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.