2019 ICF Grantees


Collaboration is hard. It can be messy. It can fail. But to be transformative – to create change – we must be willing to take risks.

The Posner Center for International Development believes that collaboration has the power to transform global development. Collaboration enables creative approaches, builds bridges across disciplines, and addresses complex challenges more holistically.

The International Collaboration Fund supports partnerships within our broad community of global development actors, leveraging the power of collaboration for greater impact. We fund each specific project for its ability to build the evidence base, create replicable models, and help shift development practice towards greater impact.

We are very pleased to share with you the 2019 International Collaboration Fund winners. Here is how they are partnering strategically, pushing boundaries, and transforming global development.

Innovating Cross-Cultural Research Methods
$15,000 – Navajo Nation

PB and K Family Foundation Environmental Grant

There is a long history of natural resource extraction from native lands in the United States. In recent years, fracking has been rapidly expanding across the Navajo Nation, with limited research and tribal policymaking to address the challenges. This partnership brings together Regis University Master of Development Practice, the Diné Policy Institute, and the Colorado School of Mines Humanitarian Engineering Program to co-create and lead a participatory research project exploring the social, cultural, and environmental impacts of fracking on the Navajo Nation. Their joint learning will form the basis for a community-led response to oil and gas development for the Navajo Nation. 

Simple and Scalable Upgrade to AFRIDEV Handpump
$16,500 – Malawi 

The AFRIDEV handpump was designed in the 1980s as a simple lever hand pump that allowed communities to access groundwater, and could be repaired and maintained locally. It is estimated there are tens of thousands of these pumps across Africa.  The part with the shortest lifespan is a plastic sleeve at the main pivot of the pump; damage to this part can render the pump useless and leave communities without safe access to water.Engineers Without Borders USA and Freshwater Project International are coming together to design and test a steel replacement for the part that could greatly extend the life of AFRIDEV handpumps. This simple innovation has the potential for scalability and provides a modern upgrade to an important source of water for rural communities across Africa and beyond.

Feasibility Study for Solar Product Distribution
$15,000 – Zambia

Access to electricity is essential for economic livelihoods, health, safety, education, and quality of life, yet only 3% of rural Zambians have electricity. Elephant Energy(EE) and iDE are teaming up to lead a feasibility study to determine if and how a partnership between the organizations can address energy poverty across Zambia. They will explore the potential of integrating EE’s appropriate sustainable energy technologies into iDE’s expansive Zambian Farm Business Advisor network, a partnership that could simultaneously support EE’s mission to create access to energy and increase the income of iDE’s network of entrepreneurs. This study will enable a data-driven approach to future partnership and serves as a blueprint for strategic alliances to meet pressing development challenges.

Data-Driven Approach to Women’s Entrepreneurship
$15,000 – Pakistan

Women’s economic opportunity and workforce participation in Pakistan is among the lowest in the world. The advancement of women and girls is widely acknowledged to be a key driver of development; investments in this arena yield many benefits. This partnership features a strategic collaboration between Marshall Direct Fund and their Pakistani NGO Moqah Foundation, along with experienced global entrepreneurship trainers, Alternativ Global Entrepreneurs(AGE). Together, they will translate AGE’s curriculum into Urdu, identify and train future program leaders, and conduct several 40-hour entrepreneurship trainings. Using the ForGood platform, they will collect short, medium, and long-term data on key indicators and will compare the outcomes of this project with those of other women’s entrepreneurship programs to fine tune and improve this long-term partnership.


The 2019 International Collaboration Fund has been generously supported by Beyond Our Borders, CoBank, Green Fund, Harvey Family Foundation and PB and K Family Foundation.

Learn more about the International Collaboration Fund.