Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is USAID’s open innovation program that funds breakthrough solutions to the world’s most intractable 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. This 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)
HOW TO APPLY
DIV accepts applications on a rolling basis. Our window is always open, so you can submit your application at any time. To increase your chances of success, please read the following guidance before applying.
Eligibility and Fit
Verify that you are eligible through our Self-Screening Questionnaire(link is external).
Understand the differences between the stages of DIV funding, and determine which is most appropriate for your project.
Keep in mind that our three core principles are: (a) rigorous evidence of impact, (b) cost-effectiveness, and (c) a viable pathway to scale and sustainability via the market or public sector. DIV assesses each applicant through the lens of these principles, commensurate to the stage or type of funding sought.
Step 1: Prepare your application
Draft your application in MS Word using our sample application form. This document contains sample applications for all Stages and for Evidence grants.
Step 2: Submit through our online application portal
You will need to create an account on the DIV application portal so that you may work on the application over time and check the status of your application. Applications submitted via any method other than the online application portal will not be reviewed. It is simple to paste your answers in the portal from the draft you created in Step 1.
All applications received through the DIV application portal are reviewed by the DIV team. After initial review, applications are either moved into the due diligence stage (Step 3) or declined. Applicants usually receive feedback within 2 to 3 months after submitting an application.
- The portal is best accessed through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari.
- Your application will save automatically and continuously as you work on the application.
- The application is plain text only.
- Once you submit your application, you will not be able to edit the application.
- Applications are limited to one per project.
Step 3: After the initial review – Due Diligence
Applicants who pass the initial review move onto the due diligence stage. During this stage, applicants have the opportunity to provide more information on their proposal so the DIV team can better understand the proposed solution. The DIV team will conduct additional interviews, request supplementary materials, contact references or partners, engage other USAID or external experts, and gather any other information necessary to fully evaluate the application.
The due diligence process usually takes 2 to 5 months, depending on a variety of factors, such as the proposal’s technical complexity.
Step 4: After Due Diligence – Negotiation and Finalization
After collecting sufficient information, the DIV team will convene a Decision Panel. If the Panel makes a funding recommendation, the applicant will receive an official “Notice of Intent to Award.” Once recommended for funding, applicants start the process of negotiating milestones and finalizing the award with USAID.
In addition to submitting various materials and completing documents required by the Agency, an important part of this process is negotiating the project milestones that will structure the award payments. DIV provides funding only when specific results and milestones are achieved.
The process to negotiate milestones and finalize the award can take 2 to 3 months.
Step 5: Receive DIV Funding!
If you’ve been selected for DIV funding, subject to funding availability and satisfaction of U.S. government procurement requirements, USAID will award the grant.
From the date you submit an application to the date of award finalization, the process usually takes between 6 to 12 months.
Please note that all timelines provided above are estimates and will vary depending on the activities proposed. The DIV team will work with selected applicants to navigate the due diligence and award negotiation processes.