- What We Do
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
- Economic Growth and Trade
- Ending Extreme Poverty
- Environment and Global Climate Change
- Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment
- Global Health
- Science, Technology and Innovation
- Development Innovation Ventures
- Data & Analytics for Development
- Frontiers in Development
- Grand Challenges for Development
- Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN)
- International Research & Science Programs
- Leveraging Universities
- Mobile Solutions
- Pioneers Prize
- Research and Innovation Fellowships
- Science at USAID
- Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention
- Water and Sanitation
- Working in Crises and Conflict
- What is Development Innovation Ventures (DIV)?
- What are the goals of Development Innovation Ventures?
- What makes DIV's approach different from traditional development approaches?
- What projects or organizations has DIV funded?
- Who leads DIV?
- Why should my organization work with DIV?
- How do I apply for a job at DIV?
- What does "development" mean in the USAID (and DIV) context?
- What is innovation?
- What does DIV mean by "testing promising solutions?"
- What does DIV mean by "scaling proven successes"?
- What is "cost effectiveness" in innovative development?
- What is "WASH for Life?"
- What is "The DIV Haiti Initiative?"
- What is USAID Forward? How does DIV align with the USAID Forward Agenda?
- How is DIV different from USAID's Grand Challenges?
- The DIV Model
How to Apply for DIV Grants
- Where do I submit my application?
- When can I submit my application?
- Can I speak with someone at DIV about my project?
- Can I speak with someone at DIV about the application process?
- Who can apply to Development Innovation Ventures for a grant?
- Does my project have to be working in Africa?
- My organization is based in the U.S. - am I still eligible for a DIV grant?
- Is DIV only interested in technological or product solutions?
- Does my organization have to be a PVO (Private Voluntary Organization)?
- Does my organization have to undergo a financial audit to apply?
- Do I need a letter of endorsement from the USAID Mission(s) relevant to my proposal?
- How does DIV select its grantees?
- What are types of projects that are likely to be competitive?
- What are types of projects that are not likely to be competitive?
- For what stage is my project best suited?
- If I receive funding at one stage, can I enter into a higher stage automatically?
- Do I have to start from stage 1 and work my way up?
- May I submit more than one application per round?
- Should I submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) or a full application?
- How much funding can my organization ask for?
- Does my organization have to contribute to project costs?
- How will I know if my application is successful?
- Does my application have to be in English?
- How do I know my application has been received?
- How do I inquire about the status of my application?
- What happens if my proposal was not selected for funding?
- How can I receive feedback on a proposal that was not selected for funding?
- Can I resubmit a proposal?
- What to Expect from a DIV Grant
Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) supports breakthrough solutions to the world's most intractable development challenges by finding and testing bold ideas that could change millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost. The DIV model begins with a quarterly grant competition for innovative ideas, pilots and tests them using cutting-edge analytical methods, and scales solutions that demonstrate widespread impact and cost-effectiveness.
What are the goals of Development Innovation Ventures?
DIV is eager to tap into promising solutions to core development challenges, from anyone, anywhere. From this wide pool, DIV supports the most promising solutions that demonstrate cost-efficiency and the potential to scale up. As we continue to gather and assess evidence of impact, DIV helps to rapidly scale those solutions that prove to be development successes.
DIV helps institutionalize in USAID a process by which ideas are conceptualized, tested, and refined to meet real-world operational challenges. DIV aims to assist lesson-learning within the agency and beyond, so smart solutions scale to address core development priorities.
The President’s Global Development Policy, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, and USAID Forward all emphasize the importance of investing in innovation – identifying, testing, and scaling development solutions that can drastically improve outcomes and at a lower cost than standard development practice. Development Innovation Ventures seeks to do just that.
What makes DIV’s approach different from traditional development approaches?
DIV’s approach is unique in three ways:
- DIV recognizes that good ideas can come from anywhere, so we welcome a wide range of potential partners to propose their concepts for high-impact development solutions. Please click here to learn about our grantees.
- Borrowing from the experience of venture capital, DIV takes advantage of a staged financing model. We pilot promising new ideas with small amounts of money, and we scale only those solutions that rigorously demonstrate their impact. Find more detail about the DIV model in our Annual Program Statement.
