The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a partnership today with the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom “to invest in cost-effective innovations to humanitarian challenges.”
The USAID/DFID Humanitarian Innovation Initiative seeks to further rewards for those involved in the USAID Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program, a results-based project for new, groundbreaking development ideas. Seeking to solve problems like malnutrition, high mortality rates, and a lack of infrastructure, the DIV competition gains additional support from this new joint venture.
Projects submitted to DIV are eligible for up to $1 million in grants; if the concept has already been proven and is not an untested idea, grants can reach up to $15 million. Successful ideas have harnessed technology like SMS and GPS to empower individuals in developing countries with access to the kind of information developed nations take for granted.
USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah supports the DIV program because it serves to “help strengthen the resilience of communities to disasters and care for the least vulnerable among us.” All parties with potential ideas are encouraged to submit their applications to the DIV website. With initiatives like DIV, there are strong incentives for budding social entrepreneurs to develop and implement unique programs for reducing poverty around the world.
– Jake Simon