The U.S. Global Development Lab was established in April 2014, and builds on USAID's 50 years of experience in applying science, technology, innovation, and partnership to accelerate development impact. 
March 28, 2017
Innovator Digest
Greetings, Development Innovation Ventures portfolio organizations, past and present! We are using this newsletter to share recent news, upcoming opportunities, and useful resources; to cultivate a sense of community among members of the DIV family; and to engage you in a conversation about addressing some of the toughest challenges in global development. Please take advantage of the tools we share and send us your feedback, updates, and ideas to ensure we're making this as useful as possible.
Check out the new blog posts below on DIV's online engagement community . If you already have an account on the Global Innovation Exchange (which powers DIV's site), please comment on any of these blogs! If not, create a profile and join the conversation. 
SPOUTS of Water highlights that increasing access to clean water can be one of the most effective ways to fight childhood mortality. This fight is especially important in Uganda, where SPOUTS manufacturers and sells its ceramic water filters.  Check out this guest blog post to learn more SPOUTS' product and its partnerships with trusted distributors to ensure successful product uptake. 
Living Goods helps empower women and deliver better health in Sub-Saharan Africa by offering door to door healthcare service through Community Health Promoters (CHP). This blog follows Rita, a farmer and a mother of three from the Kabanyolo village in Uganda, and depicts her experience working as a CHP for Living Goods.
The World Health Organization estimates that 90% of road-related fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries each year . DIV supports new, innovative ways to reduce road injuries and fatalities that are backed by rigorous evidence and cost-effective. Our road safety portfolio includes organizations with interventions ranging from behavioral "nudges" to mobile tech innovations, including Zusha! , SafeBoda , and the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation .
Shout Outs
Since 2009, Solar Sister has helped women involved in the industry by helping them build businesses selling energy products. By starting their own businesses, women not only benefit themselves but are able to supply energy products to their communities. With access to energy the chance for girls to complete primary education increases, while simultaneously improving their health and safety.
The  Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), in collaboration with the World Bank's Development Data Group, recently announced 10 Development Data Innovation projects, one being Dimagi. Dimagi's project is to use predictive machine learning technology to help front line health workers in Africa to identify, at the point of care, patients who are likely to fail to return for HIV (and other diseases, such as tuberculosis) treatment.
The CEO of ideas42 discusses the "behavioral design" approach - how human-centered design approaches can be improved when paired with more rigorous behavioral science thinking. It begins with defining a clear problem, diagnosing it, designing solutions, testing and refining the effectiveness of those ideas, and then scaling the solutions. This approach also starts from a body of knowledge from behavioral science, rather than intuition and guesswork, so that the solutions tried are more likely to succeed. In addition to ideas42, several other DIV portfolio organizations use a similar approach, such as Keheala to boost adherence rates to tuberculosis treatment in Kenya.
Unreasonable Goals is a partnership between governments, multinationals, and Unreasonable Group that is supporting the most effective entrepreneurial solutions in the world and providing them support through mentorship, financing, government relations, and global network needed to scale worldwide faster. Babajob was one of 17 entrepreneurs selected to participate in this initiative and receive acceleration support.  
SafeBoda just launched an Uber-style app to connect drivers with riders, provide helmets, and teach employees to handle dangerous roads and give first aid. Bodas are a kind of motorcycle taxis, a popular mode of transport in Uganda and Kenya where the transit infrastructure is less developed.
Evidence Action and Simpa Networks Welcome New CEOs
Evidence Action
 recently named Kanika Bahl as its new CEO. Kanika - formerly on Evidence Action's board - is no stranger to evidence-based development work, with prior leadership roles at Results for Development
and the Clinton Health Access Initiative . Since her start in February, she has been on the road meeting staff and partners (including USAID Missions) on three continents. Meanwhile, Simpa recently named its former CFO, Piyush Mathur, CEO to help lead Simpa in its expansion to provide pay-as-you-go energy in India. 
Georgetown University's Initiative on Innovation, Development and Evaluation (gui2de) Zusha! Road safety program is being considered as a potential 2017 top charity by evidence-focused non-profit, GiveWell . Several DIV portfolio organizations have received GiveWell recognition as top or standout charities, such as Evidence Action (for its deworming work), Living Goods , and DMI . Think your work has what it takes? Consider applying for a GiveWell recommendation.

APOPO was featured in the top 20 of NGO Advisor's new annual ranking of the world's top NGOs. The list yields important and even unexpected insights for the development community by aiming to identify the most impactful organizations in the world.

Half of all the staple food in Africa is lost in the post-harvest stage or before they hit the market. There are small and large-scale technology projects hoping to stop the drain of food waste, including Evaptainers, which developed a mobile, electricity-free cooling unit that allows fruits, vegetables, and meat to be stored in one place. Evaptainers was also recently announced as one of LAUNCH Food Innovators. LAUNCH Food is a global open innovation program for innovators, entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs with big ideas for improving health outcomes by enabling people to make healthy food choices.  

