Walter Kerr

Unlock Aid

Big Idea: 
More effective development aid policies

Big Aid is a key Payer at Scale for many solutions. Massive development contractors are the only ones who currently can access it. As a result, Big Aid funds projects not solutions, perpetuating the cycle of poverty that the money is designed to unlock. Unlock Aid aims to change the rules of how development works, starting with USAID’s $23 billion budget. They do this through advocacy, engagement with civil service staff, and a coalition of high-impact organizations (including many from Mulago’s portfolio like One Acre Fund, Food4Education, and SaveLife Foundation).

Walter is a former US diplomat and social entrepreneur. While working for a technology company that worked in South Asia, Africa, and Latin America, Walter was dumbfounded by how hard it was to work with donors to drive better outcomes. After meeting dozens of social entrepreneurs who shared his frustrations, Walter co-founded Unlock Aid to build a community and coalition for social enterprises to reform U.S. foreign assistance and unlock billions of dollars for high-impact solutions.

Rainer Arnhold Fellows