We've just launched an update bringing together new content and news relating to Nesta's work on innovation and development.
The words ‘international development’ often conjure up traditional images - for example, of volunteers building schools or hospitals, or campaigns calling for donations to alleviate the effects of poverty and natural disasters. Yet there has been a significant shift in recent years. Governments and charities are no longer the only actors operating in the international development space. A new breed of development ‘mutants' are shaking up the field, and bringing innovative new ideas and approaches into the mix.
At Nesta, we have become increasingly interested in understanding and shaping the use of innovation to address global development challenges. Three years ago, we launched the Development Impact and You Toolkit. This open-access and easy-to-use set of resources, drawn from an analysis of hundreds of existing tools, was designed to help development practitioners invent, adopt and adapt new ideas to achieve more impact. Since then, it has been used by thousands of individuals and organisations to improve the way they work. We’ve also created DIY Learn - an online learning programme in innovation - to help embed the use of these practices.
Alongside this, Nesta’s work on development innovation has branched out into new areas. Last year, we published an edited collection on the ‘state of the art’ with respect to innovation for international development, bringing together insights and reflections from experienced leaders in humanitarian organisations, NGOs, companies and foundations.
We’re experimenting with new methods for tackling complex development issues, such as challenge prizes designed to drive innovation in aquaculture in India and Bangladesh, and to support data-driven farming in Nepal.
We’ve also entered into ambitious partnerships with a range of new and established players in the field of international development, including UNDP, IFRC, MSF and the Institute of Development Studies.
To gather this work together in one place and create a space for conversations about the future of innovation in development, we’ve just launched a new Development Innovation and You Update. This will provide information on the use and impact of the DIY tools, share wider news and views about Nesta’s international development work, and profile innovators doing exciting work at the frontiers of the field.
You can view the first edition of our new-look update, and you can sign up to receive future mailings. We’d love to know what you think of the new format and content, and welcome suggestions of pioneering development innovators that we should be talking to going forward.