About the U.S. Global Development Lab

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The U.S. Global Development Lab serves as an innovation hub. We take smart risks to test new ideas and partner within USAID and with other actors to harness the power of innovative tools and approaches that accelerate development impact.

Our Mission

Working collaboratively with the Agency and our external partners, the Lab's mission is two-fold:

  • To produce breakthrough development innovations by sourcing, testing, and scaling proven solutions to reach hundreds of millions of people
  • To accelerate the transformation of the development enterprise by opening development to people everywhere with good ideas, promoting new and deepening existing partnerships, bringing data and evidence to bear, and harnessing scientific and technological advances.

Our Approach

If we are going achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and end extreme poverty as we know it, we need to bring together diverse partners to catalyze the next generation of breakthrough innovations. That is why USAID established the Lab in 2014.

The Lab operates under a set of guiding principles. We are:

  • Open and Inclusive - Drawing upon the ingenuity of people from around the world.

  • Evidence-based - Investing based on strong evidence of impact.

  • Catalytic - Attracting the support of others to enable sustainable development solutions that reach massive scale.

  • Agile - Creating fast feedback loops that enable continuous learning and performance improvement.

Our focus on leveraging the promise of science, technology, innovation, and partnership reflects USAID’s broad embrace of innovation to bring about positive change and solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. We are aligned around five core objectives to increase the impact of our efforts.

  • Science:  We channel the technical expertise of scientists and researchers to build local scientific capacity, empowering people with tools for change, and use the evidence from scientific research to drive new policies and programs.

  • Technology:  We work to increase access to digital financial services and the internet, in part by strengthening enabling environments. We also increase the use of evidence, data, and analytics for better decision-making.  

  • Innovation: We identify, test, and accelerate new tools that have evidence of impact, sustainable financing, and reach. We also increase the adoption of high-impact solutions and the effective use of innovation methods by the Agency.

  • Partnership:  We work with impact investors to catalyze private capital for early-stage businesses and strengthen the environment for entrepreneurship. We also manage USAID’s signature public-private partnership model, the Global Development Alliance, and work to catalyze new models for collective action.

  • Cross-cutting Activities:  We work to advance USAID’s development goals and increase its impact by mainstreaming the use of science, technology, innovation, and partnership to address cross-cutting international development issues.

Our Staff

We have a diverse and specialized staff of scientists, engineers, technology and partnership experts, former venture capitalists, and program and administrative specialists. Meet the Lab's senior leadership.

Learn More

To get the latest information about the Lab, sign up for the Lab's Newsletter.


  • Learn how the Lab uses Science, Technology, Innovation, and Partnership to solve some of the world’s most intractable challenges.
  • Find out how you can Work with the Lab as we seek to develop new tools and approaches to more effectively and sustainably reach USAID's development objectives and mainstream proven solutions.
  • Read the latest fact sheet about the U.S. Global Development Lab.