White House Honors DIV Grantees at Innovation in Development Event

White House
Serge Melki

On Wednesday February 8, the White House is shining the spotlight on three DIV grantees at an event to explore how government and the private sector jointly promote science and technology innovations in global development.

Tune in at www.whitehouse.gov/live from 9:00am EST to watch the innovators deliver pitches for their development solutions.  They will share the stage with speakers from the White House, government agencies, universities, industry, and nonprofits for a discussion of innovation and global development.  Hear from:

Nikhil Jaisinghani and Brian Shaad: Mera Gao Micro Grid Power

Watch the video presentation by founders Nikhil Jaisinghani and Brian Shaad explaining how Mera Gao Power (MGP) is building village-level networks of solar power to bring electricity to rural Uttar Pradesh. 


James Habyarimana: Georgetown University

The top killer of young people aged 15-29 worldwide are road accidents.  By 2030 road injuries are projected to eclipse malaria as the fifth leading cause of death in Africa.  Professor James Habyarimana of Georgetown University will talk about his study with colleage Professor William Jack that put messages in Kenyan minibuses encouraging passengers to “Stand up! Speak up!” to the driver if they felt unsafe. Their findings were striking: road accident insurance claims fell by a half, and claims involving injury or death dropped by two-thirds – for a total project price of just $2 per DALY saved. With DIV funding, Georgetown University will expand the program to reach approximately 10,000 minibuses in Kenya. 

Read more about the grant.  

Mike Callen and James Long: The University of California, San Diego

UCSD graduate students Mike Callen and James Long will discuss their evaluation of a photo “quick count” system to monitor election fraud in Afghanistan, one of the most corrupt countries on the planet.  With DIV support, they conducted a randomized control trial1, informing half of the 417 sampled polling stations that “quick count” would be used, and comparing fraud at those polling stations to fraud at the centers that were not warned ahead of time.  What they found was a 60% reduction in the theft of election materials and a 25% drop in votes for the most well-connected candidates at the polling stations that received advanced notice of the photo monitoring. Based on this success, Qualcomm Inc. supported a successful replication of the study during Uganda’s elections in 2011.

Read more about the grant results. 

1. The link to the "Randomization" page on the Jameel-Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) website offers one definition of randomization. Others include the 3ie Impact evaluation Glossary and the World Bank's Impact Evaluation in Practice document.  See also USAID's Evaluation Policy

Last updated: February 15, 2013

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