IDIA Training on Managing Innovation for Impact


A pioneering course in innovation management


Finding innovative solutions to address complex development challenges is essential for driving progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. As the breadth and diversity of development innovation tools and approaches continue to increase, the ability of organizations to efficiently and effectively manage innovation processes, resources and relationships becomes ever more critical. 

To help address this challenge, the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) has supported the development of a unique training course of dynamic learning and skills for innovation managers. Designed and delivered by some of the world’s leading innovation thinkers and practitioners, this course provides essential training for organisations who are committed to managing innovation for greater impact, and is broadly structured around three learning modules identified in partnership with innovation managers from around the world:

1. Catalyzing innovation

The objective of this module is to help participants understand the rationale, challenges and opportunities associated with promoting and supporting development innovation for equity and social change in different institutional and country contexts, including effective targeting of the problem and strategies to mobilise a diversity of actors to respond.

2. Managing innovation

The objective of this module is to unpack the key stages of innovation from ideation to sustainable scale, and help participants navigate the broad range of innovation tools, management approaches and financing instruments available to inform their decision-making at different points within this process.

3. Valuing innovation

The objective of this module is to help participants with assessing the value of their innovation portfolios in different ways, and then effectively communicating that value to champion productive, innovation-enabling relationships with others in their institutions and country contexts.


A unique experience for innovation managers

This course combines inspirational ‘TED-talk’ style keynote addresses from innovation leaders with a rich variety of case studies, hypothetical scenarios and first-hand experiences to give participants content and skills that are immediately relevant and applicable to their needs. Participants and faculty will work together to unpack and address the key contemporary challenges that managers in innovation-supporting agencies face in making informed decisions and impactful investments.

As a residential course, participants will be able to spend a concentrated period of time grappling with the most challenging parts of innovation management, while also building strong and lasting relationships with other students and faculty members participating in the course.

In this way, participants will benefit from the ‘cohort effect’ – the richness of experience that comes from training as part of a community. This initiative is specially designed to help build strong and sustainable relationships across the diverse cohort of faculty and participants to enable fellowship and interaction far beyond the duration of the course itself.

As participants from the 2018 training in Bellagio, Italy, remarked:

“This course was absolutely phenomenal. It had many flavours--spiritual retreat, technical seminar, networking event, and global health strategy session. There was time to learn concepts and to apply them. Some of the most valuable time was individual reflection, where one could immediately apply teachings to an important upcoming event - in my case, a convening of grantees and experts the week after the course!”

“This opportunity was incredible. Having such considerable amount of time with colleagues grappling deeply with the issues I am dealing with is incomparable.”

“Super high-quality lectures; super high-quality facilitators; super high-quality logistical arrangements; above all super talented and experienced like-minded colleagues!”


Future Training

Photo credit: ICIPE