- DIV emphasizes a high standard of evidence, including the use of impact evaluations and randomized control trials whenever possible. Please see our most recent Annual Program Statement for more information about evaluation requirements by funding Stage.
What projects or organizations has DIV funded?
DIV is supporting teams of young entrepreneurs, world-class development economists, public-private partnerships, international NGOs, and others around the developing world. Teams are implementing scalable and cost-effective development solutions that address problems in maternal health concerns, election transparency, renewable energy, and other sectors in countries that include Nepal, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and others. Read more about the grantees here.
Who leads DIV?
DIV is led by Dr. Maura O’Neill and Dr. Michael Kremer.
Dr. O’Neill serves as Senior Counselor to the Administrator at USAID as well as Chief Innovation Officer for the agency. In the public, private, and academic sectors, Dr. O’Neill has focused on creating entrepreneurial and public policy solutions for some of the toughest problems in the fields of energy, education, infrastructure financing, and business development. Before coming to USAID, she served as a Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Energy and Climate at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and before that as Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Dr. O’Neill has started four companies in the field of energy, digital education, and high technology.
Michael Kremer, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University, is the Scientific Director of DIV. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Presidential Faculty Fellowship. Professor Kremer is renowned for his use of randomized experiments to measure development impacts in the areas of health, education, and economic growth.
Why should my organization work with DIV?
- Deep, patient pockets. We have the resources to invest early and to stay with the most promising innovations as they grow.
- Access. We have experience in crafting creative multi-partner public-private alliances to catalyze and amplify impacts. Awardees get a “seal of approval” from the U.S. government that facilitates successful competition for the support of other donors and investors;
- Exposure. We offer a communications platform with international reach and a brand with global recognition
- Expertise. We access the technical expertise of more than 3,000 USAID staff around the world. If the impacts of your project are proven, we’ll also offer capacity-building and consulting support to help you grow.
- Global and local. USAID has a field presence in more than 90 countries, giving us knowledge of markets, relationships with local government officials, and networks across an array of development actors.
How do I apply for a job at DIV?
We welcome new job applicants for non-civil service positions on a rolling basis and will respond to the most qualified applicants as openings become available. For more information on typical positions and applicants please visit us here and send your resume to: DIVJobs@USAID.gov.
The DIV lingo
The United States has a long history of extending a helping hand to people overseas struggling to make a better life. It is a history that both reflects the American people's compassion and support of human dignity as well as advances U.S. foreign policy interests.
U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America's interests while improving lives in the developing world. USAID carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.
Spending less than 1 percent of the total federal budget, USAID works in over 100 countries to:
- Promote broadly shared economic prosperity;
- Strengthen democracy and good governance;
- Protect human rights;
- Improve global health,
- Advance food security and agriculture;
- Improve environmental sustainability;
- Further education;
- Help societies prevent and recover from conflicts; and
- Provide humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural and man-made disasters.
“Innovation” and “innovative” can describe a variety of concepts, from anything new to something interesting or unexpected. At USAID, we use innovation to refer to novel business or organizational models, operational or production processes, or products or services that lead to substantial improvements (not incremental “next steps”) in addressing development challenges. Innovation may incorporate science and technology but is often broader, to include new processes or business models.
Innovation, whether in USAID’s own business processes or in identifying and supporting novel approaches to development, can help produce development outcomes more effectively, more cheaply, that reach more beneficiaries, and in a shorter period of time. Read about innovation at USAID here.
DIV expects to see rigorous impact evaluations of project results from all of its grantees. The DIV model emphasizes testing potential approaches and evaluating impact – often, but not only, through randomized control trials – to identify what works, and to help scale only solutions that are proven to improve development outcomes. For more information about evaluation expectations of DIV projects, please visit the Annual Program Statement, "Activities that DIV Supports."
Impact evaluations measure the degree to which interventions change their targeted outcomes. These evaluations establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the intervention and the impact, comparing treatment groups to control groups to analyze development impact the same way the FDA tests drugs.
