Incentivizing Innovation in #Development
By Andrew Preston, Development Counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington.
I’ve been getting into Twitter in the last couple of weeks. I know I’m only five years later than everyone else, but I’m loving the new insights and the quirkiness of it all. Two things were “trending” on my Twitter timeline recently that, seemingly unrelated, made me reflect on the incentives shaping donor effectiveness.
The Global Development Lab
First, USAID launched its Global Development Lab (#GlobalDevLab). This happened with much fanfare, including an event with Secretary Clinton (and a gazillion tweets!). There’s good coverage in Nature, the Guardian, Time, and DEVEX.
A HT (that’s ‘hat tip’ for Twitter newbies like me) to @RajShah for establishing this. Arguably, it represents the culmination of his vision and priorities over the last three years. It encapsulates his focus on science, evidence and innovation. It embodies his focus on “open source development,” encouraging USAID to engage with a much broader range of development actors, including universities, students, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders across the world. The lab’s stated purpose is “to discover, test, and scale breakthrough development innovations to solve development challenges faster and cheaper in support of US foreign policy and development goals and to accelerate the transformation of USAID as the world’s premier development agency.”