USAID, Partners Launch Lab to End Extreme Poverty

The United States Agency for International Development has announced a public-private initiative to advance a science-and-technology-based approach to international development and end extreme poverty around the globe by 2030.

In partnership with corporations, foundations, universities, and nonprofit organizations, the U.S. Global Development Lab will work to develop breakthrough solutions in water, health, food security and nutrition, energy, education, and climate change, with the goal of reaching two hundred million people over the next five years. In addition, USAID will boost the number of scientists and technology experts it employs, including sixty-five fellows from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The agency also announced a new Research and Innovation Fellowships program, which this year will send more than sixty young scientists, technology experts, and innovators to work on development challenges at universities, research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and private-sector companies in twelve developing countries.

Partners in the effort include thirteen global corporations, the Bill & Melinda Gates and Skoll foundations, the Global Impact Investing Network, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Plan, Save the Children, World Vision, the National Academy of Sciences, the Smithsonian Institution, the College of William and Mary, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute, the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke, Johns Hopkins, Michigan State, and Texas A&M universities.

"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 USAID administrator Rajiv 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."