Dev Econ Lit Review to Build Pipeline of a Social Impact Fund (Development Innovation Ventures)

Project Title Dev Econ Lit Review to Build Pipeline of a Social Impact Fund (Development Innovation Ventures)
Project Summary Development Innovation Ventures - the U.S. Global Development Lab’s open innovation fund sourcing innovations year-round, from anyone, anywhere, in any sector - needs your help finding the next rigorous evidence-backed breakthrough solution in development.
Country United States
Agency Agency for International Development
DoS Office N/A
Post N/A
Section N/A
Number of Interns 4
Project Description

Are you passionate about development economics? Do you get jazzed about using p-values to improve the international development enterprise? Do the names Duflo, Kremer, Blattman, and Karlan mean something to you? Do you think innovation can be everything from a shiny widget to using evidence to “nudge” behavior change? If so, this just might be the e-internship for you…

The U.S. Global Development Lab’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program wants you. With over 150 innovations supported with over $70 million in USAID funding over the past five years, DIV has a large, diverse, and truly inspiring portfolio - ranging from off-grid energy start-ups in India to “behavioral nudges” to improve community health worker performance in rural Africa. We need your help scouring the latest development economics literature to identify the most promising results in the field that ought to be replicated and/or scaled.

Required Skills or Interests
Additional Information

Specific e-internship activities may include:
- Reading development economics academic publications and policy briefs from development economists and research organizations.
- Creating and updating a database of promising results, based on the literature review.
- Writing concise briefs synthesizing your recommendations of promising results and potential pathways to scale.
- You name it! We want a creative, proactive intern who will propose his/her own ideas for sourcing the next evidence-backed breakthrough development solution!

What we’re looking for: An economics-savvy creative, proactive, self-motivated intern, passionate about the role of innovation and evidence in driving change in international development. Has a background in economics - ideally development economics and econometrics - and ability to read academic papers and policy briefs describing the evidence base (both impact and cost-effectiveness) of a particular innovation.

What you’ll get: An opportunity to work with an incredibly talented team at USAID, with expertise in areas like deal sourcing and testing, innovator support, impact evaluation, and pay-for-performance financing. A healthy dose of inspiration from the innovators in our portfolio. A sense of accomplishment as you contribute to finding the next breakthrough solution in development. What more could you ask for?

USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program is an open competition founded on the principle that the next breakthrough development solution can come from anyone, anywhere. DIV seeks to bring in new ideas for solving problems facing millions around the world and to increase the accountability of these ideas for delivering more impact, for less money, with greater potential for sustainable scale. DIV strategically tests these ideas, gathers evidence of what works, finds failures quickly and cheaply, without long-term commitments, and continues to support only proven solutions. DIV was co-founded by Harvard development economist, Michael Kremer, who also serves as the Scientific Director for DIV.

DIV applies three pillars across its portfolio: evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and scale, informing how new ideas are selected and supported. Since DIV’s founding in 2010, it has provided over $70 million in catalytic funding for more than 150 innovations across 9 sectors and over 40 countries around the world.

The DIV model is designed to help us advance what works while avoiding long term investments in what doesn’t. DIV blends best practice due-diligence strategies in its exciting new development approach that turns bright ideas into bold results: the DIV model includes tiered funding to manage risk; research approaches from economics to test for impact and cost-effectiveness; and development expertise from nonprofits and government.

DIV’s tiered-funding model, inspired by venture capital, invests comparatively small amounts in relatively unproven concepts, and continues to support only those that prove they work. We support innovations across three stages, with applicants welcome to apply at any stage:

- Stage 1: Proof of Concept/Initial Testing ($25,000 to $150,000 per project)
- Stage 2: Testing and Positioning for Scale ($150,000 to $1,500,000)
- Stage 3: Transitioning Proven Solutions to Scale ($1,500,000 to $15,000,000)

For more information, check out our websites - and - and follow us on Twitter @GlobalDevLab #DIVUSAID.