About DIV

DIV holds a year-round grant competition for innovative ideas, pilots and tests them using cutting-edge analytical methods, and scales solutions that demonstrate widespread impact and cost-effectiveness.

DIV’s tiered-funding model, inspired by the venture capital experience, invests comparatively small amounts in relatively unproven concepts, and continues to support only those that prove they work. Visit the DIV portfolio to see the evidence-gathering and scale-up activities of DIV winners around the world.


DIV’s objective is to support the discovery of better ways to solve big problems. America is facing a time of austerity, but significant development challenges drive a strong imperative for our action as global citizens. As a result, we need to work harder than ever to implement solutions that get the biggest bang for our development bucks.

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 risk management systems from venture capital; research approaches from economics; and development expertise from nonprofits and government.


Our model is simple: we hold a competition for bold development ideas, we pilot them in small increments and test their effects, and we scale those that demonstrate widespread impact and cost-efficiency. In the innovative process, we find both failures and successes: but when ideas fail, we learn that quickly and at relatively low expense; and when ideas succeed, we find out how to reach millions of people at a fraction of the usual cost.

For more information on how DIV works, please visit our model in detail. To see the DIV model in action, check out our portfolio of grantees.



160+ Total DIV Investments
Stage 1: Proof of Concept. 91 grants (59%) More than $11 million (14%) | Stage 2: Testing and Positioning. 59 grants (39%) More than $50 million (66%) | Stage 3: Transitioning to scale. 3 grants (2%) More than $15 million (20%)


Breakdown by Region
North America 1, Latin America and the Caribbean 15, Asia 57, Middle East 3, Africa 73, Global 3


Breakdown by Sector
Global Health 36, Economic Growth & Trade 29, Energy 28, Agriculture & Food Security 23, Water, Sanitation & Hygeine 14, Education & Training 11, Democracy and Governance 7, Disaster Relief/Humanitarin Assistance 3, Environment 2


Portfolio Organizations

GOs 70 (46%), Academic Institutions 18 (12%), Companies & Social Enterprises 64 (42%), Government 1 (1%) | Non-local 100 (65%), Local 53 (35%) | 7,596 proposals since 2010, 70% of applicants new to USAID