September 22, 2016


Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressmen Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) and Michael McCaul’s (R-TX-10) legislation aiming to make the United States’ international development efforts more impactful and cost-efficient. The Global Development Lab Act (H.R. 3924), authorizes and augments the capabilities of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) U.S. Global Development Lab, an entity that applies science, technology, innovation, and partnerships to accelerate development impact and solve the world’s most pressing development issues. 

“Every day through its international development work, the United States acts as a powerful force for good around the world,” said Rep. Castro. “USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab strengthens those efforts by essentially democratizing problem solving and crowdsourcing ideas to find solutions to our most pressing development challenges. The Lab allows us to focus our resources, and leveraged resources from non-government partners, on projects with proven results. Identifying and supporting the most effective strategies for combatting poverty, disease, hunger, and oppression will help us change millions of lives for the better at a fraction of the cost we otherwise would have incurred. I’m proud the House of Representatives gave this bipartisan measure such strong support and demonstrated our institution’s commitment to improving conditions for humankind.”

Specifically, The Global Development Lab Act formally authorizes the Global Development Lab within USAID and would allow the Lab to:

  • Utilize innovation incentive awards, a pay-for-success model, allowing the Lab to tap into good ideas, no matter the source;
  • Bring in term-limited technical experts in a more cost-effective manner; and
  • Gives the Lab greater flexibility to use program income more effectively.

“I applaud the House passage of this legislation and thank Representative Castro and his staff for their hard work on this important issue,” said Rep. McCaul. “Since its creation in 2014, the Global Development Lab has been critical to the U.S. development effort to help mitigate the effects of food shortages, conflict, and other economic hardships abroad. By fostering public-private partnerships, and fusing together science, technology and innovation, the Lab has been able to produce cost-efficient, transformational breakthroughs that have improved the lives of millions in impoverished countries abroad.”

The U.S. Global Development Lab seeks to produce breakthrough development innovations by sourcing, testing, and scaling proven solutions to help hundreds of millions of people lift themselves out of poverty. Furthermore, the Lab aims to accelerate the transformation of the development enterprise by opening development to people everywhere with good ideas, promoting new and deepening existing partnerships, bringing data and evidence to bear, and harnessing scientific and technological advances.
Examples of efforts the Lab is currently undertaking include: helping healthcare workers on the front lines provide better care and stop the spread of Ebola; creating new water management technology to support food production in developing and emerging countries; pursuing medical and technological advances to reduce time-of-birth health problems in poor, low-resource communities; and seeking innovations to improve child literacy around the world. More information about projects like these that the Lab undertook in 2015 can be found here: LINK  
The Lab partners with businesses, NGOs, foundations, universities, and governments that contribute cutting-edge technologies, advanced research and development capabilities, deep expertise, and far-reaching networks of customers, suppliers, and community organizations. A list of current partners can be found here: LINK

Video of Congressman Castro speaking on the House floor about H.R. 3924 is available here: LINK