To establish counterfactuals, impact evaluations use experimental or quasi-experimental design methods that set treatment and control groups from the beginning of program implementation. Studies with experimental designs randomly assign participants to “treatment” groups that receive the intervention and “control” groups that do not. Studies use quasi-experimental designs if they cannot assign participants to groups, and instead use a statistically significant method to generate a control group that resembles the treatment group, at least in observed characteristics. Studies assess the impact of the intervention on the treatment groups by comparing changes observed in the treatment groups to the changes observed in the control groups. Not every development project lends itself to an impact evaluation using experimental or quasi-experimental designs.
For more information on impact evaluation, please see the USAID Evaluation Policy, pgs. 4 and 18. Useful resources on impact evaluation are available online, including:
- World Bank
- Tips for Writing Impact Evaluation Grant Proposals
- Impact Evaluation in Practice, Authors: Gertler, Paul J.; Martinez, Sebastian; Premand, Patrick; Rawlings, Laura B.; Vermeersch, Christel M. J. (December 2010)
- 3ie Impact evaluation Glossary
- 3ie PowerPoint “What is impact evaluation, when and how should we use it, and how to go about it?
- 3ie PowerPoint “Experimental and Quasi-Experimental designs”
- Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit, E. Duflo, M. Kremer and R. Glennerster
- Randomized Evaluations of Educational Programs in Developing Countries: Some Lessons, M. Kremer
DIV seeks development solutions that can be rapidly replicated and expanded to reach tens of millions of beneficiaries.
DIV will fund projects at varying stages in their development in its aim to find the most successful solutions and support their widespread adoption. Development Innovation Ventures will support: (Stage 1) testing the real-world viability of an innovative development solution; (Stage 2) solutions that have demonstrated success at a pilot or small scale stage, and now require support to assess if the solution can achieve larger scale development impact and can be successfully implemented at a larger scale; and (Stage 3) innovative solutions that have credible and rigorous evidence of development impacts at significant scale, and now seek to transition an innovation from large scale implementation to widespread adoption in one country and/or replication in at least one other country. . Finally, the most successful projects are expected to be mainstreamed around the world.
We expect several pathways to scale: private sector projects will commercialize at scale, and cost-effective projects requiring public support will be expanded and replicated by partner country governments, as well as by multilateral donors and bilateral donors, including USAID.
For a project to be cost effective, it must achieve more development outcomes per dollar spent than the standard project targeting those development outcomes. Alternatively, it could achieve the exact same development outcomes as an alternative project, but at a smaller cost. Descriptions of DIV grantees, illustrating cost effectiveness, are available here.
Although DIV solicits applications from across a broad range of sectors and countries, it has created a dedicated funding stream to support promising new approaches in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene sector. DIV, with co-funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, launched WASH for Life (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Life). This partnership will identify, test, and transition to scale promising approaches to achieving cost-effective, sustained, scalable water, sanitation, and health (WASH) services in developing countries. Learn more about the WASH for Life window here.
The DIV Haiti Initiative, a partnership between the USAID Mission in Haiti and Development Innovation Ventures, will identify, rigorously test, and scale cost-effective solutions to the development challenges captured in the United States Government Haiti Strategy. The DIV Haiti initiative will solicit proposals and invest in carefully vetted innovations tailored to the Haitian context, measure the impact of these innovations, and scale up those which are successful. DIV encourages entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses, academics, NGOs, local partners and others to submit proposals for cost-saving development solutions. The DIV Haiti initiative will offer staged financing to promising projects with the potential to significantly (rather than incrementally) improve development outcomes. Learn more about the DIV Haiti Initiative here.
The USAID Forward reforms are critical to achieving the Administration’s vision to restore the United States as the global leader in international development, by transforming the Agency into a modern development enterprise, enabling it to achieve high-impact development while making the best use of limited resources. USAID Forward will help strengthen USAID so that it can meet the most pressing development challenges, protect U.S. national security, enhance economic prospects, and project America’s humanitarian values.
