This is the response to a DEWPoint helpdesk request for a quick literature review on innovation prizes, focusing in particular on where they have been used to advance social or development goals. It looks at the range of Inducement Prizes which provide rewards, both financial and reputational, for the achievement of predetermined achievements, most often achievements that would not have been accomplished otherwise. It considers the question ‘What is an inducement prize?’; The pros and cons of prizes compared to other aid modalities; who is using prizes; whether prizes are effective; prizes for social and development goals (with reference to agricultural innovation in Africa; energy and climate change mitigation prizes; and institutional and macroeconomic change); and developing world examples of prizes for social and/or development gain (The Energy Innovation Contest; Ashoka’s Changemakers; and a number of other examples of prizes from India). Key lessons and points are listed, and challenges are identified.
This report was produced by DEW Point, a Resource Centre for Environment, Water and Sanitation, that was funded by DFID and managed by a consortium of companies led by Harewelle International Limited. The Resource Centre closed in 2012.
Everett, B. Literature review of innovation prizes and their use for social/development objectives. Draft Report, December 2010. DEW Point, Blisworth, UK (2010) 20 pp.