About the Competition

What is Diaspora Partnership Accelerator?

The Diaspora Partnership Accelerator (DPA) is a pilot project designed to bring innovative voices and perspectives to USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA)’s approach to diaspora engagement in order to:

A. Better identify and prioritize the humanitarian needs affecting vulnerable communities

B. Design and implement better solutions to those problems

C. Test an innovative partnership model with new and non-traditional actors

The Diaspora Partnership Accelerator seeks to empower diaspora, in conjunction with beneficiary communities, to identify and design solutions for the humanitarian problems affecting their environments. This pilot adopts a “bottom-up” approach to diaspora engagement by putting diaspora in the driver’s seat and having USAID/BHA respond to the priorities, needs, and capacities which diaspora themselves identify.

Core Components to the Diaspora Partnership Accelerator

Component 1: Investor Tank Competition: Igniting Diaspora Innovation Edition

Inspired by the hit shows “Shark Tank” and “American Idol”, this competition offers diaspora organizations a chance to win $150,000 USD towards the implementation of their projects in Haiti. 15 finalists will present their concepts during virtual pitch events to a Technical Evaluation Committee composed of technical/sectoral experts, as well as to the larger Haitian diaspora community who will vote for their favorite projects.

Component 2: Project Implementation

Projects will be implemented over an 18 month period. Project implementation will be overseen by a USAID implementing partner.

Component 3: Partnership Dynamics

The DPA aims to better understand how USAID/BHA, diaspora organizations, and traditional institutional actors can engage in impactful and mutually beneficial partnerships. Improved capacity building and learning is an important component for all actors involved in order to pilot new partnership models and dynamics. To this end, in addition to the prize money, the 3 winners will benefit from mentorship, technical support & capacity building provided the implementing partner. Specific topics and activities to be decided with input from the participating diaspora organizations.

Project Grantor



USAID/BHA is the U.S. Government lead for international disaster assistance, reaching tens of millions of people around the world each year with life-saving aid. On average, USAID/BHA responds to 75 crises in more than 70 countries each year, providing food, water, shelter, health care, and other critical aid to people who need it most. This assistance reaches people affected by natural disasters—including hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes—as well as slow-onset crises, such as drought and conflict. USAID/BHA also empowers communities to become more self-reliant by preparing them for disasters before they strike—and by giving them the tools and ability to respond.

Lead Diaspora Partner




Haiti Renewal Alliance (HRA) is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable development, investment, donor advocacy, local and government consultations on shaping engagement policies across the disaster and development spaces for Haiti. HRA has been partnering for years with donors and institutional humanitarian actors to leverage resources for business development in Haiti. HRA’s signature session, Investor Tank, inspired by the hit show “Shark Tank”, has been a constant feature of its annual Expo and Forum conference. As part of the Diaspora Partnership Accelerator, HRA is adapting its Investor Tank platform to highlight diaspora innovation as pertains to disaster risk reduction and humanitarian crises.

Who is eligible to apply for this competition?

✔Must be a diaspora organization* registered in North America (USA and Canada)

✔Must operate outside of Port-au-Prince (PAP) metropolitan area

✔Must be a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) or For-Profit (one EIN per application)

✔Must be focused on humanitarian assistance or disaster risk reduction /management

✔Must work in one of these 3 sectors: 

  1. Agribusiness
  2. Health
  3. Shelter

✔Must offer innovative solutions

✔Must have a minimum 2 years in business

✔Must be an existing project looking for funding for growth and expansion

How do I apply?

Nonprofit, as well as for-profit, diaspora organizations* are invited to apply. Applicants must adhere to the eligibility requirements outlined on www.investortank.org.


The application form to be submitted online includes the following 10 sections: 

1. Project Objectives: What is the problem or need the project is solving?

2. Proposed Solution: What are the recommended solutions?

3. Target Population: Who is benefiting from the project?

4. Community Engagement: How will the project engage with beneficiary communities and ensure the project is reflective of their needs and priorities?

