Co-development in action: insights from the Fair Cooling Fund


Posted By: Emma Seery

Craig Burnett


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Gated Report

Download our report and see how a co-development approach brought plans for sustainable, affordable cooling to life.

The Ashden Fair Cooling Fund, supported by K-CEP, is a two year-initiative widening access to sustainable, affordable cooling for those most at risk from extreme heat. The project is driven by a co-development approach, with a diverse group of innovators brought together in a collaborative cohort.

In 2020, we helped participating organisations co-create their proposals and awarded them grants of up to $100,000 to make their plans a reality. Their collaboration and knowledge sharing continues in 2021, as these organisations bring their funded plans to life.

This approach has unlocked a host of benefits and opportunities, ranging from greater holistic thinking and cross-sector working to the creation of new narratives about an often-hidden issue. Importantly, it has helped an array of organisations – from the worlds of business, academia and beyond – work towards social impact in new and exciting ways.

At the fund’s halfway stage, we reflected on key lessons and insights from the process, to better inform other projects aiming to deliver social impact in cooling, climate action and beyond.


Download the report to discover more, including these key lessons:

  • A co-development process can give organisations – particularly businesses – a rare opportunity to deeply consider their purpose, the full lives of the people they work with, and the social consequences of their work. Our cohort were excited about working with us and each other to further explore the lives of their customers and beneficiaries from a holistic perspective, aspects of which had been challenging for some.
  • The collaborative aspects of the co-development process are outside the experience of many frontline organisations, particularly private enterprises. Adapting to this new way of working is a significant challenge – but one that brought many in the group significant benefits.
  • With the potential prize of relatively unrestricted grant funding, organisations will propose bold plans and ideas well outside of their experience. This is a pathway to innovation, but brings challenges that need to be carefully handled.
  • A co-development process inherently builds grant recipients’ storytelling skills and understanding, as they are compelled to explain their work and its context to their co-development partners. The process also fuels more informed and targeted communications by the grant-giver.


What did our cohort think?

“The workshops required that I was prepared to articulate our proposal to peers in a clear and concise manner, think carefully through the lens of the end users/beneficiaries, and accordingly refine our proposal.”

– Jiten Ghelani, Promethean Power Systems


“The early feedback we received helped solidify the theory of change underlying our project, and helped us present the compelling and convincing ideas behind it.”

– Mass Design



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