Imagine a world in which diagnostics for diseases that are prevalent in developing countries are available at pennies per use, renewable off-grid energy services are affordable for households earning less than $2/day, and every family has enough healthy food to eat. USAID is helping to turn these ideas into realities by launching the U.S. Global Development Lab. The Lab is a critical part of delivering on the President’s commitment to game-changing innovation in the first-ever Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development.
The Lab’s creation is part of a strategic decision to emphasize innovation as one of the critical tools needed to end extreme poverty and achieve broad-based economic growth in light of a number of converging trends:
The U.S. Global Development Lab puts tools in place to create and scale solutions to global challenges in partnership with public and private innovators around the world, USAID Missions, and interagency colleagues. The Lab has Centers that will focus on Data Analysis and Research (problem definition), Development Innovation (ideas), and Global Solutions (scale). It will also have teams dedicated to private sector and Mission partnerships, and evaluation and impact.
The Lab brings together a number of existing programs from across the innovation pipeline: Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), the Higher Education Solutions Network, Grand Challenges for Development, Development Innovation Ventures, Mobile Solutions, and Global Development Alliances.
We believe that the U.S. Global Development Lab can help lead the transformation of the U.S. development enterprise and strengthen critical initiatives including Power Africa, Feed the Future and Global Health by increasing USAID’s ability to:
Click here to read more about how the U.S. Global Development Lab is using science, technology, and innovation to help end extreme poverty.
Gayle Smith is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of National Security Council and Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.