One of "22 global development organizations to watch in 2022" - Devex

Public money for international development is locked in yesterday's system, keeping tomorrow's innovators locked out of critical resources to scale solutions.

We've got a plan to fix it, today.

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Big Problems
Big Change

Climate change. A global pandemic. The challenges are getting bigger.

Constrained by regulations and business practices established decades ago, the world’s largest development agencies are struggling to keep pace and innovate at the speed we need. Many have become too dependent on a handful of large contractors that deliver too few results.

Unlock Aid stands ready to help. As a coalition of the world's most innovative organizations that work in development, we fight for the changes needed to help aid agencies become far more innovative and results-oriented. The scale of our 21st-century global challenges demands no less.

Our Vision

January 2011

“This agency is no longer satisfied with writing big checks to big contractors and calling it development.”

Former USAID Administrator Raj Shah

October 2019

“Eighty percent of all of [USAID’s] money was going to just 75 organizations…that’s a bad thing for an agency…I believe in competition and we need everybody’s best. We need everybody’s most innovative, ingenious ideas. That’s how we continue to be effective.”

Former USAID Administrator Mark Green


June 2021


Throughout much of USAID’s history, a majority of projects have been awarded to the same select group of large contractors—a reality that holds back healthy competition [and] limits our exposure to new approaches…

USAID Administrator Samantha Power



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Our Three Part Strategy to Unlock Aid

Change the rules

Advocate for legislative and executive actions that will advance our reform agenda.

Shape the market

Promote transparency and other incentives to support competitive and fair practices.

Strengthen the innovators

Share insights and experiences to build capacity and partnership among our members and supporters.

A Coalition for Change

Unlock Aid is a coalition of leaders and pace-setting organizations who are organizing to drive big structural change in global development, starting with our public institutions. Together we will unleash the power, creativity and speed of experienced innovators in development, helping to shape the market and drive faster, more sustainable and less expensive outcomes at scale.

Who We Are