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Thursday, September 28 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Partnering for Evidence-based Innovation with the Private Sector: The Global Innovation Fund

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In 2012, USAID had begun to see successes from and generate excitement around its Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) program - the Agency’s tiered, evidence-based, open innovation fund. USAID and DFID began discussing ways to enable other donors, like DFID, to take part in this type of model. Two years later, USAID announced the launch of the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), a non-profit innovation fund supported by USAID, DFID, Swedish SIDA, Omidyar Network, and Australian DFAT. GIF’s design was originally inspired by the programmatic approach and experience of DIV at USAID, and USAID served as one of GIF’s founding funders, helping to crowd in other bilateral funders. Nearly three years into the launch of the fund, this panel will feature GIF leadership and supporters reflecting on lessons learned from this partnership model for supporting evidence-based innovation.

avatar for Alix Zwane

Alix Zwane

CEO, Global Innovation Fund
Alix Peterson Zwane is Chief Executive Officer of the Global Innovation Fund. She has 20 years of experience advancing the agenda of evidence-based aid and international development as an investor, a social entrepreneur, and an innovator herself. Alix has worked at the intersection of the evidence and innovation agendas from a diverse set of posts. She was the first employee and Executive Director at Evidence Action, a non-profit that develops service delivery models to scale evidence-based programs. Under... Read More →

avatar for Mari Kuraishi

Mari Kuraishi

Co-founder & President, GlobalGiving
Mari co-founded GlobalGiving with Dennis Whittle, and currently leads the organization. In 2011, Mari was named one of Foreign Policy's top 100 Global Thinkers for "crowdsourcing worldsaving." Before GlobalGiving, she worked at the World Bank where she managed and created some of the Bank's most innovative projects including the first ever Innovation and Development Marketplaces, and the first series of strategic forums with the World Bank's president and senior management. Mari also designed a range of investment projects in the Russia reform program, including a residential energy efficiency project, structural adjustment loans, and legal reform project. She currently serves as chair of the board... Read More →
avatar for Ben Leo

Ben Leo

CEO & Co-founder/Visiting Fellow, Fraym/Center for Global Development
Ben Leo is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD) and a member of the Center’s Advisory Group. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Copernicus.io, an Africa data analytics firm. Copernicus is a proprietary geospatial platform that provides reliable and representative data on almost any customizable geographic area across the African continent. Until October 2016, Leo served as a CGD senior fellow. His research focused on the rapidly changing development finance environment, with a particular emphasis on private capital flows, infrastructure, and debt dynamics. In addition, he tested a range of new technological methods for collecting high-frequency information about... Read More →
avatar for Kola Masha

Kola Masha

Managing Director, Babban Gona
Kola is the Managing Director of Babban Gona. He holds the same position at Doreo Partners, an agriculture focused, African impact investing firm. Prior to founding Doreo and Babban Gona, Kola was the Managing Director and CEO of a major subsidiary in the Notore Group, one of... Read More →
avatar for David McKenzie

David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, Finance and Private Sector Development Unit, World Bank
David McKenzie is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group, Finance and Private Sector Development Unit. He received his B.Com.(Hons)/B.A. from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. Prior to joining the World Bank, he spent four years as an assistant professor of Economics at Stanford University. His main research is on migration, enterprise development, and methodology for use with developing country data. He has published more than 100 articles in journals such as... Read More →

Thursday September 28, 2017 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Amphitheater Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center