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USAID and Partner Organizations Launch U.S. Global Development Lab to End Extreme Poverty

As one of USAID's keystone partners, Plan International will focus on supporting breakthrough solutions in water, health, food security and nutrition, energy, education, and climate change, reaching 200 million people in the next five years.
As one of USAID's keystone partners, Plan International will focus on supporting breakthrough solutions in water, health, food security and nutrition, energy, education, and climate change, reaching 200 million people in the next five years.
April 4, 2014
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers keynote address at launch event

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah announced today the establishment of the U.S. Global Development Lab at an event in New York City. The launch event featured a keynote address by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been a strong supporter of the use of science, innovation and partnerships to further U.S development goals. The Lab and its 29 inaugural Cornerstone Partners will advance a science-and technology-based approach to development, creating a new global marketplace of innovations and taking them to scale to help end extreme poverty by 2030.

A U.S. Global Development Lab was a key recommendation made in the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, a sweeping evaluation led by then-Secretary Clinton on behalf of President Obama to redefine diplomacy and development to deliver results for the American people. Secretary of State John Kerry has continued to underscore the importance of science, technology, and innovation as cornerstones of the American economy and invaluable tools for engaging our foreign partners.

The Lab will support breakthrough solutions in water, health, food security and nutrition, energy, education, and climate change, reaching 200 million people in the next five years. To advance this approach, USAID is also increasing the number of scientists and technology experts in the Agency, including 65 fellows from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Reflecting the proven impact of science and innovation, USAID has increased its investments. In 2008, USAID spent roughly $127 million to support research and development. Today, the Agency spends $611 million—not only on research, but innovation and applied solutions in science and technology.

“To solve our most intractable development challenges, USAID has established a new way of working, bringing on board the best and brightest staff and new partners, all working in concert to help end extreme poverty,” said Shah. “The Lab will engage a global community of inventors, academics, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate leaders in science and technology to invent, test, and scale the most promising and cost effective solutions to end extreme poverty.”

The Lab’s Cornerstone Partners include a large cross-section of corporations: Cargill, Cisco, Coca-Cola, DuPont, GlaxoSmithKline, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Nike, Syngenta and Walmart; civil society organizations and foundations: CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Plan International, Save the Children, World Vision, the Global Impact Investing Network, the Skoll Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, and the Smithsonian Institution; universities: The University of California at Berkeley, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute, Texas A&M University, and the College of William and Mary; and a bilateral donor: Sweden.

These partners bring cutting-edge technologies, deep expertise, advanced research and development capabilities, far-reaching networks of customers, suppliers and community organizations, and more than $30 billion in independent investments in emerging markets through science, technology, innovation and partnerships.

“Plan shares USAID’s commitment to solving global development challenges through innovation and partnership,” said Tessie San Martin, President & CEO of Plan International USA. “There are very few silver bullets in development. Technology alone cannot solve the world's problems. But leveraged effectively, it can, among other things, greatly improve how we collaborate, learn, continuously adapt and ultimately scale effectively. We look forward to working closely with USAID's own innovative initiative, the Global Development Lab, to make real and sustainable impact.”

The U.S. Agency for International Development is leading the U.S. Government's efforts to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies.

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