More than 100 individuals, including investors, innovators and representatives from non-governmental organizations attended a Hub-hosted information session on USAID’s Global Development Lab Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program last week in Nairobi.
DIV is a USAID open competition that supports breakthrough solutions to the world’s most intractable development challenges. Inspired by the venture capital experience, DIV uses a tiered, evidence-based funding model to test ideas, gather evidence of what works, find failures quickly and cheaply (without long-term commitments), and continue to support only proven solutions. DIV applies three core criteria to its application review process -- evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and potential to scale -- and welcomes applications at any of its three funding stages. (Source: www.usaid.gov/div)
Since its founding in 2010, DIV has supported nearly 170 innovations across 10 sectors and over 40 countries. Past or current DIV portfolio companies and organizations in East Africa include BURN Manufacturing, Off-Grid Electric, Kickstart, Sanergy, Evidence Action, Living Goods, and Innovations for Poverty Action.
Information session participants learned about the DIV application process and the type of projects that are eligible for funding. Participants also networked and gained insights from current and previous grantees of the DIV program following the information session. The DIV team was pleased with the caliber of organizations represented and hopes to see an increased pool of quality applications from the East African region. The Hub team will continue to share information on the DIV program with businesses that could make strong grantees.