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JULY 2019

DEVELOPMENT INNOVATION PRINCIPLES IN PRACTICE

Recognising the importance of innovation for the international development community to achieve its global ambitions, members of the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) articulated and committed to six principles for facilitating innovation in international development in a 2015 Call for Innovation. In June 2018, Development Ministers from each of the G7 member countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States) then endorsed the Whistler Principles to guide and accelerate innovation for development impact, which built on those in IDIA’s 2015 Call and added a greater focus on inclusiveness and gender.

Bridging theory and action

While shared principles are always an important mark of consensus for development actors, impact depends upon their translation into practice. To help development leaders and practitioners understand what this looks like, IDIA has created the Development Innovation Principles in Practice series, which looks at how the eight Whistler principles adopted by the G7 Development Ministers are brought to life across a range of sectors and geographies, drawing from a shared repository of over 60 innovation stories contributed by IDIA member agencies. Questions for reflection, resources and tools for practitioners looking to integrate the principles into their own practice are also included.

 

JUNE 2019

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

This paper is designed to provide an accessible and concise entry point for actors working in international development who are interested in how Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies can or will impact their work. It draws on a rapid (rather than exhaustive) review of current reports, blogs and commentaries on AI offered by experts around the world and is split into two sections:

  • Part One explores the history of AI, its current complexity and capabilities, and examples of how it is being used within development to support the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Part Two synthesises contemporary challenges to the deployment of AI in development and outlines some of the key debates that are influencing stakeholders’ approaches, alongside a selection of tools and initiatives that are advancing practice in this space.

We thank all those who have contributed to this document, especially member agencies of the IDIA Working Group on Artificial Intelligence & Development who acted as critical reviewers throughout the process.

 
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OCTOBER 2018

TOWARD BRIDGING GENDER EQUALITY & INNOVATION

This paper in the IDIA Insights series focuses on the various approaches, lessons learned, and practices gleaned from gender and innovation specialists to more holistically address gender equality and innovation. It addresses an area where limited resources currently exist, namely the nexus of gender equality and innovation. It builds on the premise that gender equality and innovation are both critical drivers to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It defines “gender equality as what is achieved when women and men, girls and boys and people of all genders have equal rights, life prospects and opportunities, and the power to shape their own lives and contribute to society.” The assertion of this guide is that gender equality and innovation are cross-cutting and indispensable approaches to addressing challenges across the development spectrum. They are also complementary, insofar as a range of gender-related obstacles, such as discriminatory norms, power hierarchies, unconscious biases and other institutional structures and social arrangements may limit the utilisation or scaling of innovations. In this way, this resource encourages active gender-responsive approaches — as compared to those that simply “do no harm” or are gender-sensitive — in order to better engage women and girls as change agents in innovation processes.

It is organised as follows:

  • Part 1 outlines Principles for applying a gendered lens to innovation, building upon the IDIA Innovation Principles.

  • Part 2 describes what it means to integrate gender equality and innovation, drawing from IDIA members’ experiences and approaches. It identifies gender-related barriers, or those related to design or innovation management processes that may limit the utilisation or scaling of innovations.

  • Part 3 presents a framework or “tool” with questions to trigger thought and action to support scaling innovations that advance gender equality. It outlines “what success may look like” at each stage of the scaling process, with a selection of resources included in the Appendix for further guidance.”

 
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JUNE 2017

SCALING INNOVATION

This paper in the IDIA Insights series focuses on various challenges, lessons learned and practices of funders seeking to take promising development innovations to scale. It draws on the experience and learning of a wide range of bilateral, multilateral, philanthropic and civil society actors who came together in a Working Group on Scaling Innovation facilitated by the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA). While it does not represent the formal strategy or approach of any one single agency in the Working Group or IDIA itself, it does reflect areas of overlapping interest and terminology that can be used as a point of reference for interested stakeholders in reflecting on, and enhancing, their own approaches and guidance on scaling innovations.

Scaling innovation is a long, complex and dynamic process. The insights contained herein will therefore benefit from regular review and iteration to accurately capture continuing advances in knowledge and practice. In its current form, this document provides a broad architecture intended to help funders as they navigate the challenging pathways associated with scaling innovation. The insights collected in this paper are also likely to be valuable in helping innovators and partner organizations develop their own scaling approaches, thereby acting as a potential catalyst for deeper and more efficient partnerships.

This paper provides a broad architecture to help funders in navigating the long and complex process of scaling innovation, while also offering guidance to help innovators and partner organisations develop and enhance their own scaling approaches.

These insights have been organised into three discrete (yet complementary and interdependent) areas:

  1. First, dividing the scaling process into six overlapping Stages, stretching on a continuum from ideation through to sustainable scale.

