H.R. 3924, Global Development Lab Act of 2016

H.R. 3924

Global Development Lab Act of 2016

Rep. Joaquin Castro

September 21, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On­­­­ Wednesday, September 21, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 3924, the Global Development Lab Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 3924 was introduced on November 4, 2015 by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by unanimous consent on February 24, 2016.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3924 codifies the Global Development Lad within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Specifically, the legislation provides the authority to: provide innovation and incentive awards through a “pay-for-performance” model, whereby innovators receive funding only after demonstrating success; use program funds to hire up to 30 staff on a term-limited basis to help the Lab retain subject matter experts on an “as needed” basis; recover a portion of the Lab’s initial investment in an innovation that generates revenue so other Lab activities can be funded.


The Global Development Lab was created in 2014 after the offices of Science & Technology and Innovation & Development Alliances were streamlined and merged into a single entity. The Lab brings together a diverse set of partners to discover, test, and scale breakthrough solutions to end extreme poverty by 2030.[1]

The Lab finds new ideas for solving development challenges and improves lives by speeding up the adoption of the most promising breakthrough innovations. In addition, it fosters catalytic networks and engages non-traditional stakeholders to identify, address, and propose solutions for development challenges, while proactively seeking to build partnerships to leverage the combined skills, assets, technologies, and resources of public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Finally, the Lab works to use science, technology, innovation, and partnerships as tools to accelerate USAID’s developments objectives around the world, as well as strengthens USAID’s evidence base and build its capacity to apply cutting-edge data analysis and research.[2]

According to the bill sponsor, “USAID’s Global Development Lab is revolutionizing our efforts to save lives, foster international stability, and fulfill strategic foreign policy objectives through development work overseas. Today’s legislation expands the universe of brainpower in the private sector, academia, and non-profits that the Lab can tap in its pursuit of groundbreaking solutions. With this bill, we empower the Lab not only to continue its bold work of making our planet more peaceful and prosperous for all, but to do that work more efficiently. I look forward to the full House’s consideration of this legislation that holds the potential to do so much good for humankind.”[3]

[1] See https://www.usaid.gov/GlobalDevLab/about
[2] Id.
[3] See Rep. Castro’s Press Release, February 26, 2016.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally estimated that implementing H.R. 3924 would cost $50 million over the 2017-2021 period, subject to appropriations. However, the amended version of the bill being considered strikes the annual authorization or appropriations. CBO further estimates enacting H.R. 3924 would not affect direct spending or revenues and pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. Further, H.R. 3924 would not increase direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.