The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) U.S. Global Development Lab has announced $5 million in new grants to eight organizations from around the world. The awards are funded through the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program, a year-round open competition that seeks innovative, breakthrough development solutions.
The new awardee organizations will implement their solutions in over six different countries, from Mexico to Bangladesh. The majority of the awardee organizations are new to USAID and are using technology to address global development challenges.
“Through our open innovation programs like DIV, USAID works with innovators from around the world to test, prove, and scale solutions that work,” said Ann Mei Chang, USAID’s Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the U.S. Global Development Lab. “These awardees join 145 other DIV innovations [since 2010 inception], working to improve millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost.”
DIV works to source, test, and scale the most promising development solutions that demonstrate widespread impact and cost-effectiveness. Using a tiered-funding model inspired by venture capital funds, DIV makes comparatively small investments in relatively unproven concepts, continuing to support only those that work.
The following organizations have received Stage 1 or Stage 2 support to test and grow their ideas in a developing country.
Stage 1 grants support the testing of a solution in a developing country to gain an early, real-world assessment of the solution. Grantees and their countries of implementation include:
TraumaLink – (Bangladesh) Utilizes a 24-hour emergency hotline and trained local first responders to save the lives of traffic accident victims.
Tecnorural – (Mexico) Uses web and mobile technologies to connect smallholder farmers in Mexico to current market information and agricultural knowledge to increase trade, incomes and transparency.
Hello Tractor, Inc.- (Nigeria) Sells cloud-enabled Smart Tractors and provides an SMS based booking service to connect farmers with Smart Tractor owners who perform requested services at low cost.
Naya Jeevan Welfare Organization – (Pakistan) Connects female healthcare providers who work from home with underserved, low-income patients via telemedicine.
RespiDX, Ltd. – (Democratic Republic of the Congo) Develops a simple-to-use medical device – the Respimometer – for the diagnosis of pneumonia in the field.
Stage 2 grants support testing for social impact, improved outcomes, and market viability, as well as building pathways to scale and sustainability. Grantees include:
Orb Energy – (India) Develops in-house financing solutions to make solar energy access more affordable to small and medium sized enterprises seeking solar systems.
Simpa – (India) Provides pay-as-you-go solar home systems to rural households and small shops in India allowing low-income customers to finance ownership of the system over time.
Ushahidi – (Global) A global leader and creator of open-source, citizen reporting software tools for responding to crisis, increasing transparency, and advocating for human rights.