5. Innovation Component/Value Added: Why is the solution innovative and what is its value add?

6. Business Evaluation: What are your current project achievements, milestones and metrics?

7. Competitive Advantage: How do you differentiate yourself from other projects in the community?

8. Social Impact: What is the expected impact?

9. Grant Allocation: If awarded, how will you use the funding?

10. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your project and organization?

How is your project being evaluated?

The selection of the 15 Finalists will be based on a 5-point evaluation for an overall rating of 100.

At a minimum, all successful submissions must reach a score of 75.

5-point grading system includes:

  1. Innovative project solutions
  2. Disaster Risk Reduction strategies to alleviate conditions of natural disaster
  3. Focus on local and vulnerable communities
  4. Current financial evaluation, achievements, and metrics
  5. Sustainability of project

Summary of the DPA’s Investor Tank Component

A. 15 Haitian diaspora associations* compete for a chance to win $150K and to have their projects implemented. In addition, winners will benefit from capacity building/mentorship support.

B. Projects must address Humanitarian Assistance (HA), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), and /or Disaster Risk Management (DRM). Projects must fall in one of the following 3 sectors: Health, Shelter, and Agribusiness.

C. Competing diaspora associations will present their projects during virtual pitch events (5 pitches per sector).

D. Pitches will be made to a Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) composed of technical/sectoral experts from USAID/BHA, PM Consulting Group, HRA, and other organizations.

E. In addition, the Haitian diaspora community will view the finalists’ pitches and will vote for their favorite projects. This popular vote will be considered in the TEC’s final selection of the winners.

F. 3 winners will be chosen based on standardized criteria and indicators developed by the TEC.


How is diaspora organizations is defined?

Organizations founded and led by diaspora, such as hometown associations, cultural associations, professional associations, and or migrant youth associations. Their activities span social service provision, economic growth, humanitarian assistance, advocacy work, or civil society involvement in the ancestral country of origin, as well as cultural events and integration-related activities in the country of settlement.

Can I apply if my organization is outside of North America but operates in Haiti?

Only diaspora organizations registered in United States and Canada (North America) are eligible.

Can my organization apply with one or more partners?

The diaspora organization applying will only be able to submit one EIN Tax ID number.

Can my organization apply for two or more sectors?

A maximum of two applications can be submitted per organization. A separate application for each sector.

How can my organization send supporting documents, photos and videos which are more than 10MB?

Please try to remain within 10MB limit. However, if necessary, you can upload a document with the download links for additional supporting files.

Do I have to answer all questions on my application, or can I just submit my business plan?

You must answer all questions on the application and upload any supporting documents.

How will the grant award be disbursed?

It will be allocated in several payments tied to fixed deliverables, in the form of a contract with PM Consulting Group, LLC (PMCG).

Voting System

Judges Evaluation Criteria


The maximum total score is 200 (150 points for the TEC and 50 points for the public voting).

How many Judges?

5 Tec Judges

Scores Criteria

Scores will be calculated based on 10 key indicators for the project pitch evaluation​.

When will the judges be scoring the projects?

Each project will be scored after the pitch.

What's the scoring criteria?

Each criterion will receive a score using a three-point Likert scale (1 = disagree, 2 = neutral, 3 = agree) for a total score of 30 points.

How will the judges vote?

Each judge will tally their score through an online platform and show their total score to the virtual public.

How are the projects being evaluated?

The judges’ scores will be tabulated to give the pitch a total score of maximum 150 points.

Audience Vote

What's the role of the audience?

The public will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite project after each virtual pitch event. 

When's the deadline for online voting?

Voting process will last 5 days after each event.

Audience Voting Score

A score of up to 50 will be included in the final score based on the accumulated vote from the public.

Final Score

The public score of 50 will be added to the TEC score (150 points) for a total score of 200.

How to Vote: Step 1

Select a Project

How to Vote: Step 2

Enter your email address

How to Vote: Step 3



How to vote

The scoring system

Important dates

July 1 - Aug 16,

Application Window

September 8,

Finalist Announced


Virtual Pitch Events


Winners Announced