Within USAID, DIV aims to institutionalize a grant-making process by which great ideas are conceptualized, developed, refined to meet real-world operational challenges, tested, and ultimately scaled up to change the world in fundamental ways. DIV makes a contribution to all seven USAID Forward strategic priorities:
- Implementation and procurement reform: DIV’s solicitation is conducted through an Annual Programming Statement (APS), with several closing dates a year. Applicants from the private sector, NGOs and academia are eligible to apply. DIV’s approach allows USAID to partner with more varied partners around the world. Many of the awards use Fixed Obligation Grants, which enables a significantly faster timeline for awards, while focusing on results.
- Rebuilding policy capacity: DIV’s program will be at the forefront of the reintroduction of a culture of research, knowledge-sharing and evaluation.
- Strengthening monitoring and evaluation: DIV’s staged funding process explicitly relies on rigorous tests and evidence. Progress will be measured and impacts evaluated.
- Rebuilding budget management: DIV’s staged funding process is a risk management strategy. Resource allocation decisions are informed by a process that uses evidence to make difficult trade-offs, and redeploy resources towards programs that are demonstrating the most meaningful results.
- Science & Technology: Some (but not all) of DIV’s grants will address development challenges using Science and Technology solutions.
- Innovation: DIV is one tool among the many tools USAID is using to foster Innovation. DIV supports cost-effective and innovative development solutions and helps the successful projects reach widespread adoption. These solutions can come for anywhere.
How is DIV different from USAID’s Grand Challenges?
DIV and Grand Challenges set different parameters for the development solutions they support. Where DIV leaves the innovation need open to the applicant to identify and justify, with each Grand Challenge for Development, the program defines a single, specific development problem it aims to address.
A Grand Challenge is a quantifiable goal that can be achieved over a specified time frame. The goal itself defines the outcomes by which the Grand Challenges program will measure success. Grand Challenges calls attention to a specific need, leverages resources from USAID and partners, and does not prescribe an individual solution to a problem. Instead, it uses a portfolio of tools to address the issue.
In contrast, DIV gauges its success by innovators’ ability to rigorously demonstrate cost-effective development benefits and to scale to reach tens of millions of people, across a variety of development sectors and problems, rather than in answer to a specific problem.
To learn more about the Grand Challenges program, click here.
DIV provides financing at three stages along an innovation’s growth path. Applicants can apply at any stage, and those who have received funding at a prior stage must compete to advance to the next stage.
Stage 1 funding is intended to test the real-world viability of an innovative development solution. The application must describe how the solution is clearly linked to a development challenge. There must be clearly established plans to test the solution in an appropriate setting, and a proposed methodology to assess its feasibility through impact evaluation or performance monitoring.
Stage 1 funding requests will typically not exceed $100,000 per project. Stage 1 projects can propose activities for up to two years.
Stage 2 funding is provided to innovative solutions that have demonstrated success at a pilot or smallscale stage, and now require support to assess if the solution can achieve larger scale development impact and can be successfully implemented at a larger scale. Stage 2 projects must include a rigorous evaluation component that clearly demonstrates the solution’s impact on development outcomes. Cost-effectiveness analysis is also required. Stage 2 projects will typically not exceed $1 million but are often significantly less. Stage 2 projects can propose activities for up to four years.
Stage 3 funding is reserved for innovative solutions that have credible and rigorous evidence of development impacts at significant scale. Stage 3 projects will transition an innovation from large scale implementation to widespread adoption in one country and/or replication in at least one other country. Applicants must provide rigorous evidence that the innovation has demonstrated cost-effective development impacts and that large scale implementation was successful. Applications should identify realistic avenues for scaling to millions within ten years and describe key stakeholders and partners needed to scale up the innovation. Stage 3 projects will typically not exceed $15 million but are often significantly less. Stage 3 projects can propose activities for up to five years.
The Annual Program Statement describes the type of grant financing DIV provides. We currently do not provide equity or debt financing.
DIV understands that solid impact evidence unlocks increased public and private investment necessary for scaling and replication of proven solutions. We look to examples like the Mexican government’s implementation of a conditional cash transfer project that rigorously proved its significant, cost-effective impact on education and other outcomes. These results led to the expansion of the project in Mexico, and now more than thirty countries are using their own resources to support such programs and crowd out less effective public expenditures. However, evidence alone is insufficient for an innovation’s success. DIV will also invest in proven concepts’ advocacy, operationalization, organizational capacity, and management.
