Investment in science, technology, and innovation has enabled some developing countries to graduate to middle-income status over the past two decades. But economic growth has also widened inequalities in these countries: while some people have prospered, a billion of the world’s poorest — people earning less than $1.25 a day — live within the same borders.
With few exceptions, most innovations do not improve the lives of the poorest. At the same time, a significant amount of innovative activity takes place in the growing informal sectors that operate outside of formal channels in developing countries. Take, for example, the thousands of informal vehicle-repair shops and metal works in Ghana that create products out of available material to meet local needs. The formal sector rarely supports these types of endeavours, and so their impact tends to be limited.
IID aims to better understand how innovation in the informal sector can improve livelihoods and contribute to inclusive development.
Read our 2011-2016 program prospectus