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Fund for Innovation in Development

Our mission

A support fund for innovations with a unique methodology

Created in 2021 and chaired by Esther Duflo, co-recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, FID is an innovative development financing mechanism. At the heart of its approach: synergies between innovation and research teams to pilot, test and evaluate the impact of projects using rigorous scientific methods. FID’s ambition is to contribute, in the long term, to the transformation of public policies by supporting the scaling up of proven innovations in the fight against poverty and inequality.

The call for proposals is open all year round to all types of teams for solutions targeting low- and middle-income countries. FID particularly supports, but is not limited to, initiatives related to education, health, gender equality and climate as well as those from the 19 priority countries for French development policy.

Explore our approach
  • Identify

    We support emerging innovations with high potential

    We finance the prototyping, piloting and evaluation of emerging innovations at the first stages of their development. This gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to significantly improve the lives of the populations concerned.

  • Accelerate

    We promote synergies with research

    FID brings together the worlds of innovation and research to increase the potential for impact of solutions. Rigorous evaluation of what works and what does not provides insight for scaling up and transforming public policies.

  • Support

    We support vulnerable populations

    FID focuses on solutions targeting low- and middle-income countries, with particular attention to the priority countries in French development policy.

  • Share

    We promote knowledge sharing

    FID aims to facilitate the sharing of lessons learned from funded projects with development actors for them to target their efforts and resources on the most impactful interventions.

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Our experience

FID funds innovations that address the challenges of poverty and inequality.

  • Our story

    The Fund for Innovation in Development embodies the desire to modernise international solidarity mechanisms. It is based on the recommendations of the report "Modernisation of the partnership policy of development aid and international solidarity" submitted to the President of France by Hervé Berville in August 2018 as part of his mandate as a Member of Parliament, also based on the work carried out by Esther Duflo, 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, in support of the fight against poverty.

    FID was inaugurated in December 2020 at the Presidential Development Council.

  • A pragmatic vision of innovation

    Guided by its desire to generate an impact on the field, FID considers innovation as any solution or approach that is new in one context, proven in another, or completely new, and that is able to improve the situation of the most vulnerable populations. Depending on the problem that needs to be solved, the innovation may be technological, social or organisational in terms of the suggested approach, provided it is justified by the problem it aims to solve and corresponds to the needs of the populations it hopes to impact.

    « Ensuring that policies affecting the most vulnerable in the world are as effective as possible »

    Esther Duflo, , Economic Nobel Prize 2019 and President of FID


Our governance

FID is an independent structure hosted by the French Development Agency (AFD) based on an agreement between AFD and the French State. It is governed by its own Board of Directors, which is chaired by the development economist Esther Duflo. The board is made up of the following members.


The FID team

Headed by Juliette Seban and Claire Bernard, the permanent FID team is organised around several missions: investment, project monitoring and impact, disbursement, legal affairs, operational follow-up and communication. The entire team shares a common commitment: encouraging and accelerating innovation to meet today's development challenges.
  • FID's Directorate is composed of Juliette Seban, the Executive Director and Claire Bernard, the Deputy Director.

  • The FID is composed of a team divided into different areas of expertise.

Esther Duflo

Economist, Chairperson of the FID Board

Esther Duflo is a French-American economist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is the co-recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, along with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer. She is the youngest laureate and the second woman that has been awarded this prestigious distinction. Esther Duflo is an expert in development economics and is internationally renowned for her work on poverty. Along with her research group, she pioneered the use of randomized controlled trials in economics to scientifically demonstrate what works and what doesn't in development economics.

    The Fund for Innovation in Development

    Our values

    FID is based on values that guide its missions, its decision-making and the way it works externally and internally.

    • Making possible

      FID is governed by a desire to foster collaboration with teams from all types of organisations, from all countries (and operating in a low- and middle-income country), working in a variety of fields and, in particular, with those that may have difficulty accessing traditional funding mechanisms. FID is also committed to listening to the teams receiving partner funding in order to facilitate the implementation of projects in line with the existing framework and to adapt to the constraints they face.

    • Risking innovation

      FID wants to give promising ideas the opportunity to become a reality. With its preparatory and pilot stage grants, FID encourages experimentation and risk-taking in projects that need to demonstrate their proof-of-concept in the real world.

    • Learning together

      FID is keen to learn from the projects and research that is funded, together with the teams. By promoting dialogue between the research, development and innovation sectors, FID aims to generate and disseminate new knowledge. This learning can contribute to the wider deployment of innovations that have proven to be effective. Learning and experience will also be used to build common knowledge in the field of combating poverty and inequality.

    • Respecting a mutual requirement

      The process of awarding FID funding is demanding. Applicant teams must be able to demonstrate the potential for impact and scaling of an innovation. FID also pays attention to the design and implementation of the impact evaluations it funds. It also applies this requirement to itself. Through its performance framework, FID is committed to monitoring its results and rigorously measuring the impact of its portfolio.

    The project teams

    FID funds projects conducted by teams from all over the world

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      Your Project

      Would you like to submit a project?

      Our call for proposals is open throughout the year. You can apply at any time, work collaboratively and come back to your file as much as necessary.

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      Projects funded by FID

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      Partners commited to innovation and impact