For those in the international development community – be they governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and/or development agencies – innovation and scaling therefore require a commitment to doing things differently, and to find new ways of working together that transcend traditional boundaries to deliver greater impact, more quickly attained. This is particularly important given that many agencies working in development are already challenged by the need to achieve more with limited or reduced resources.
In response to this challenge, The Rockefeller Foundation provided leadership and resources to convene some of the world’s leading development innovation funders in early 2015 to form The International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) – a collaborative platform with the shared goal of “actively promoting and advancing innovation as a means to help achieve sustainable development”, including through the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
At the heart of this Alliance is a commitment to exchange innovation-related knowledge and learning across organisational, sectoral and geographic boundaries. This shared learning is critical not only to collaboratively enhance the development of new products, services and ways of working, but to also ensure that the lessons arising from both success and failure can be disseminated to inform the more efficient adaptation and scaling of innovations within different countries, populations and contexts.
By leveraging the extensive knowledge and experience of its members, IDIA therefore seeks to stimulate the co-production of public goods that support innovation and, at the country level, hasten the creation of strong ‘innovation ecosystems’, in which favorable policy and regulatory frameworks, open data systems and domestic resourcing come together for innovation to thrive.
To promote and advance innovation as a means to help achieve sustainable development.
IDIA seeks to achieve its Mission by sharing knowledge, experiences and insights; identifying and addressing gaps in the innovation ecosystem; and collaborating to develop public goods that support innovation, including pooling resources as appropriate.
We believe that innovation thrives best when facilitated by a strong ecosystem of favourable enabling conditions, including better policy and regulatory frameworks, open data and standards, and expanded access for innovators to resources. More effectively tapping into capital flows through blended finance, for instance, will harness additional resources that far exceed the current capital available for poverty reduction. The same is true when the development of science, technology and innovation (STI) capabilities is promoted, by strengthening the regulatory, infrastructure, and human capacity foundations that support the growth of local STI ecosystems.
In support of its mission, IDIA has articulated three main objectives:
Increasing understanding and visibility of innovation among a wide variety of stakeholders as a path to support sustainable development, including governments, private sector actors and civil society in the Global South.
Sharing data, instruments and experience to develop common platforms for supporting innovation from idea to scale.
Helping to build sustainable innovation ecosystems at the local level by engaging and supporting governments and institutions in the Global South that are mobilising domestic resources for development innovation.