  2. Second, eight Good Practices have been identified across these stages to help funders of development innovation enhance the impact of their support.

  3. Finally, a matrix of Influencing Factors that will either accelerate or constrain the scaling process has been created, with guidance on how funders can use these to initially assess (and then continually monitor) the scalability of an innovation over time.

Together, these scaling stages, good practices, and influencing factors provide funders with an experiential (rather than theoretical) architecture for scaling innovation that may be helpful to inform their own approaches.

 
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JUNE 2017

GOOD PRACTICES FOR SCALING INNOVATION

This paper in the IDIA Insights series focuses on eight good practices for funders seeking to take promising development innovations to scale. It is designed to accompany the Insights on Scaling Innovation paper that draws on the experience and learning of a wide range of bilateral, multilateral, philanthropic and civil society actors who came together in a Working Group on Scaling Innovation facilitated by the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA). While these good practices do not represent the formal strategy or approach of any one single agency in the Working Group or IDIA itself, they do reflect areas of overlapping learning and experience that can be used as a point of reference for interested stakeholders in reflecting on, and enhancing, their own approaches and guidance on scaling innovations.

Scaling innovation is a long, complex and dynamic process. The good practices contained herein will therefore benefit from regular review and iteration to accurately capture continuing advances in knowledge and learning. The insights collected in this paper are also likely to be valuable in helping innovators and partner organisations develop their own scaling approaches, thereby acting as a potential catalyst for deeper and more efficient partnerships.

The eight Good Practices explored in this paper are:

  1. Understanding the problem and options for impact

  2. Defining a vision of scale

  3. Choosing a scaling pathway

  4. Assessing scalability and sustainability

  5. Identifying appropriate funder instruments and roles

  6. Exploring partnerships for scale

  7. Sequencing different kinds of support for scaling

  8. Measuring the impact and progress of scaling

 
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JUNE 2017

MEASURING THE IMPACT OF INNOVATION

This paper in the IDIA Insights series focuses on various challenges and lessons learned of funders seeking to measure the impact of development innovations they support. It draws on the experience and learning of a wide range of bilateral, multilateral, philanthropic and civil society actors who came together in a Working Group on Measuring Impact facilitated by the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA). While it does not represent the formal strategy or approach of any one single agency in the Working Group or IDIA itself, it does reflect areas of overlapping interest and terminology that can be used as a point of reference for interested stakeholders in reflecting on, and enhancing, their own approaches to measuring the impact of development innovations.

Tools and approaches to measuring impact continue to emerge and evolve at a rapid pace. The insights contained herein will therefore benefit from regular review and iteration to accurately capture continuing advances in knowledge and practice. In its current form, this document provides a broad architecture of impact domains and indicator sets intended to help funders in measure and predict the outcomes of the innovations they support. The insights collected in this paper are also likely to be valuable in helping innovators themselves and other partner organisations develop their own impact measurement approaches, thereby acting as a potential catalyst for deeper and more productive partnerships.

This paper provides a broad architecture to help guide funders in navigating the long and complex process of impact measurement, while also offering guidance to help innovators and partner organisations develop/enhance their own impact measurement approaches. It presents a high-level architecture for measuring the impact of innovation that is built around a minimal set of ‘core’ indicators, with ‘lives saved and improved’ being the ultimate measures of success. These indicators are organised in terms of three key impact domains: (1) ‘Impact on Beneficiaries’, ‘Scale’ and ‘Sustainability’, with additional guidance on what to measure when assessing the potential impact of an innovation (the ‘Leading’ Indicators) and what to measure when assessing the actual, achieved impact (the ‘Outcome’ Indicators).

 
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JULY 2015

CALL FOR INNOVATION

Over the next 30 years, the global community has an extraordinary opportunity to eradicate extreme poverty. That will not be easy, given a global context where two billion more people will be added to today's 7.3 billion; 90% of humanity will live in low and middle-income countries; and crucial new disruptive influences and demands on natural resources and human capital will need to be confronted. Finding innovative solutions to complex development challenges will be essential, driving progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and enabling billions of people to overcome hardship and reach their full potential.

In 2015, the IDIA members issued a joint 'Call for Innovation in International Development' to mark the importance of adopting new approaches to continuing development challenges. This document includes a shared IDIA definition of innovation from a development perspective, and also outlines six key Principles to facilitate innovation that were agreed by the IDIA members:

  1. Invest in locally-driven solutions

  2. Take intelligent risks

  3. Use evidence to drive decision-making

  4. Fail fast and iterate

  5. Facilitate collaboration and co-creation across sectors

  6. Identify scalable solutions

The IDIA 'Call for Innovation' is also available in French.