Global Development Innovation Database

This database of global development innovations is curated by Global Innovation Exchange (GIE), the largest global development innovation platform with more than 16,000 innovations that sunsetted in September 2021. In line with GIE’s public good objective, at the time of sunset, R4D created a curated database of 7,000+ innovations.

This database is designed as a resource for development professionals interested in innovation data for research or other programming. For example, it can be used to find specific innovations that fit your priorities, or to see the landscape of innovations in specific geographies or sectors. Once you download the file, it can be filtered, searched and reviewed for relevant innovations based on your needs. You may also choose to make a copy of it, or adapt it with additional/updated information for your purposes.

The file includes several tabs which have been explained on the “Export Description” tab. The two most important tabs are:

  • Innovations – this includes information about all 7,265 innovations that were publicly available on the innovation profile on Global Innovation Exchange when the file was created in August 2021.
  • Milestones – these are achievements or accomplishments by an innovation that were included on the innovation profile on GIE. There are 8 different types including country implemented in, funds raised, recognition received, key partnership, in the news, and more. For each, the file includes relevant information such as the date when it occurred, organizations/programs involved, and a link.

About the 7,265 innovations included in the database:

  • The data in this database reflects the development innovation ecosystem as recorded on Global Innovation Exchange at a particular point in time (2016-2021). This file was created in August 2021 and includes 7,267 innovations out of the 16,000+ that were on GIE at the time of sunset.
  • The 7,265 innovations were selected based on their potential to be relevant for development innovation research or other programming in the future. This includes innovations that meet either or both of the criteria below:
    • 5,843 innovations are “Verified” based on input from 50+ funders or other supporters of these innovations. This means that the innovation has at least 1 Milestone that has been verified i.e. the information for that milestone has been reviewed and confirmed for accuracy by the GIE team in partnership with the organization that funded or recognized the innovation or another equally reliable source.
    • The remaining 1,422 innovations were included because they include milestones that are particularly helpful in understanding the innovation – funds raised, recognition received, key partnership, and in the news.

Some key aspects of the database to keep in mind while reviewing:

  • The data in this database reflects the development innovation ecosystem at a particular point in time (2016-2021). GIE focused on innovations that were already being implemented in low- and- middle-income countries (LMICs) and funding opportunities for them. NOTE: Due to COVID-19, GIE’s COVID-19 Innovation Hub accepted innovations from high-income countries.
  • GIE was an innovator-led platform. Innovation profiles were managed by innovators which enabled innovators to add unlimited Milestones to the profiles. Milestones were Verified by the GIE team based on data provided by partners, and those Milestones were then locked for editing.
  • GIE data doesn’t expire. GIE was designed to showcase and highlight data and milestones to provide transparency into an innovation’s progress. We recognize that innovations pivot or even close as a result of the changes in an ecosystem or business model. The data in this export will continue to be inherently valuable to educate innovators and other innovation supporters who might be exploring/piloting similar approaches or business models to avoid “reinventing the wheel”.

Organizations interested in exploring this resource should first review the GIE Data Manifesto which provides an overview of the data on GIE which was used to develop this curated database.

Global & Regional Initiatives

R4D is a globally recognized leader for designing initiatives that connect implementers, experts and funders across countries to build knowledge and get that knowledge into practice.