DIV strives to be an effective steward of taxpayer dollars by requiring rigorous evaluations of development interventions’ results. USAID is placing a renewed emphasis on evaluations as a key tool to learn about what works (and does not) in development and how we can improve the lives of those we serve.
DIV expects that its most successful investments will reach tens of millions of beneficiaries worldwide by 2020. However, DIV also expects that some of its investments may not produce their projected outcomes or will produce suboptimal outcomes. We manage our portfolio’s risk by staging financing to correspond with evidence of success, and we expect to learn from projects that run into challenges.
DIV will review the results of each project throughout the grant period, and funding will remain contingent on the achievement of predetermined metrics of success.
All applicants must provide a detailed funding breakdown that focuses on resources in project implementation, and all cost and cost application aspects are reviewed for cost realism and cost effectiveness. Applicants are also subject to pre-award surveys, post-award reporting, and financial and project reporting in addition to other criteria outlined in the Annual Program Statement. DIV reviews past performance references to evaluate the extent to which the applicant demonstrates the successful implementation of other projects similar in magnitude, complexity, objectives and contexts, although newer organizations and applicants with little or no prior related grant awards are also highly encouraged to apply. Full detail of evaluation requirements and criteria for continued funding can be viewed in the Annual Program Statement.
How to apply for a DIV grant
Please review the instructions available online at www.usaid.gov/div/apply/how-to. All applicants must submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) for review. Selected applicants will later be invited to submit a Full Application. All applications must be submitted electronically (MS Word or searchable PDF, not scanned) to the Agreement Specialist at DIVApplications@usaid.gov.
You may submit a Letter of Interest at any time.
Applications will be reviewed in a competitive process that will be initiated on the following closing dates: August 15, 2013; December 16, 2013; April 15, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Any applications submitted after closing of a particular round will be held over by USAID/DIV for consideration for funding in the following round.
Applicants can submit an unlimited number of unique LOIs; however, they can only submit one Letter of Interest (LOI) per project per round/quarter. For example, an applicant can submit one LOI for an energy project and another LOI for an agriculture project. But they cannot submit two LOIs for the same energy project. If DIV receives multiple submissions of the same/similar LOI, we will review the one we received first. If an applicant does not advance to the next phase of review in a given round/quarter, they are welcome to submit another LOI in the next round/quarter.
The DIV Annual Program Statement solicits applications year-round. Because it is a publically-competed process, we cannot provide substantive feedback on any application or potential application that may be considered unfair advantage to any particular applicant. Please feel free to submit your questions to DIV@usaid.gov and we will work to get you an appropriate and helpful answer. We appreciate your understanding if we cannot meet with you or otherwise discuss a project that may, indeed, be a good fit for the program.
We must keep a written record of communication with all applicants to demonstrate no conflict of interest or unfair advantage during the publically-competed application process. Please submit all inquiries to the DIV inbox at DIV@usaid.gov. We will be able to direct your question to the appropriate point of contact from that location who will respond as soon as possible.
DIV welcomes applications from many types of organizations including foundations, U.S. and non-U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), faith-based organizations, U.S. and non-U.S. private businesses, business and trade associations, international organizations, U.S. and non-U.S. colleges and universities, civic groups, regional organizations, etc. All applicants must be legally recognized organizational entities under applicable law, and organizations. (As with all USAID grants, any organizations that are in countries that are ineligible for assistance under the FAA or related appropriations acts are ineligible).
For more information on eligibility, please review the Annual Program Statement.
No. If USAID provides funds to development efforts in a country, it is eligible. Since there are countries without Missions or those that have Regional Mission coverage, presence of a USAID Mission in-country is not a prerequisite.
Yes, provided your organization meets the eligibility requirements outlined in the Annual Program Statement. For more information on eligibility, please review the Annual Program Statement.
No. DIV innovations can include both new applications of technology as well as novel business models, production processes, products or services that are expected to lead to transformative (as opposed to incremental, next-step) improvements to development outcomes.
