IDEA's vision for USAID

Two years ago, the world’s largest bilateral aid agency opened an Office of Innovation and Development Alliances, and earlier in 2013, its inaugural leader announced she would leave her post at the end of June.

What can the rest of the U.S. Agency for International Development learn from the IDEA office? Should USAID be “remade” in its image, as some of the agency’s leaders seem to think?

We asked Maura O’Neill, chief innovation officer and senior counselor to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, earlier this month on the fringes of the 2013 Global Diaspora Forum in Washington, D.C.

O’Neill also discussed in our conversation IDEA’s biggest accomplishments  from the Development Innovation Ventures to small grants programs  as well as how the agency chooses its partners and evaluates the success of a collaboration.

It’s a compelling look at an IDEA that is helping to change the business of development.

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    Rolf Rosenkranz

    Rolf Rosenkranz oversees a talented team of in-house journalists, correspondents and guest contributors located around the globe. Since joining Devex in early 2008, Rolf has been instrumental in growing its fledgling news operation into the leading online source for global development news and analysis. Previously, Rolf was managing editor at Inside Health Policy, a subscription-based news service in Washington. He has reported from Africa for the Johannesburg-based Star and its publisher, Independent News & Media, as well as the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, a German daily.

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