USAID and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Announce Seven New Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) Grantees

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Yesterday, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced seven new winners in the Agency’s open competition for development ideas. These projects are co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures WASH for Life Partnership – an initiative to support DIV grantees improving water, sanitation, and hygiene in developing countries. These seven grantees are testing new and cost-effective solutions to water challenges around the world.

The Dispensers for Safe Water Program - DIV is supporting a solution that will bring treated drinking water to more than 5 million people, all for approximately $.50 per person per year. This award is the first DIV project to transition into widespread implementation. The Dispensers for Safe Water program by Innovations for Poverty Action is not only proven to significantly improve households’ long-term adoption of treated water, but also keeps their water clean for up to 72 hours to prevent recontamination.

RAND Corporation - Capitalizing on the proliferation of mobile phones, RAND is testing how to make water filters more affordable to lower income groups through mobile payments in Kenya.

Sanergy - Sanergy is building 700 toilets, collecting human waste from these toilets, and converting it into high-quality organic fertilizer for sale to commercial farmers. Through this grant, Sanergy will provide hygienic sanitation to 70,000 residents in the slums of Kenya. - Taking a more digital approach to sanitation solutions, is using open-source mapping and mobile phones to provide community members with the tools and resources they need to raise support for improved sanitation in Ghana.

WaterSHED - Using a market-based approach to improving hygiene, WaterSHED will test how the commercial introduction of an attractive yet affordable handwashing product (the “HappyTap”) in Vietnam can encourage consistent and proper hand-washing at critical times.

Bear Valley Ventures Ltd. - Bear Valley Ventures Ltd. is developing and testing innovative anti-microbial hand cleaning products for use by families in poor urban communities who use outside sanitation facilities and often have constrained access to water. The project will develop all the elements of a social business in preparation for test market.

KickStart International – KickStart’s “MoneyMaker” irrigation pumps are proven to move people out of poverty quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably. This grantee will now test different models of financing services to make their pumps even more accessible to farmers. Around 800,000 rural farming families (or around 4 million people) in Kenya alone could benefit from using the shallow water irrigation pumps to grow more crops, increase their income, and lift themselves out of poverty.

These seven grantees in water, sanitation, and hygiene exemplify DIV’s sector-wide search for innovative and cost-effective development solutions. To learn more about DIV’s work in other areas, visit our full portfolio of solutions around the world. Twitter @DIVatUSAID