Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is USAID’s open innovation program that funds breakthrough solutions to the world's toughest development challenges. By funding innovation and focusing on rigorous evidence, DIV impacts millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost.
DIV provides grant funding based on a tiered-evidence approach that maximizes impact per dollar spent. DIV's model allows for risk at early stages and mitigates risk at later stages, ensuring that funding is targeted to the most impactful and cost-effective innovations.
DIV believes that the best ideas can come from anyone, anywhere. DIV supports innovators and researchers around the world to test new ideas, take strategic risks, build evidence of what works, and advance the best solutions. DIV looks for solutions that demonstrate rigorous evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and a viable pathway to scale and sustainability. Learn more about DIV’s core principles.
DIV offers the following funding:
- Stage 1 Grants: Pilot (Up to $200,000)
- Stage 2 Grants: Test and Position for Scale (Up to $1,500,000)
- Stage 3 Grants: Transition to Scale (Up to $15,000,000)
- Evidence Generation Grants (Up to $1,500,000)
Since 2010, DIV has funded 297 innovation grants in 52 countries. Explore DIV and its portfolio of innovations on the DIV Portal website.
DIV is driven by its social return on investment, which is the benefit to society generated by DIV’s investments. In its first three years, DIV’s portfolio returned over $17 in social benefit for each dollar awarded—a 17:1 return on investment, according to the research paper, “Is Development Economics a Good Investment? Evidence on scaling rate and social returns from USAID’s innovation fund,” by Michael Kremer, Sasha Gallant, Olga Rostapshova and Milan Thomas.
DIV provides funding through fixed amount awards, a unique type of Federal grant instrument that is designed to pay for results through milestone payments, not just reimbursing costs like traditional grants.
DIV was co-founded in 2010 by Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Kremer and USAID's former Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Maura O'Neill. Hear Dr. Kremer speak about Development Innovation Ventures in his 2019 Nobel Prize Lecture.
Interested in applying? Read DIV’s Annual Program Statement.