Arrow Innovation in Technology Grant: Moving Up the Coffee Value Chain via Blockchain – $20,000 Honduras
With all the buzz around blockchain technology in the private sector, this project, led by iDE in collaboration withBext360, will provide tangible experiences and lessons learned as evidence of how blockchain can be applied to market-based interventions in global development. By directly linking farmers in Honduras to roasters in the United States, iDE and Bext360 seek to improve supply chain transparency through blockchain technology to address market failures. Their partnership serves as a model for connecting coffee producers and buyers with financial and agricultural technology solutions and the project is a continued evolution of market-based approaches to poverty reduction.
PB and K Family Foundation Annual Environmental Grant: Evaluating Cultural-Environmental Impact through Participatory Research with the Navajo Nation – $13,000 Navajo Nation
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. Using methodology based in an indigenous perspective, this partnership brings together faculty and students from Regis University Master of Development Practice, Colorado School of Mines Humanitarian Engineering Program and Diné College on the Navajo Nation for an immersive workshop on environmental research. The Regis contingent includes students from Ghana and Rwanda, making this team truly (and intentionally) cross-cultural. Their joint learning will form the basis for launching a course on indigenous and grassroots activism.
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.
A 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.
Well-Siting Meter: Agricultural Water for All – $10,000 Cameroon and the United States
Across much of the world, wells provide much needed access to water. Identifying the right location for wells is an essential aspect of providing ongoing access to water. Conventional instruments used to identify the best location for a well cost between $6,000 and $40,000 and require a highly-skilled operator, essentially making successful well drilling inaccessible for local NGOs. This partnership is comprised of engineers, makers, and software developers from Global Hope Network International, Mike MacCarthy, JustDesign LLC, and H2Optimal Inc. They will prototype and test a low-cost, open-source well-siting meter, in order to maximize successful well installation by rural farmers. Detailed instructions for developing the meter and building appropriate casing for the meter will be widely distributed for broader use.
Accelerator Bootcamp for Social Enterprises – $20,000
iDE is founded upon the idea that business has the power to solve poverty. They currently have programs in eleven countries across Africa, Asia, and Central America. GAN is a leader in supporting startups to build successful businesses. Together, they plan to run an accelerator bootcamp to launch iDE’s existing social enterprises to new heights. They will run a competitive selection process among iDE’s social enterprises, design, and implement a one-day accelerator bootcamp to be held in April 2018. Selected social enterprises will emerge with a road map for business success, and will play an integral role in iDE’s strategic goal to reach 20 million more people in the next five years.
Stronger Together: Developing Cross-Border Authentic Girls’ Empowerment – $10,000 Guatemala and Denver
Across the Posner Center network and the broader development sector, trips to see NGO operations in other countries are common practice, intended to generate awareness, connection, and financial support. Despite an increased emphasis on conscious travel, little rigorous work has been done to explore the learning of and benefits to all individuals, travelers and hosts alike. Starfish, an NGO working in Guatemala, is partnering with Envoys, a leader in global education, to plan, execute, and evaluate a trip engaging students from Denver’s Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS) with Starfish’s Girl Pioneers. They will research, develop, and pilot a tool for evaluating the benefit of travel for all participants and plan to share their findings with the Posner Center network and beyond.
Kupanda Girls’ Junior Community Health Education Program – $10,000 Tanzania
In 2015, Tanzania made lower secondary school education free. Despite this change, graduation rates, particularly for girls, remain abysmally low. In response, the Africa School Assistance Project (ASAP) started the Kupanda Project for Girls, a holistic program aimed at addressing the various barriers girls face in receiving an education. The Maji Safi Group will collaborate with ASAP to train girls from the Kupanda Project to become community health educators in school water, sanitation, and hygiene (SWASH) and in menstrual hygiene management (MHM). This train-the-trainer model will strengthen the leadership skills of the Kupanda Project students, expand SWASH and MHM knowledge of primary- aged students, and create broader community awareness and skills for improved health.