No. Your organization does NOT have to be a PVO to be eligible for DIV funding. If your organization meets the definitional criteria of a PVO, found here: http://idea.usaid.gov/ls/pvo, then you do need to be registered as a PVO at the time of submission of the Full Application; you do not need to be registered at the time you submit a Letter of Interest (LOI). If it is not possible for the registration process to be completed at the time of submission of the Full Application, the applicant should provide DIV with documentation that they’ve initiated the process along with an update of the current status of the registration process. If selected for award, the applicant will need to be registered before the final award can be made.
No. However, if you have never worked with USAID before AND you are selected for a DIV award, the Agency may require some further due diligence before the award can be made. Also, a financial audit is required for PVO registration (see the question on PVO registration in this FAQ) but only if your organization has never registered as a PVO before and if it needs to do to apply.
No. Letters of support from USAID Missions or Bureaus are not requested; however, upon award, awardees may be expected to coordinate with USAID Missions and Bureaus as appropriate.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with rounds closing throughout the year. We review all proposals submitted during a round together after the deadline. Applications are reviewed by a panel of experts each beholden to a non-disclosure and non-conflict of interest agreement. Applications are assessed based on the process and evaluation factors detailed in the Annual Program Statement.
DIV strongly urges potential applicants to closely review the information in the Annual Program Statement. "Evaluation Factors" details criteria, and "Application Review" describes the submission and selection process.
Examples of innovations that USAID/DIV is likely to support include:
- New tools for more effective agriculture extension, and testing for the most effective way to reach scale
- New approaches for sanitation demand creation and sanitation marketing
- Behavior change approaches drawing on insights from psychology and behavioral economics
- Solutions that advance equality between females and males, and empower women and girls to participate fully in and benefit from the development of their societies
- New methods to reduce absenteeism among frontline health and education workers
- Testing proof of concept for a solar lighting system distributed by local entrepreneurs at a price/service point that induces wide adoption
- A rigorous evaluation for a larger scale innovative project that will itself be funded by other partners where the evaluation will demonstrate the magnitude of development outcomes and the cost effectiveness of the project, and such evidence will help the project reach scale.
For more detail, please review the Annual Program Statement.
Examples of activities that are not suitable for DIV funding include:
- Approaches that expect to achieve only incremental improvements as opposed to approaches expected to significantly increase development outcomes and/or reduce costs. For example, a minor modification to the practices of a health clinic, allowing the number of patients screened for HIV to increase from 25 to 28 per day.
- Approaches that are only applicable in a single country (unless the project is expected to scale to a very large proportion of the most populous countries in the world).
- Private sector applications to expand businesses in developing countries that are unlikely to lead to significant development impacts. For example, support for a car dealership in Indonesia that is likely to be profitable, but will not have large scale development impact on the lives of the poor in Indonesia.
- A planning tool, strategy document, or diagnostic that is unlikely to result in measurable development impacts.
- Projects whose only ‘innovation’ is to bundle a number of activities, where each of these activities are not innovative when standing alone, and little evidence is provided regarding the bundle’s cost effectiveness. For example, an education project that combines developing curriculum, teacher training, parent training, textbooks, computer labs, etc. (Note that successful applications may be able to make a strong case for a cost-effective and innovative bundle of a limited number of activities).
- Approaches that reinforce harmful gender norms.
Basic scientific or laboratory-intensive Research and Development (R&D). Basic research is defined as research directed towards fuller knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. This research is better supported by other parts of the US Government, foundations, and other international entities.
- Approaches that attempt to examine many hypotheses, but that will not result in a tested innovation with a potential to scale. For example, an application that includes 10 potential types of new school curricula, and an evaluation to see which specific version works better than the others.
- Theoretical and/or descriptive socio-economic research that pushes the boundaries of academia without also being linked to an innovation that has the potential to achieve development outcomes at scale.
For more detail, please review the Annual Program Statement.
