The USAID Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is an open innovation program that funds breakthrough solutions to the world’s most intractable development challenges. By funding innovation and focusing on rigorous evidence, DIV impacts millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost.
DIV provides grant funding based on a tiered-evidence approach that maximizes impact per dollar spent. This allows for risk at early stages and mitigates risk at later stages, ensuring that funding is targeted to the most impactful and cost-effective innovations.
DIV believes that the best ideas can come from anyone, anywhere. DIV supports innovators and researchers around the world to test new ideas, take strategic risks, build evidence of what works, and advance the best solutions. DIV looks for solutions that demonstrate rigorous evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and a viable pathway to scale and sustainability.
DIV offers the following funding:
- Stage 1 Grants: Pilot (Up to $200,000)
- Stage 2 Grants: Test and Position for Scale (Up to $1,500,000)
- Stage 3 Grants: Transition to Scale (Up to $15,000,000)
- Evidence Generation Grants (Up to $1,500,000)
Applicants should apply to the level that best matches their current scale and evidence base.
- Since 2010, USAID Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) has funded 252 innovation grants in 47 countries. Explore DIV and its portfolio of innovations on the DIV Portal website.
- DIV is driven by its social return on investment, which is the benefit to society generated by DIV’s investments. In its first three years, DIV’s portfolio returned over $17 in social benefit for each dollar awarded—a 17:1 return on investment, according to the research paper, “Is Development Economics a Good Investment? Evidence on scaling rate and social returns from USAID’s innovation fund (link is external),” by Michael Kremer, Sasha Gallant, Olga Rostapshova and Milan Thomas.
- DIV provides funding through fixed amount awards, a unique type of Federal grant instrument that is designed to pay for results through milestone payments, not just reimbursing costs like traditional grants.
- DIV was co-founded in 2010 by Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Kremer (link is external) and USAID’s former Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Maura O’Neill (link is external). Hear Dr. Kremer speak about Development Innovation Ventures in his 2019 Nobel Prize Lecture (link is external).
- Interested in applying? Read DIV’s Annual Program Statement.
- Check out DIV’s Fact Sheet.