DIV wants to clearly understand what development impacts the solution will achieve - such as higher income or lower mortality rates. Even early-stage innovations should have an evidence-informed theory of change.
We look for an honest assessment of what makes yours better and more cost-effective than alternatives. The point of comparison is any alternative ways of achieving the development outcomes you claim; this means you should be thinking of your competition as all the products, services, and approaches that can achieve the development outcome you care about, even if the product, service, or approach is unlike yours. If you think you have no competition, you don’t fully understand your customers or beneficiaries and/or don’t fully understand your market.
A broad understanding of the problem you will address is great. Even better is an understanding of the potential impact on the specific setting of the proposed activities (or the smallest unit of analysis that includes that setting).
We can’t think about unit economics and cost-effectiveness without understanding costs. Strong applicants include all costs, from production to implementation. If you don’t know how much it costs, estimate and be clear about the assumptions that form your estimate.