USAID Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) Program

Grant Size $15,000,000   ,   Closing Date


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is inviting applications for the Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program.

Through a year-round grant competition, Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) sources proposals for innovations that address international development challenges and improve the lives of people living in poverty in developing countries around the world. DIV provides tiered funding to pilot, test, and transition to scale (i.e., grow to reach the highest number of beneficiaries possible) those innovations that demonstrate evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and the potential to scale.

Funding Information
  • Award Ceiling: $15,000,000

  • Award Floor: $25,000

  • DIV awards are typically a maximum of three (3) years in length.

What DIV might fund?
  • DIV recognizes that innovation can take multiple forms. Some examples of development innovations that DIV may support include the following:

    • New technologies;

    • New ways of delivering or financing goods or services;

    • New business models;

    • Cost-effective adaptations to existing solutions;

    • New ways of increasing uptake of highly effective solutions, including replication and scaling to new places;

    • Policy innovations;

    • Social or behavioral innovations based on insights from behavioral science; and

    • Data collection and rigorous evaluation to measure the social impacts of promising innovations.

What DIV typically does not fund?
  • There are some types of projects that are not a good fit for DIV’s objectives. These include but are not limited to the following:

    • Innovations at the idea stage that have not yet been created (i.e., that are preprototype);

    • Projects with limited potential to scale cost effectively (e.g., construction of immobile physical infrastructure, including schools, power plants or lines, and factories);

    • Basic scientific research (e.g., laboratory research of a prototype with no field testing);

    • Innovations that are unlikely to generate significant development impacts that benefit the base-of-the-pyramid (e.g., innovations that target high-income customers);

    • Planning, diagnostic, and other tools that are difficult to link directly to measurable development impacts for people living in poverty and that reach millions of people only indirectly (e.g., a stand-alone monitoring or evaluation platform);

    • Innovations that are applicable only in very limited contexts that limit their ability to scale—or reach—a large number of people in need (e.g., projects that target a very rare disease);

    • Research that provides evidence of impact but does not assess cost-effectiveness or scalability; and

    • Intermediaries with an indirect impact on development outcomes (e.g., incubators, accelerators, start-up boot camps, and other conveners).

Core Principles of DIV
  • Evidence of Impact

    • Evidence of impact demonstrates what does and does not work to deliver positive development outcomes for people living in poverty. DIV supports the piloting of early-stage innovations, funds research to test new and traditional solutions to development challenges and helps those innovations that have successfully demonstrated impact to transition to scale.

      • Public Pathway to Scale: To support later-stage innovations to transition to scale with public financing, including by government or philanthropic funding, DIV requires applicants to show rigorous evidence of causal impact on improving the lives of people living in poverty. DIV does not require applicants for earlier-stage awards for piloting and testing of innovations to show rigorous evidence of causal impact and will issue awards for earlier-stage innovations to help innovations get to the point at which they have this rigorous evidence of impact.

      • Commercial Pathway to Scale: To support later-stage innovations to transition to scale commercially, DIV requires applicants to show evidence of long-run market viability. DIV typically accepts customer willingness to pay the full costs of the innovation as such evidence. DIV does not require applicants for earlier-stage awards for piloting and testing to show such evidence and will issue awards for earlier-stage innovations to get to the point where they have this evidence.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    • DIV seeks innovations that deliver more development impact per dollar than other solutions or the status quo. Cost-effectiveness is a function of both cost and impact and does not mean that an innovation is the cheapest solution. Instead, an innovation can increase its cost-effectiveness either by reducing its cost or by increasing its impact.

  • Potential for Scale and Financial Sustainability

    • DIV’s goal is to support impactful development solutions that will scale to reach and improve millions of people’s lives within 10 years. Accordingly, innovations must have a potential pathway to scale in the long run through commercial funding, public sector or philanthropic funding, or a hybrid of the two. DIV defines a hybrid pathway to scale as a pathway that is reliant on a combination of public and commercial revenue channels or that is supported by a combination of commercial along with public or philanthropically motivated funding (e.g., an education technology innovation that is partially funded through direct-to-consumer sales and partially funded by donors).

Who is eligible to apply?
  • Organization: Type. DIV accepts applications from anyone, including businesses, social entrepreneurs, individuals, nonprofit organizations, researchers, and governments.

  • Geography: DIV supports innovations across all countries where USAID operates.

  • Sector: DIV accepts applications across all development sectors, including education, environment, energy, democracy, economic development, and others.


  • DIV will make awards under this APS to successful applicants on the basis of their ability to further USAID’s goal of dramatically improving or saving the lives of the poor in developing countries, as well as their ability to adhere to DIV’s core principles and provide excellent value to the U.S. government to substantially contribute to these objectives. DIV welcomes applications from individuals; public, private, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; faith-based organizations; public international organizations; non-governmental organizations; U.S. and non-U.S. governmental organizations; multilateral and international donor organizations. To be eligible under this APS, applicants must be responsive to this APS and must be sufficiently responsible to perform or participate in the final award. Awards are also contingent on DIV’s ability to obtain concurrence from the relevant USAID Mission.

  • Applicants that are organizational entities must be legally recognized under applicable law. Local organizations are eligible and encouraged to apply, as well as consortia of local organizations. Participation of foreign government entities is possible only through an approved subaward agreement with a prime recipient.

  • USAID encourages applications from new partners.

Posted Date: Oct 20, 2023

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