iDE Global

Press Release: iDE Announced as Vanguard Member of the Million Lives Club - 11 Dec 2020

The Million Lives Club celebrates innovators and social entrepreneurs who are scaling impact in improving the lives of those living on less than $5 a day.

December 11, 2020

Contact: KC Koch, iDE Vice President of Global Communications and Marketing

iDE is pleased to announce that they have been selected as an official Vanguard member of the Million Lives Club, an initiative that celebrates innovators and social entrepreneurs who are scaling impact in improving the lives of those living on less than $5 a day.

iDE is an international nonprofit and social enterprise incubator that believes the best way to end poverty is to empower entrepreneurs. iDE coaches businesses that improve their communities and stimulates the market ecosystems in which they operate, helping them to succeed and multiply. 

In 2019, iDE reached an incredible milestone: over one million toilets have been sold and installed by iDE trained and supported businesses involved in our “Building Markets for Sanitation” efforts. Today, that number is 1,077,970—making iDE's rural sanitation marketing program the world's largest.

Our sanitation marketing efforts have reached six countries: Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Cambodia, Nepal, and Vietnam. In each context, we start with a human-centered design assessment that leads to a product and delivery model tailored to local customer needs and market conditions. In addition, we utilize an innovative management information system to track individual sales and installations, giving us unprecedented insight into how the market is responding to our sanitation efforts. The Cambodia Rural Sanitation DIB—the world’s first Development Impact Bond for sanitation—launched in 2019 as a partnership between iDE, USAID, and the Stone Family Foundation and aims to eradicate the high rates of open defecation in the country.

“We are thrilled to be welcomed into the Million Lives Club. Not only do we share a commitment to scaling deep impact, we also share a dedication to starting with people, which is why we employ human-centered design practices. It’s that deep understanding of the families we serve that fuels our ability to reach the poorest households with improved sanitation, ensuring that all people benefit from the drive towards universal sanitation.” —Lizz Ellis, CEO of iDE

Design to scale from day one

Since our founding, reaching scale has been the cornerstone of iDE’s market-based development approaches in agriculture, clean water, climate resilience, and sanitation. In our first 29 years, we increased income and livelihood opportunities for 20 million people living in extreme poverty. In 2015, we set a goal to double that number in a fraction of the time. As 2020 comes to a close, we’ve reached over 35 million people, and despite the global pandemic, we’re just 5 million away from our goal. 

iDE aims for meaningful impact through empowering entrepreneurs to earn a livelihood. Based on a three-year rolling average, iDE estimates that its programs currently increase annual incomes for those it serves by $272. iDE commits to turning every dollar donated to iDE into at least $10 of annual income for a family living in poverty.

About iDE

iDE is a global development organization that advances market-based approaches in agriculture; access to finance; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to create income and livelihood opportunities for economically and socially disadvantaged households. iDE has made a difference for more than 35 million people by developing inclusive market ecosystems that allow more people to participate in the economy, exercise choice through economic freedom, and achieve their aspirations. With offices in 14 countries around the world and employing nearly 1,200 people, 96% of whom are local, iDE creates real change that gives people the power to prosper on their own terms. By constantly evaluating their impact and tracking data for every program implemented globally, iDE guarantees an average social return on investment of a minimum of $10 in annual income or livelihood savings for every dollar they receive. 

About The Million Lives Club

The Million Lives Club recognizes the importance of a customer-centric focus in global development and believes that collectively highlighting social innovators who have reached a transformative number of clients will act as a powerful platform to encourage the uptake and scaling of innovations for good, everywhere. 

The Million Lives Club seeks to nurture innovation ecosystems by recognizing innovators and social entrepreneurs whose innovations have scaled to serve 1 million customers, or are rapidly approaching this milestone. The Million Lives Club is an initiative inspired by members of the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) and supported by a growing partnership of leading development organizations. For more information, visit


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