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Rising to the challenge: how to get the best value from using prizes to drive innovation for development

Department For International Development

August 27
15:26 2020

Abstract

An innovation inducement prize enables funders to pursue development goals without them having to know in advance which approaches or participants are most likely to succeed. Innovation prizes also often directly engage with the intended beneficiaries or those connected with them, in solving the problems.

At a time when development spending is under increasing pressure to show value for money (VFM), innovation prizes are considered as an alternative to mainstream funding options. While costs are likely to have accrued through prize design and management, no cash payments are made until the prize is successfully awarded. The funder may anticipate obtaining more results than those directly paid for through the prize award.

The purpose of this report is to answer 2 questions: do innovation prizes work for development, and if so, when do they offer value over other forms of funding?

To date, few evaluations have been published that would help funders answer these questions for themselves. DFID commissioned the Ideas to Impact programme, which was delivered by an IMC Worldwide-led consortium and evaluated by Itad, to fill this gap by testing a range of innovation prizes targeted at different development issues and this report synthesises the findings from the evaluations and follow-up reviews of six of these prizes.

Citation

Brown, C., Gould, C., Stott, C., 2020. Rising to the challenge: how to get the best value from using prizes to drive innovation for development. Ideas to Impact, UK

Rising to the challenge: how to get the best value from using prizes to drive innovation for development

Published 27 August 2020