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Development Innovation Ventures (DIV)

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Nonprofits, For-Profits,
Agencies, and IHEs to Support International Development Strategies

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United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

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Grants to USA, Canada, and International nonprofit and for-profit organizations, IHEs, governmental organizations, and international and multilateral organizations to pilot and test creative international development strategies. Funding is intended to support ideas that can dramatically improve or save the lives of impoverished populations in developing countries.

Through a year-round grant competition, Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) sources innovative ideas, pilots and rigorously tests them, and supports the scale-up of solutions that demonstrate proven impact and cost-effectiveness. DIV’s tiered funding model; inspired by venture capital funds, invests comparatively small amounts of funding in a variety of unproven ideas, and provides more substantial support only to those that demonstrate rigorous evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and potential to scale. Taking a portfolio approach to its impact enables DIV to embrace risk - and occasional failure - as it generates an evidence base for open innovation. DIV’s aim is to create a portfolio of innovations across all sectors and geographies in which USAID works, to improve the lives of millions around the world.

DIV funds development innovations, which can include:

- New technologies.
- New ways of delivering or financing goods and services.
- More cost-effective adaptations to existing solutions.
- New ways of increasing uptake of existing proven solutions,
- Policy changes, shifts, or nudges based on insights from behavioral economics.
- Social or behavioral innovations.

Innovations are not required to be technology-based, but should be evidence-informed. DIV supports applications on all development topics and sectors.

There are three fundamental objectives that drive DIV’s search for innovative and impactful development solutions:

- Evidence—DIV is designed to find, test, and scale-up the most effective innovations, and encourage rigorous testing methods (e.g., market tests, randomized controlled trials) as appropriate, given a proposal’s stage and scale path. Evidence can encompass ultimate impacts (e.g., infant mortality), or improvements in implementation outcomes (e.g., adoption) for solutions that have been causally linked to ultimate impacts in the past. Measurement of impact should focus either on outcome variables that can be taken as objectives in themselves (e.g., lives saved or additional income), or on intermediate outcomes for which strong evidence already exists of impact on ultimate outcomes (e.g., vaccination rates).

- Cost-Effectiveness—DIV seeks innovations that deliver more development impacts per dollar than other ways of achieving the same development goals, such as increased literacy per dollar in comparison to existing practices to improve literacy. Cost-effectiveness does not necessarily mean an innovation must be the lowest-cost innovation. Rather, cost-effectiveness is a function of both impact and cost. An innovation can be highly cost-effective either by achieving a larger impact on specific outcomes at a cost comparable to alternatives, or by achieving comparable impact on specific outcomes at a significantly lower cost than alternatives.

- Pathways to Scale—DIV’s ultimate goal is to support development solutions to scale sustainably in order to reach millions of people. Solutions must have a potential pathway to scale, whether a) commercially; b) through incorporation into the practices of developing country governments, donors, or philanthropists; or c) through a combination of commercial and public or philanthropic support. DIV recognizes that innovations can take a variety of pathways to scale, but expects that they will ultimately grow without continued DIV support.

Stages of Financing:

- Stage 1 Proof-of-Concept/InitialTesting
- Stage 2 Testing and Positioning for Scale
- Stage 3 Scaling
- Evidence Generation

For details on each of these funding stages, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181034

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Stage 1 Proof-of-Concept/InitialTesting: up to $200,000
- Stage 2 Testing and Positioning for Scale: $200,000 to $1,500,000
- Stage 3 Scaling: $1,500,000 to $5,000,000
- Evidence Generation: up to $1,500,000

Term of Contract:

- Stage 1: Proof of Concept - up to 3 years
- Stage 2: Testing and Positioning for Scale- up to 3 years
- Stage 3: Scaling - up to 3 years

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Public, private, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations, as well as institutions of higher education, public international organizations, non-governmental organizations, U.S. and non-U.S. governmental organizations, multilateral and international donor organizations are eligible under this APS. All organizations must be determined to be responsive to the APS and sufficiently responsible to perform or participate in the final award.

All applicants must be legally recognized organizational entities under applicable law. Local organizations are eligible and encouraged to apply, as well as consortia of local organizations. Participation of foreign government organizations under this APS is possible only through an approved subaward agreement with a prime recipient.

USAID encourages applications from new partners. Resultant awards to new partners may require USAID to undertake necessary pre-award reviews of these organizations to determine “responsibility” in regards to fiduciary and other oversight responsibilities of the award. In order for an award to be made, the Agreement Officer must make an affirmative determination that the applicant is “responsible”.

There are several types of projects that are NOT a good fit for DIV’s objectives. This includes, but is not limited, to:

- Interventions with limited potential to scale, and/or minimal demonstration of cost-effectiveness and impact (e.g., building schools).
- Basic scientific research (e.g., laboratory research of a prototype with no field testing; pharmaceutical testing before full regulatory approvals).
- Innovations on a private sector path to scale that lack a “base-of-the-pyramid” customer focus and are unlikely to lead to significant development impacts for the poor.
- Planning or diagnostic tools that are difficult to link directly to measurable development impacts
- Innovations that are applicable only in very limited contexts.
-Research that will not provide evidence of impact, cost effectiveness, or scale potential.
- Intermediaries with an indirect impact on development outcomes (e.g., incubators, accelerators, start-up boot camps, conveners).
- Innovations who cannot adequately explain their theory of change

Pre-Application Information:

Closing Date: September 11, 2019

DIV reviews applications on a rolling basis, in the order they are received.

Application and award process:

- Expression of Interest: All interested organizations must submit an application through
the online portal. After an application is received, DIV reserves the right to pose clarifying
questions and conduct discussions with the applicant.
- Due Diligence process. For applications which DIV deems to have merit, DIV will issue an
invitation to collaborate and “co-create” with the applicant. This is the second, more intensive stage of the application process, known as the Due Diligence, into which only a small subset of applicants will be invited.
- Review by a Decision Panel. All updated applications will be reviewed for their technical merit by a Decision Panel, comprised of USAID and/or Non-USAID Experts
- Agreement Officer Determination. Positive Decision Panel recommendations will be shared
with the Agreement Officer for further review and to inform award instrument negotiation and
finalization. During this process, the Apparently Successful Applicant and DIV can further refine the technical approach, general resource requirements, and management control of the project under the guidance of the Agreement Officer.
- Award. The USAID Agreement Officer will award the instrument.

From the date you submit an application to the date of award finalization, the process can vary between 6 to 12 months.

About DIV:

Application Instructions:

View this opportunity on

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application:

For any questions regarding this APS, contact:

EOIs must be submitted to:

Rod Watson, Agreement Officer

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


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