Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#50FORWARD Innovation Competition for Graduate Students



For 50 years, Counterpart International has been an innovator, changing the way people look at and solve global development problems. As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, #50FORWARD, Counterpart is launching an Innovation Competition for graduate students. Counterpart is interested in how shifting from independent efforts to collaborative efforts can accelerate and scale solutions, and how big data and/or technology can enhance those solutions.

The Innovation Competition is an opportunity for tomorrow’s leaders in development to share innovative ideas on how collaborative approaches can generate broad and lasting solutions to a major global challenge. Graduate students will chose from thematic areas including civil society and governance, food security and nutrition, health and education, and climate resiliency.  The winner of the competition will receive a paid internship at Counterpart International.

Counterpart is assembling a top-notch panel of judges in the global development and technology fields, including Sherry Youssef and Scott Jackson. Youssef is the Project Manager for USAID’S Global Broadband Initiative Innovations for Youth Capacity and Engagement Program. As the former Egypt Executive for the Digital Opportunity Trust in Cairo, she designed and managed economic development initiatives including executive leadership and youth engagement programs. Scott Jackson is the President and CEO of Global Impact. Mr. Jackson serves on several national boards and advisory councils including PATH MACEPA, Global Washington, the International Center for Research on Women, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Given your position and involvement with graduate students, we ask that you share the attached information, and encourage interested graduate students to apply.   If you have any questions please contact Kristen Voorhees, at kvoorhees@counterpart.org.

Best wishes,


Communications Team
Counterpart International
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In partnership for results that last.

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Preview attachment Counterpart International Innovation Competition.docx


Background and Requirements

For 50 years, Counterpart International has been an innovator, changing the way people look at and solve global development problems. With our local partners in more than 27 countries, Counterpart helps people build better lives and more durable futures, community by community.
As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration this year, #50FORWARD, Counterpart International is launching an Innovation Competition for graduate students. The winner of this competition will receive a paid internship at Counterpart.   
Counterpart is interested in how shifting from independent efforts to collaborative efforts can accelerate and scale solutions, and how big data and/or technology can enhance those solutions.  Counterpart wants to hear from graduate students – our emerging leaders in the field of development. What new idea can you bring to solve one of the world’s biggest challenges through a collaborative approach? 
#50FORWARD Innovation Competition Requirements:
To participate in the Innovation Competition, please submit a 5-10 page proposal addressing the following question:
How would you tackle a major challenge in one of the thematic areas below through multi-institution collaboration to deliver significant change and a lasting solution?  And how could innovative, collaborative efforts be fueled with big data or technology?    
Thematic areas:
·        Civil Society and Governance
·        Food Security and Nutrition
·        Health and Education
·        Climate Resiliency
You may focus your proposal on a particular region if you so choose.
We recommend that submissions demonstrate, in concrete ways, how the innovation idea will:
·        Improve program planning, delivery and evaluation.
·        Be scalable to “move the needle” of the global issue.
·        Increase inclusion for underserved or under-engaged populations.

Selection Process:
Proposals should be between five and 10 pages in length, double-spaced.
Deadline for submission:  September 14, 2015
Five semifinalists will be selected by an internal team at Counterpart International and submitted to a panel of innovators in technology and international development. Three finalists will be selected and expected to present in person to the judges at Counterpart’s Global Meeting in November in Arlington, Virginia.
The winner will receive a paid, three-month internship[1] at Counterpart International during the Spring 2016 semester. Up to 20% of the time of the internship may be devoted to refining and building a coalition for implementation of the concept in the winning proposal.


[1] With a possible extension to six months, based on mutual agreement.
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