USAID’s Development Innovation Venture (DIV): Seeking Applications for Seed Grants

USAID’s Development Innovation Venture (DIV) supports the piloting and rigorous testing of innovative approaches to solving international development problems and supports transitioning innovations with evidence of impact and cost effectiveness to scale. It aims is to create a portfolio of innovations that improves lives for millions of the poor around the world, especially individuals in poverty or extreme poverty, and other vulnerable groups.

Even if you are a small NGO based in a developing country or a huge organization leading several projects across different parts of the world, you are eligible to apply and win grants under DIV. DIV accepts proposals for projects which offer innovative solutions to problems related to development. As this opportunity seeks to address different kinds of development challenges, you can submit proposals for any sector, whether it is livelihood development, agriculture, climate change, environment, democracy, human rights, peace and conflict etc.

DIV Core Principles

There are three fundamental objectives that drive DIV’s search for innovative and impactful solutions to problems in the developing world:

  • Evidence: DIV is designed to help find, test, and transition to scale the most effective innovations, and encourages the use of rigorous testing methods (e.g. market test, measuring causal impacts) as appropriate given the stage of the proposal and the scale path. Evidence can encompass ultimate impacts (e.g., infant mortality), or improvements in implementation outcomes (e.g. take-up) for those solutions that have been causally linked to ultimate impacts in the past.
  • Cost Effectiveness: DIV seeks innovations that deliver more development impacts per dollar than other ways of achieving the same development goals (e.g. increased literacy per dollar compared to existing practices).
  • Pathways to Scale: The ultimate goal of DIV is to support solutions to scale sustainably to reach millions of people in the developing world within a decade. DIV recognizes that innovations can take a variety of scale paths but expects that ultimately they will grow without continued DIV support.

Funding Stages and Information

  • Stage 1: Proof of Concept/Initial Testing – Awards within an approximate range of $25,000 to $150,000 (up to 2 years)
  • Stage 2: Testing and Positioning for Scale – Awards within an approximate range of $150,000 to $1,500,000 (up to 3 years)
  • Stage 3: Transitioning Proven Solutions to Scale – Awards within an approximate range of $1,500,000 to $15,000,000 (up to 5 years)

How to Apply

The USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) has two stages of its application process.

  • Letter of Interest: All applicants wishing to apply for funding from DIV have to initially submit a Letter of Interest (LOI). The LOI has to be submitted in the prescribed format only. EOI must be of 2-4 pages.
  • Full Application: The submitted LOI will undergo review and approval process. If your LOI is selected, then your organization will be invited to submit a full application.

For more information, visit


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