Unlock Aid is the world’s leading coalition of social innovators driving policy changes to transform the U.S. approach to global development

Our North Star

Our world’s current, collective effort to solve global challenges does not operate with the urgency, flexibility and innovation required to succeed. Established systems perpetuate the status quo and underutilize high-impact technologies and strategies that have enormous potential to address inequities and improve outcomes. Climate change, pandemics and humanitarian crises accelerate our rapidly closing window of opportunity. We must act now.


Unlock Aid started as a research project. In 2021, we surveyed more than 60 of the world’s leading social innovators to ask what kept them from working with the world’s largest development agencies. We published our findings and then pooled our resources to solve the problems we identified.

Since then, Unlock Aid has built the world’s leading coalition of social innovators driving policy changes to transform government, including more than 50 social enterprises, research universities, multinationals, and philanthropies, and spanning more than 20 countries in sectors like health, energy, food, education, water, and more. We’ve methodically built our coalition, brand, and influence. But our North Star is unchanged.

If we’ll have any chance of stopping the next pandemic, combating global food insecurity, or adapting to a changing climate, we’ll need to operate with greater urgency, flexibility, and innovation. We need big changes now.


Drive policy changes through advocacy

Learn more about our 2023 policy platform, as well as our campaigns: to pass the Fostering Innovation in Global Development Act (FIGDA), change contracting and transparency policies at USAID, and back up USAID's commitments with action by changing the way the agency spends $17 billion in global health.

Convene entrepreneurs, big thinkers, and uncommon bedfellows to drive change

Learn more about our SDGs Moonshot Accelerator, which generated proposals to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, like this one, adopted by the White House to create a Plant Genome Project to solve global food insecurity.

Now we're going on the road again to build a new political coalition to support a re-architecting of the US approach to global development, with a focus on promoting sustainable economic growth, innovation, and transitioning away from project-based aid models in favor of country- and community-led ones.

Shift the narrative

We need a 21st-century approach to global development – and we're changing the narrative in Washington, DC and elsewhere around the world about what it's going to take. Subscribe to our Substack or read about our work in publications like these:

Our coalition

With generous support from
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