIV provides funding focusing on first the proof of the concept, testing and lastly transitions to scale proven solutions that demonstrate effectiveness.

The program literally allows people from all different sectors of society to take part in and change the lives of the poor around the world simply by having a sound, innovative idea!

-Gabrielle Gurian