The COVID-19 crisis is a generational moment that requires any individual, community or organization to rethink its identity and its pursuits. The world is shifting with astonishing speed, and some parts are upending completely. The Global Development Incubator (GDI), the leading organization working to build and scale the next generation of social impact solutions, is responding by reimagining systems that will work better for more people, including the most vulnerable populations, now and post-COVID-19.
GDI works with transformational development ventures, taking a strategic and hands-on approach across sectors to drive game-changing impact at scale. In collaboration with its various initiatives, GDI is ensuring that those with the mission, capabilities, and capacity to productively contribute to the COVID-19 crisis response are rapidly adjusting their strategies, plans, and budgets in order to do so. The organization is also deploying GDI’s core teams to help support efforts outside of the GDI portfolio. GDI’s response focuses on three areas:
To address health and medical needs, GDI is:
- Partnering with the Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT) to develop low cost ventilators and oxygen solutions for low resource settings.
- Supporting communications for Africa’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Exploring a variety of roles in action platforms focused on response in Africa.
To protect vulnerable populations, GDI is:
- Creating a $1M COVID-19 Refugee Entrepreneur Resilience Fund with the Refugee Investment Network.
- Activating a youth support network to address the mental health effects of isolation through citiesRISE.
- Building greater resiliency in urban areas with the Cities Investment Advisory Platform, in partnership with UN-Habitat.
- Developing a social protection platform for migrant workers in India through its work with Jan Sahas.
- Supporting ISF Advisors and the RAF Learning Lab as they rapidly publish research on the likely effects of COVID-19 on rural livelihoods.
To address economic inequality and hardship, GDI is:
- Working with Aceli Africa to address challenges with the East African food security supply chain.
- Creating an SME stability fund with the Collaborative for Frontier Finance.
- Building resilience of youth to access economic opportunity with the Global Opportunity Youth Network, a GDI initiative in 5 countries co-designed with The Aspen Institute.
From a cross-cutting work perspective, GDI is working closely with Unorthodox Philanthropy to shift its focus to key levers of crisis response, including evidence-based responses in low and middle income countries, smart de-incarceration for prison populations in the US, and food insecurity in low-income communities in the US.
Over the coming months, GDI will be exploring the most pressing opportunities to build preparedness and resilience, and to leapfrog into a more just, equal, and sustainable world. In this moment when deep inequalities across our global community have been exposed and exacerbated, the organization believes this work is more important now than ever before.