The Digital Ecosystem Fund (DEF) is an initiative under USAID’s Digital Strategy that equips the Agency’s Operating Units with catalytic financing to design and implement activities that foster open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems. The DEF supports two types of interventions:
- Emergent opportunities to harness or shape the digital ecosystem in any sector
- Strategic initiatives to strengthen or improve the digital ecosystem
In March 2020, USAID held a beta-round call for proposals. After receiving 21 submissions entailing programming in all sectors from 16 Missions, the DEF review committee made up of sectoral and digital experts drawn from across USAID, evaluated proposals on technical merit, feasibility, relevance to the Digital Strategy, and Mission priorities. Further fund rounds will support Mission engagements across all sectors, subject to the availability of funds.