Fund for Innovation in Development

Testing, accelerating and scaling innovations to reduce poverty and inequality, drawing on rigorous scientific evaluation in order to transform public policy.

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The ambition and objectives of FID

The ambition of FID is to support innovation in the service of
the fight against poverty and inequality.
It allows innovators from all types of organizations – research institutions, NGOs, governments, companies – to test new ideas, experiment and demonstrate what works on the basis of proven scientific evaluation approaches, and scale the most effective solutions with the most positive and lasting impact.
FID offers flexible financing via staged grants for emerging or growing innovations.

Support the scaling up and adoption of the best programs as part of more effective public policies

Encourage and facilitate innovation, wherever it might come from

Rigorously evaluate new ideas through collaboration with the research community

FID in a few words…

Esther Duflo 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics

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Hervé BervilleSecretary of State for the Sea

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Rémy RiouxDirector general of the Agence française de développement and president of the IDFC

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Who are we ?

A key initiative of the President of the Republic in favor of the modernization of French official development assistance, the Fund for Innovation in Development is a new and ambitious financing mechanism.
Its mission is to promote and accelerate innovative solutions with high potential for transformation, in response to major global development challenges and based on the rigor of scientific evaluation and experimentation.

FID provides support at the intersection of cutting-edge research development economics and innovative ideas.
It opens up access to flexible grant funding at each stage of innovation development to test ideas in real conditions, take risks, demonstrate what works and deploy the most effective solutions at scale.

Our approach

FID takes a broad view of « innovation », considering any solution with strong potential to achieve development impact at scale in less costly, faster or otherwise more feasible ways than existing approaches. FID seeks to support any innovation that more effectively or efficiently addresses poverty and inequality around the world.

  • “There are many promising ideas for policies and programs that might alleviate poverty, but only by testing these rigorously can we identify those that actually work. Building evidence on how these ideas perform at a variety of levels of scale and across different contexts can help us learn from experience and develop durable solutions that are ready for widespread adoption. Innovation can be transformative, but it is a process that requires multiple steps and a flexible funding structure to reflect this and meet its potential.”

    Esther Duflo

    President of the FID Board of Directors, Development economist, Nobel laureate 2019

  • “New solutions are emerging globally that provide more sustainable and equitable ways of responding to development challenges. International development policy needs to create space for these innovative approaches and place them at the heart of our relations with developing countries, while empowering citizens in the search for solutions.”

    Hervé Berville

    Secretary of State for the Sea

What impact?


FID will accept applications for innovations in any sector, but specifically encourages applications for innovations in education, health, climate change, and gender equality.


FID is open to applications from all around the world, that propose work in any low- and middle-income country, and will explicitly encourage innovations targeting particularly acute problems of marginalized populations.

Who can apply ?

FID will accept applications from nearly any type of applicant (independently or in partnership with others), including: research institutes, governments, NGOs, for-profit companies, etc. However individuals applying independently will be excluded from eligibility

Innovation Funding by FID

FID deploys different stages of funding, depending on the level of maturity of the innovation
Find out more about each stage of funding

Stage 0

Prepare grants

These grants support the development of proposals for Stage 1, 2 or 3 grants

UP TO €50K

Stage 1


Pilot stage of innovations that are early in development and need real-world testing to refine the basic model and establish the viability of the innovation at small scale.

UP TO €200K

Stage 2

Test and Position for Scale

The further testing and continued growth of innovations to assess the likelihood that they can achieve both impact and viability at a larger scale.

UP TO €1.5M

Stage 3

Transition to Scale

Transition of rigorously tested and validated solutions to widespread scaling.


Transforming Public Policy

Institutionalization of specific innovations that are intended to be highly catalytic for public policy transformations, or creation of a pipeline within public administrations to test and scale such innovations.

UP TO €500K

Award Criteria

Rigorous evidence of impact on improving the lives of people living in poverty.Evidence of clear, measurable outcomes demonstrate what works in development. FID relies on rigorous evidence of impact in determining which applications to fund and also supports research to generate evidence on development innovations. FID will evaluate applications against this criterion based on existing evidence and the proposed theory of change.

Cost-effectiveness of the innovation in improving development outcomes.FID invests in solutions that have the potential to deliver more impact for every euro than existing solutions. Taking a best-in-class approach to cost-effectiveness, FID seeks innovations that can demonstrate better results at lower cost or be more effective at addressing the development challenge than alternative solutions. An innovation can increase its cost-effectiveness either by reducing its cost or by increasing its impact.

Potential for scale and sustainability.FID’s ultimate goal is to support impactful development solutions that will scale to improve millions of lives while being financially sustained through the public and/or private sector. Innovations must demonstrate a viable pathway for scaling-up and be able to demonstrate that the innovation will ultimately be able to grow without continued FID support and be sustained over a period of time that is necessary to achieve development impact.

FID partners

Join us in the FID adventure!

Take part in the adventure! FID’s call for proposals is open throughout the year, to identify and select the most innovative and impactful solutions.

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