Innovation prizes also often directly engage with the intended beneficiaries or those connected with them, in solving the problems. At a time when development spending is under increasing pressure to show value for money (VFM), innovation prizes are considered as an appealing alternative to mainstream funding options. While costs are likely to have accrued through prize design and management, no cash payments are made until the prize is successfully awarded. The funder may anticipate obtaining more results than those directly paid for through the prize award.
The purpose of this report is to answer two questions: do innovation prizes work for development, and if so, when do they offer value over other forms of funding?
To date, few evaluations have been published that would help funders answer these questions for themselves. DFID commissioned the Ideas to Impact programme to fill this gap by testing a range of innovation prizes targeted at different development issues and this report synthesises the findings from the evaluations and follow-up reviews of six of these prizes.