Investment & innovation

Case studies that demonstrate interesting, effective or innovative approaches to the design, measurement, evaluation, and learning, from media development and journalism support initiatives.

This resource page is a work in progress. Please get in touch to let us know what is missing using this form.


According to the Brooking Institute:

Development finance is the use of public sector resources to catalyze private capital investments in developing countries. It can take many forms including direct equity investments, loans and loan guarantees, political risk insurance, and technical assistance to identify and accelerate investment projects.

Development finance institutions have been expanding in number and size in recent years to play this role. As of 2019, there were at least 17 major bilateral development finance institutions in the world, with a combined annual investment portfolio totaling more than $65 billion. (Brookings Institute 2021)

Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is USAID’s open innovation program that tests and scales creative solutions to any global development challenge. By investing in breakthrough innovations driven by rigorous evidence, USAID impacts millions of lives at a fraction of the usual cost.

The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) invests in a range of innovations with strong potential for social impact addressing key development problems at a large scale.

We define ‘innovation’ broadly to include new business models, policy practices, technologies, behavioural insights, or ways of delivering products and services that benefit the poor in developing countries — any solution that has potential to address an important development problem more effectively than existing approaches.

GIF is supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the UK, the United States Agency for International Development, the Omidyar Network, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia, the Department of Science and Technology in South Africa, Global Affairs Canada, Sint Antonius Stichting, Dioraphte, Anglo American, and Unilever. (Accurate as of March 4, 2021)

Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems. Each initiative is an experiment in the use of challenges to focus innovation on making an impact.

In its 2018 Budget, the government of Canada allocated over $900 million over 5 years to deliver the International Assistance Innovation Program (IAIP).

This pilot program will build markets to benefit the underserved, by creating conditions for better investments in developing countries. This will prove that investing in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can yield both development and financial returns. To do this, the IAIP will use one, or a combination of the following concessional financial instruments: debt (repayable contributions); guarantees; equity; and non-repayable grants and contributions.

Media Development Investment Fund

MDIF provides affordable debt and equity financing to independent media in a range of countries where access to free and independent news and information is under threat.


North Base Media

North Base Media is a specialized firm that has pioneered global digital-media investing over the last decade, successfully building top brands in many of the world’s fastest-growing markets


As people around the world get access to smartphones and broadband, audiences in Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East and Latin America are seeking out content, brands and experiences tailored to their interests.


This resource page is a work in progress. Please get in touch to let us know what is missing using this form.

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