USAID and Gates Foundation award seven DIV grants

The U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation issued seven new development innovation ventures grants last week as part of USAID's open competition for development ideas.

The seven projects are co-funded by the Gates Foundation and USAID's Development Innovation Ventures WASH for Life Partnership, an initiative to support DIV grantees that support the improvement of hygiene, sanitation and water in the developing world. The seven grantees are testing new, cost-effective solutions to worldwide water challenges.

The awardees include The Dispensers for Safe Water Program, RAND Corporation, Sanergy,, WaterSHED, Bear Valley Ventures, Ltd. and KickStart International.

The Dispensers for Safe Water Program will use the money to develop and implement a system to improve households' long-term adoption of treated drinking water for approximately 50 cents per year. The RAND Corporation is using the grant to test how to make water filters more affordable in Kenya to lower income groups through the use of mobile payments. Sanergy is constructing 700 toilets, collecting the waste and converting it into high-quality organic fertilizer to sell, providing hygienic sanitation to 70,000 residents in Kenyan slums. is using open-source mapping and mobile phones to give community members in Ghana the tools and resources needed to improve sanitation. WaterSHED will test the introduction of a hand washing product in Vietnam to encourage consistent and effective hand washing. Bear Valley Ventures, Ltd., will develop anti-microbial hand cleaning products for poor urban families. KickStart International will test different financing service models to make its MoneyMaker irrigation pumps more accessible to farmers.

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U.S. Agency for International Development

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