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Demand-Driven Innovation White Paper

Date Published: 
November 4, 2013

In this paper and its accompanying website, www.demand-driven.org, we lay out the six principles that serve as the foundation of Demand-Driven Innovation. These are core areas where we can improve impact in international development if we think about how to apply common commercial practices. DDI is about bringing better business practices into international development, while making sure those practices have been translated to support the innovation that meets the needs of poor people in developing and emerging markets.

After laying out the principles, we delve into the practice of DDI, suggesting how readers can integrate DDI into their work. Because DDI principles can be implemented in diverse ways, this is not a prescriptive, how-to guide. Instead, we have drawn together questions that practitioners can ask if they want to create, deliver, and improve demand-driven innovations.

We derived these questions, plus the anecdotes to illustrate them, from our own experience and from interviews with nonprofits, companies, foundations, and international aid agencies. We propose that these DDI questions should become part of standard due diligence for designers, donors, investors, policymakers, and other people supporting innovation in poor communities.