Lab Digest
Issue 29
February 1, 2016 
The Lab in the News



Taking Lessons from Silicon Valley to End Extreme Poverty


The Lab’s Executive Director and USAID Chief Innovation Officer, Ann Mei Chang has launched a monthly blog series on the The Huffington Post, about how we can better tackle extreme poverty by applying 21st century approaches to global development. Chang breaks down how the Lab has created a new model with six core approaches that will help identify those innovations that can bend the curve of progress by increasing impact, reducing costs, accelerating progress, and/or extending sustainability. Additionally, this month, she highlights her experience working in Silicon Valley and discusses how we can apply insights from innovation ecosystems to help the remaining 700 million people who still live on less than $1.90 a day, lift themselves out of poverty. 




Bringing Innovations in Funding to Developing World


Less than two years old, USAID Global Development Lab is bringing private-sector investment strategies to developing countries. The Lab’s Executive Director Ann Mei Chang – a Google alum – sat down with Federal Times Senior Writer Aaron Boyd to talk about the Lab’s current programs, what’s ahead for the future and what other federal agencies can learn from their work. 



‘Beyond Cash’ Identifies Barriers and Solutions to a Digital, Inclusive Economy In India




Together with the Government of India’s Ministry of Finance (MoF), USAID has launched a partnership specifically focused on increasing the use of digital payments at point of sale locations, particularly among low-income consumers. Over 35 key Indian, American, and international organizations have partnered with the Indian MoF and USAID on this initiative. They cut across six categories of organizations – fast moving consumer goods companies (FMCGs), bank payment networks, mobile network operators, e-commerce providers, leading civil society organizations, and ecosystem players. The goal of partnership is to identify, test and scale innovative approaches that will drive greater use for digital payment at the point of scale.


The ResilientAfrica Network Aims to Live Up to Its Name


Sixteen African universities supported by Resilient Africa Network, part of the Lab’s Higher Education Solutions Network’s (HESN), have banded together to find affordable, practical ways to strengthen communities to withstand shocks such as natural disasters, illness and conflict. Four of these universities are regional hubs with unique resilience priorities – to conduct analysis on the drivers of resilience and carry out community consultations to find innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges. Additionally, the universities also bring together non-academic partners, such as government agencies, the private sector, civil society and development practitioners.



Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development Announces Round 6 Call for Innovative Solutions to Prevent Infant & Maternal Deaths
Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development launched its sixth call for ground breaking, sustainable innovations to save the lives of mothers and newborns in the hardest to reach corners of the world. This round will place an increased focus on advancing the most successful and transformational innovations as they transition to scale. The program will begin taking applications in mid-January, with submissions due by February 29 at 2pm EST. Award semi-finalists and award nominees  will be announced later in 2016.
Partnership and Funding Opportunities
Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development has officially launched the application intake period for its sixth call for groundbreaking innovations and ideas that can leapfrog conventional approaches in three main domains: (1) technology; (2) service delivery; and (3) “demand side” innovation that empowers pregnant women and their families to practice healthy behaviors and be aware of and access health care during pregnancy, childbirth and the early postnatal period, especially the first two days after birth. Deadline February 29, 2016


Apply for the Lab’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV). DIV looks for compelling new development solutions in a year-round competition, rigorously tests them, and helps scale those that are proven successful to reach millions of beneficiaries around the world.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis
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