February 24, 2016


Washington, D.C. – Today, The Global Development Lab Act, a bill introduced by Congressmen Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) and Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee and moved one step closer to consideration by the full House of Representatives. The legislation authorizes and augments the capabilities of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Development Lab, an entity that applies science, technology, innovation, and partnerships to accelerate development impact and solve the world’s most pressing problems. 
“Today’s adoption of the Global Development Lab Act shows the Foreign Affairs Committee’s support for applying science and building partnerships to solve urgent, complex development challenges,” said Rep. Castro. “USAID’s Global Development Lab is revolutionizing our efforts to save lives, foster international stability, and fulfill strategic foreign policy objectives through development work overseas. Today’s legislation expands the universe of brainpower in the private sector, academia, and non-profits that the Lab can tap in its pursuit of groundbreaking solutions. With this bill, we empower the Lab not only to continue its bold work of making our planet more peaceful and prosperous for all, but to do that work more efficiently. I look forward to the full House’s consideration of this legislation that holds the potential to do so much good for humankind.”
Specifically, The Global Development Lab Act formally authorizes the Global Development Lab within USAID and would allow the Lab to:

  • Use program funding for all development purposes, including global health; 
  • Bring in term-limited technical experts in a more cost-effective manner;
  • Utilize innovation incentives, a pay-for-success model, allowing the Lab to tap into good ideas, no matter the source; and 
  • Return program income generated from Lab activities, allowing it to be more self-funding over time.

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 before the Foreign Affairs Committee today in support of the Global Development Lab Act is available here: LINK