We turn bright ideas into real results - and here's the proof.

Social Rate of Return

It can take a while for innovations to scale. The working paper below contains a deep analysis of the impacts of DIV's investments during its first three years.


55 Million
Direct Beneficiaries
$5 Social Benefit
for Every $1 Spent

Is Development Innovation a Good Investment? Which Innovations Scale? Evidence on Social Investing from USAID'S Development Innovation Ventures

Michael Kremer, Sasha Gallant, Olga Rostapshova, and Milan Thomas' working paper develops an approach to assess whether the social rate of return on an innovation portfolio exceeds a benchmark even when data are limited, and then applies that approach to the early portfolio of USAID's DIV. The paper finds that DIV's overall portfolio of investments returned over $5 for every dollar spent.

The data above is from DIV innovations between 2010 and 2012.
Other Studies on DIV's Impact

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Off-Grid Solar Investments in East Africa

USAID’s Office of Economic Policy in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment conducted a cost-benefit analysis of DIV investments in four off-grid solar energy companies. The analysis found that DIV’s $8.4 million investment created an overall economic gain of $17 million in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.


Which Innovations Reach More Than 100,000 or One Million People? Evidence from the DIV Portfolio

Michael Kremer, DIV's Scientific Director, and Esther Duflo reviewed the first three years of DIV's portfolio (2010-2012). They find that the 43 innovations supported in those initial years reached 24 million people at a cost per person of only $0.75, with five innovations reaching more than one million people and six other reaching over 100,000 people.