Aga Khan Foundation

Priya Desai
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 16:13
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) focuses on a small number of specific development problems by forming intellectual and financial partnerships with organisations sharing its objectives. Most Foundation grants are made to grassroots organisations testing innovative approaches in the field. With a small staff, a host of cooperating agencies and thousands of volunteers, the Foundation reaches out to vulnerable populations on four continents, irrespective of their race, religion, political persuasion or gender. Focus Areas: To make the most of its resources, the Aga Khan Foundation has a sharp focus, clearly defined objectives and a consistent approach to its work. It concentrates on selected issues in health, education, rural development, the environment and the strengthening of civil society. Within its thematic areas of interest, the Foundation looks for innovative approaches to generic problems. Projects are designed to be learning experiences that contribute to the understanding of complex issues and identify solutions that can be adapted to conditions in many different regions. Replicability is essential to the creation of useful models. Wherever appropriate, approaches are tested in urban as well as rural settings, and in different cultures and geographic environments. Evaluation and dissemination are equally essential. International teams, together with the implementers, conduct reviews at agreed intervals in the project cycle. Their conclusions are made available to Foundation affiliates, to grantees and to other interested governmental and non-governmental organisations. The Foundation is highly selective in its programme choices. The principal criterion is the potential for bringing lasting benefit to project participants. AKF measures its success by what its grantees achieve and the importance of what they have learned for projects elsewhere. It is equally committed to bringing valuable lessons to the attention of policymakers and others whose decisions affect the lives of the poor. The Foundation shares what it learns with the public, raising awareness of important issues facing disadvantaged sectors of the international community.