Ideas to Impact is a programme launched by UK Department for International Development (DFID) in April 2014 to stimulate innovative solutions for challenges in climate change adaptation, energy access, and water and sanitation for the world’s poorest people or low-income households. The programme is an action-research programme: it not only aims to launch innovation prizes but also to test their efficiency and applicability to development challenges.
The programme, managed by a consortium led by IMC Worldwide is overseeing the development of a series of "innovation inducement prizes", i.e prizes that induce change through competition and that reward good performance ex-post. The programme defines innovation in a broad sense, to include the development and use of improved or new products and associated business and financing models, processes, technologies or services that are either new to the world (novel), new to a region or business (imitative) or new to the field or endeavour (adaptive.) Innovation prizes are different from a traditional "grant" application as there are a limited number of prize winners. This mean applicants usually run a higher risk than when applying for a grant, and that their chances of getting compensated for their efforts are much lower. As a result, the prestige conferred by the prize award should be attractive to justify the lower odds of winning.
The initial idea for the challenge was conceived by Trémolet Consulting, which acted as WASH Theme Leaders in the programme.