Innovators Bring Off-Grid Energy to India
Mera Gao Power
(MGP) brings affordable, clean, and reliable solar power to off-grid villages in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Nehal Sanghavi, Sr. Partnerships Advisor for USAID/India, tells the story of how solar power companies in the private sector are working to bring electricity to people living in rural communities who have never had it before, transforming their lives as a result.  Simpa and Orb are also providers of affordable, off-grid energy in India, recently featured by Solar Energy Directory.

  Read This
Check out this widely-read article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review in February from FSG's Harvey Koh , a thought leader on scaling social enterprises who has inspired DIV's work for years. In this article, Harvey notes that the shortage of high-quality impact investment opportunities with the potential to generate both financial and social returns remains a critical challenge for the industry. Strong entrepreneurs who can build on existing breakthrough ideas, rather than creating entirely new ones, are necessary for solutions to scale.
Take Advantage
The Global Innovation Fund is partnering with the Financial Times and International Finance Corporation for the 2017 Transformational Business Awards. This year's award categories are: transformational infrastructure, transformational finance, sustainable development, disruptive technologies, climate solutions, transformational business, and city-led transformation. For- and non-profits are eligible. Winners will be announced on June 8th. Apply here.
How can data help smallholder farmers improve productivity? USAID, through the U.S. Government's Feed the Future initiative, has opened the Data-Driven Farming Prize, which will award USD 300,000 in prizes to encourage the development of tools and approaches that analyze and translate data into actionable, timely, and context-specific information for smallholder farmers in Nepal. Innovators from around the globe with viable ideas or solutions are encouraged to apply.
This Innovation Fund is seeking to build and share evidence for mobile-enabled utility service models, with a focus on the benefits for the mobile industry. It will award GBP 3.3 million in grant funds to 15-17 organizations that will trial or scale commercially sustainable solutions that use mobile to improve or increase access to energy, clean water, or sanitation for underserved consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia. Grant sizes will vary from GBP 150,000 to 300,000. Several DIV and/or Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development portfolio organizations, including d.light , Fenix International , Sanergy , and PEG Africa , have been selected for this program in the past.
As part of the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development, USAID has announced a new funding opportunity designed to increase private sector investment in the household solar market. USAID will support innovative technology solutions and business models across the household solar value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa, with up to USD 4 million in matching funds, with estimated grant awards ranging from USD 500,000 to 1,500,000.
From July 10-14, 2017 in Nairobi, IPA / J-PAL Africa will host its flagship executive education program on evaluating social programs, providing a thorough understanding of randomized evaluations and pragmatic step-by-step training for conducting one's own evaluation. While the program is centered around the why, how, and when of randomized evaluations, it will also impart insights on the importance of a needs assessment, measuring outcomes effectively, quality control, and monitoring methods that are useful for all kinds of evaluations. The course is designed for managers and researchers from NGOs, governments, international development organizations, and foundations from around the world, as well as trained economists looking to retool. Apply here . Find additional information, including fee structure, here .

USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have recently launched this new Grand Challenge for Development to identify innovative and transformative solutions that can overcome key roadblocks and build more effective supply chains in resource-constrained communities in low- and middle-income countries. More effective supply chains can enable delivery of supplies, services, and treatments that have the potential to save more than 6 million lives in the next 5 years. Awards will last approximately 18 months and be up to approximately USD 100,000.

The World Bank Africa Region Gender Innovation Lab is seeking expressions of interest from NGOs, governments, donors, and private sector firms with programs, policies, or products designed to close gender gaps in Sub-Saharan Africa in youth employment; entrepreneurship; property rights; or agriculture, and would like to work with the GIL on an impact evaluations of your work.

The SOCAP Social Entrepreneur Scholarship Program provides passionate, committed innovators with a platform to get their ideas in front of impact investors and global influencers, and help them connect with peers. In 2017, it will select up to 150 outstanding entrepreneurs to receive a scholarship covering the costs of visa, hotel, travel, and registration for SOCAP attendance. The deadline for international applicants seeking early notification (if selected) is June 1, 2017. For all applicants, the deadline is June 30, 2017. Apply here.

Apply Anytime
The eleven Heads of Government and State and Special Adviser who make up the UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water (HLPW) launched the World Data Challenge to encourage more innovation to help shift the way the world looks at water. This challenge aims to improve the access to information that is so crucial to ensuring that farmers thrive - especially in lower-income settings - and water resources are managed well. The Call for Innovations will begin on World Water Day, March 22, 2017, with a rolling application process. Learn how to apply here . If you need additional assistance applying, please email with "Water Data Challenge" in the subject line.  

