Catalyst Awards

USAID Catalyst Awards

The Catalyst Awards recognize and celebrate USAID employees and partners who test new tools and approaches to accelerate development impact.

The Catalyst Awards are an important part of a broader culture of innovation at USAID that seeks to catalyze the next generation of breakthrough innovations and advance our mission of ending extreme poverty and supporting inclusive growth. By recognizing USAID employees and partners who are taking smart, manageable risks to test new ideas, we can identify the most effective approaches and support their adoption across our organization to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The Catalyst Awards currently includes two categories:

  • The Innovation to Action Award recognizes individuals, including USAID staff and external partners, who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in motivating teams to test or implement innovations through active or recently closed (in 2016) USAID projects or activities. An innovation is a new solution or approach that accelerates impact, and could include one or more of the following: new technologies, approaches, processes, distributions methods, unusual partnerships, or creative uses of existing technology that address development challenges.

  • The Digital Development Award (The Digis) recognizes USAID projects and activities that embrace best practices in the application and utilization of digital technologies and data-driven approaches to achieve their development objectives.

Who Should Apply?

Both award categories are open to USAID staff (all hiring mechanisms) and implementing partners. Applicants are encouraged to apply for both award categories if their work is relevant to both awards. Note that the Innovation to Action Award recognizes individuals, while the Digis recognize projects or activities.

How Will Winners Be Recognized?

Winners will receive Agency recognition and public visibility for their groundbreaking work. This could include the following:

  • A Certificate of Appreciation

  • An invitation to deliver a presentation at a USAID event

  • Profile in Digital Development at USAID publication (Digis only)

  • Short video profile of the project/winner

  • Blog post featuring the winners’ work in Agency publications

The Award team will work with winners to celebrate their work and share their insights within the Agency and the broader development community.

Application Deadline: May 31, 2017

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