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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Castro, McCaul Introduce Bipartisan International Development Legislation

Oct 25, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Michael McCaul (TX-10), both members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced legislation aiming to make the United States’ international development efforts more impactful and cost-efficient. The Global Development Lab Act 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. The House of Representatives previously passed the Global Development Lab Act in the 114th Congress.

“If the United States hopes to meaningfully address the numerous intractable challenges confronting the world, we must expand the universe of problem solvers we engage. The Global Development Lab does just that, essentially crowd sourcing solutions to big problems like hunger, illiteracy, and disease,” said Rep. Castro. “The Lab is a worthwhile investment in the future of humankind – in fact, it’s designed to save the government more money than it costs. Convening the expertise of academia, the private sector, and non-profits, we will be able to draw on a range of specialized knowledge and bypass hurdles that have held back innovation in the past.”

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
  • Have greater flexibility to use program income more effectively.

“At a time when our nation continues to face some of the most challenging global crises in recent history, we must continue to make smart investments in effective solutions,” said Rep. McCaul. “Through the use of scientific and technical innovations in collaboration with the private sector, the Global Development Lab has played a critical role in mitigating the effects of outbreaks, such as Ebola, and reducing global poverty. That is why I am proud to introduce the Global Development Lab Act with my Texas colleague Congressman Castro, which will further enhance the important work of the lab and sharpen a critical tool used to improve the lives of millions of people and American foreign policy abroad.”  

The U.S. Global Development Lab seeks to spur revolutionary development innovations by sourcing, testing, and scaling proven solutions to help hundreds of millions of people lift themselves out of poverty. The Lab aims to accelerate the evolution of the development enterprise by seeking input from people everywhere who have promising ideas; expanding existing and encouraging new partnerships; putting data and evidence to use; and capitalizing on technological and scientific advances.

More information about the Lab’s projects and partnerships is available here: LINK