Three startups in Mombasa, Kenya, are awarded for their unique innovations designed to curb plastic pollution in the country’s coastal region. | Credit: IDEAS

Announcing the IDEAS Mechanism

By Whitney Adams

The USAID Exploratory Programs and Innovation Competitions (EPIC) team and EnCompass are thrilled to announce a new mechanism to propel innovative solutions into action: the Innovative Design, Execution, and Acceleration Support (IDEAS) Activity

EPIC is dedicated to uncovering and fostering effective solutions to development challenges through open innovation competitions such as prizes, challenges, hackathons, and Grand Challenges. These platforms have proven to be fertile ground for breakthrough ideas in climate at USAID, including the successful Household Solar Workforce Development Challenge and Mombasa Plastics Prize. IDEAS is a new mechanism to build on this momentum, offering a robust support system for open innovation programs that encourage a broad spectrum of participants to engage in meaningful and transformative work.

IDEAS is more than just a mechanism; it's a call to action for local innovators, entrepreneurs, and non-traditional partners to bring their unique perspectives and solutions to the forefront of global development efforts. By incentivizing participation from local, private sector, and non-traditional partners, IDEAS aims to strengthen local market systems and ensure the climate solutions developed are innovative, sustainable, and deeply integrated within the communities they serve.

This activity represents a significant leap forward in how the development community approaches challenges by emphasizing the power of collaboration, innovation, and local ownership. Through IDEAS, USAID Missions, Bureaus, and Operating Units are equipped with a dynamic and flexible tool to support the discovery and acceleration of climate solutions and other pressing needs. USAID staff are invited to learn more about the IDEAS mechanism and how to get involved here.

Strategic Objective
Adaptation, Integration, Mitigation
Adaptation, Energy, Clean or Renewable Energy, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, Locally-Led Development, Private Sector Engagement, Youth

Whitney Adams

Whitney Adams is the Chief of Party for the IDEAS mechanism.

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