Gray Matters Capital (GMC) coLABS is taking very early stage bets on the most promising entrepreneurial ideas with the potential to demonstrably improve the lives of women and/or girls. It is looking for innovations that are self-sustaining, innovative and disruptive, investment-ready, ready to pilot and rapidly prototype, and committed to scaling. It provides investment capital of USD 10,000-100,000, non-funding advisory support, and usually takes an advisory or board seat for up to 3 years. Pitch your idea here.  
Similar to DIV, the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), which USAID helped launch, invests in evidence-based social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. Through grants, equity investments, and debt, it supports breakthrough solutions with strong potential for social impact at a large scale. Financial support ranges from USD 50,000 to 15 million. GIF accepts applications on a rolling basis. Several DIV portfolio organizations, such as SafeBoda, DMI, and Simpa Networks, are also part of the GIF portfolio.
The DRK Foundation is accepting applications from social enterprises that are between 1-3 years old, with scalable business models that work to affect policy, public opinion, and economies. DRK portfolio organizations receive 300,000 USD. Applications are accepted year-round. Several DIV portfolio organizations, including Living Goods, Muso, and myAgro, are part of the DRK portfolio.
Other Helpful Resources
Join us and our partners OnFrontiers Thursday, April 6th at 10AM EST for a live discussion about how successful social enterprises target consumers and business at the bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) . A panel of speakers - including Scott Roy of Whitten & Roy Michael Roberts of iDE, and Boston Nyer of BURNwill share their lessons learned from developing sales strategies and answer questions. Register to participate here.
Tap Our Expert Network Resources for FREE!
Are you in need of market research, identification of potential partners, support on customer research, or legal advice? We've contracted two expert networks, OnFrontiers and Atheneum Partners, to provide DIV and our portfolio organizations FREE access to experts in every sector and country. The options are endless. To tap the networks at no cost to you, email your AOR with a few sentences about the type of support you're looking for and why, and they'll get back to you with next steps.
For many companies, it isn't the product or service that drives its ability to scale but the team of people that are put in place. With this in mind, how do you think about building and motivating your team? DIV partner, OnFrontiers, explored this question during a recent webinar with Living Goods Founder and CEO, Chuck Slaughter, and Off-Grid Electric Founder and CEO, Xavier Helgesen, and moderated by Co-Founder and Director at Schaffer & Combs , Arthur Combs. Listen to their discussion here  and read a blog about the discussion here.
TrustLaw has developed this Legal Health Check to assist NGOs and social enterprises identify some of their operational legal needs. It includes the questions most frequently asked by its members. The questions are intended to be signposts to legal issues which may affect your organization. Certain issues may not be relevant to, or important for, your organization, particularly if your operations are small. This Legal Health Check will help you identify legal matters that are relevant to your organization and issues that you might need help with. If you have any queries relating to this Legal Health Check or would like to learn more about TrustLaw, please contact the TrustLaw team .
ImpactMatters is a new organization that rates the effectiveness of nonprofits and guides them towards better use of data and evidence. It is accepting a limited number of new nonprofits for ratings, and has extended an offer to DIV portfolio organizations to participate. ImpactMatters offers advice from some of the leading voices on impact as well as a rigorous independent validation of the evidence of impact behind the nonprofit's programming. For more information, contact ImpactMatters. It was co-founded by Innovations for Poverty Action founder and Yale development economist, Dean Karlan . Board members include Mulago Foundation CEO, Kevin Starr.
+Acumen is Acumen's large online library of free or low-cost courses. We, at DIV, have periodically taken some of the courses. Check-out course offerings on everything from financial modeling to systems thinking and human-centered design. Courses are offered on an ongoing basis - see the schedule of upcoming opportunities here.
Communications Resources
This free guide provides tips and tactics you need to successfully secure media coverage today and build earned media opportunities for the future. This shows you how to build influencer relationships and become a go-to source with social media; establish yourself as a thought leader and sought-after expert; earn coverage with the latest pitching tactics; and more!
Get Engaged
  • Take ownership of your innovation profile on DIV's new online engagement community - - and keep it updated. To do so, you must first create an account on the Global Innovation Exchange (which powers the DIV online community), which is now available in six languages (English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Bahasa, and Korean). Remember to tag to your organization and list DIV as a "related program" when you create your account.  Remember also to email us your job openings for us to   cross-post and let us know if you'd like to post a guest blog or co-author a blog with DIV on topics of interest. Living Goods and SPOUTS of Water have recently posted.
  • Help us help you promote your work! Send us communications materials (photos, awards, achievements) and job openings, and we will push it out on our social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook using @GlobalDevLab #DIVUSAID.
  • Do you have your own newsletter? Make sure to send it to us so we can help promote your updates!
  • Do you have suggestions for how we can strengthen our newsletter? Send us your ideas, resources, etc. We appreciate your candor!
  • Take a look at important next steps, DIV's support capacities, and ways to engage with us throughout your grant award, by checking out the DIV Grantee Welcome Packet.
  • Did you know we have a social media training document in the DIV Grantee Portal? Find it and other helpful resources here!
  • Let us know when you are in town - we'd love to meet with you! Contact your AOR or reach out here.
  • Tell other social entrepreneurs about DIV and encourage them to apply here
Thank You
Thank you to those who have recently hosted visitors from our teams and other US government stakeholders in Zambia, Guatemala, and Mexico. We will be in Ghana and Kenya over the coming month. Thank you also to those who recently visited us in DC: Keheala, APOPO, Azuri, and myAgro. These were great opportunities not only for DIV and Lab colleagues to get an update on your tremendous progress, but also to facilitate introductions to and engagement from technical offices at USAID, such as the Global Health Bureau's Tuberculosis team and the Feed the Future initiative. We look forward to seeing other DIV portfolio organizations soon!