Applicants can apply at any stage without being prior recipients of DIV funding. Stages are determined by the content of the project, not by the funding required. For example, some Stage 2 impact evaluations may only require $100,000 of DIV funding support even though the typical ceiling for Stage 2 requests is $1M. If USAID/DIV disagrees with the stage at which the applicant has placed its solution,
DIV may unilaterally reassign the stage. Applicants can apply for a given stage of funding even if their project was not funded by DIV for the previous stage, provided that they have sufficient evidence required for the given funding stage. For example, an applicant can submit its first application to DIV Stage 2 rather than Stage 1. All applicants, whether or not having received a previous DIV award, will have to fully compete for their first DIV award, and any follow-on funding. Furthermore, individual applicant projects may apply for multiple tranches of funding within any given stage, so long as total funding does not materially exceed the normative limit for that stage.
DIV seeks to test promising solutions while also managing its risk. Therefore, DIV has structured the funding levels of the three stages in order to mitigate its risk of investment. The amount and rigor of evidence required increases as more resources are requested by an applicant. Please review the Annual Program Statement for more information about the requirements of each Stage to determine the best fit with your solution.
No. All applicants, whether or not having received a previous DIV award, will have to fully compete for a higher stage of funding.
No. You may apply for funding at any stage. .
We will accept more than one proposal per round from an organization, provided that each proposal is for a separate activity.
All applicants should submit a Letter of Interest (LOI). DIV will review LOI submissions and evaluate them against the criteria outlined in the Annual Program Statement. Based on these reviews, DIV will invite select applicants to submit a Full Application
DIV typically funds up to $100,000 for Stage 1 grants, up to $1 million for Stage 2 grants, and up to $15 million for Stage 3 grants.
Applicants are encouraged to leverage other resources for the projects and the type, amount, and source should be described. Cost share and leverage are assessed at the Full Application step; please see the Annual Program Statement for more information on the evaluation factors used to assess cost share and leverage.
Application Review Process
Applicants will be notified by USAID’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance when their application is given the following status:
1. That their Letter of Interest (LOI) has been received by the DIV team, and that it will be reviewed after the next closing date.
2. That their LOI has been screened for eligibility and has either passed or not passed on to the review phase.
3. That their LOI has been reviewed and the applicant is either invited to submit a Full Application or they are not invited to move on to the next phase at this time.
- Those that submit a Full Application to DIVApplications@usaid.gov will also get an auto-response indicating receipt of their message/application materials.
4. That their Full Application has been recommended for funding (subject to funding availability) or it has not been recommended at this time;
5. USAID may also solicit additional information from the applicant at any point during the selection process.
Once a round closes, you will receive an email from DIVApplications@usaid.gov to confirm that we have all the material necessary to review your proposal. Please note: Only applications should be sent to the DIVApplications@usaid.gov email address. Inquiries should be sent to DIV@usaid.gov.
You may inquire about the status of your application by emailing DIV@usaid.gov.
You will receive written notification from USAID’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OAA) informing you that your application will not be funded.
DIV will provide a written debriefing to any applicant upon request. Contact information is specified in the written notification applicants receive about DIV’s decision. Any questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. We recommend that you ensure any resubmissions reflect the latest guidance and requirements of the most current version of the DIV Annual Program Statement. We also encourage all applicants to request and consider the feedback provided by the DIV technical team in any potential resubmission before making the decision to invest your team’s valuable time in drafting a proposal.
Applicants may only submit new applications for consideration under the next round of review.
What to expect from a DIV grant
USAID will determine the details of the award on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may be responsible for the following activities and documentation during the life of the project:
- Providing ongoing updates of progress and submitting regular reports according to the requirements outlined in the award;
- Conducting ongoing assessments and a final evaluation of the project;
- Providing financial reports in accordance with the requirements of the formal agreement between USAID and the successful applicant;
- Requesting approval for any changes in project objectives and project staff;
- Notifying USAID when receiving additional funding from another source for this or any related project;
- Briefing USAID personnel in Washington and in the field on project progress and outcomes;
- Compliance with USAID branding requirements, and;
- Mutual agreement on any additional provisions.
For more information, please see the Annual Program Statement.
No. However, depending on the award, DIV may require substantial oversight of organizations’ decisions as they apply to grant activities. For more information, please see the Annual Program Statement.
Last updated: April 15, 2013