Learning 2017-04-20T21:35:12+00:00

Learning Resources

Learning and sharing knowledge is central to HDF’s work

Everyone makes mistakes. HDF strives to share its errors in a constructive and respectful manner so that we and others can learn. We believe that this is a key ingredient in being a legitimate and influential donor. HDF continuously monitors its strategy and grants, adjusting along the way and making sure that learning is influencing decisions. HDF encourages grantees to maintain open communication and share challenges and successes – this helps everyone to learn. This is a space to share learning from formal processes such as external evaluations and research studies and useful resources.

Grantee: Camfed

Title: Final Evaluation Report of Camfed’s ‘Supporting Young Women to Lead Change in Rural Malawi’ Project


Camfed’s Supporting Young Women to Lead Change in Malawi project, supported by an HDF grant of USD 1.7 million, ran from 2013 to 2016 and led to the establishment of the CAMA Network of young women, which provides young women members with opportunities for peer support, training and financial resources to lead change in rural Malawi.  The projects’ objectives included the establishment of a vibrant network for young women in rural areas; increased or more secure incomes for young women; and increased philanthropy, activism and civic engagement of young women.  To read the project evaluation, please click here

, along with Camfed’s management response here.

Grantee: Trocaire

Title: Evaluation of Interventions to Reduce Women’s vulnerability to HIV in Malawi

Trocaire image

The Trócaire Malawi Gender and HIV Programme (2011-2015) aimed to explore women’s vulnerability to HIV and AIDS and promote gender equality through a focus on culture, engaging men, engagement with traditional and religious leaders and the social and economic empowerment of women. To maximise effectivity and learn from experience, Trócaire commissioned a research project to accompany the programme, designed and carried out by NUI Galway in collaboration with Kernena Consulting and REACH Trust, Malawi. To read the full report please click here

To read Trocaire’s Management Response to the Evaluation, please click here.

Grantee: Women for Women International

Title: Stronger Women, Stronger Afghanistan Endline Evaluation

WfW Eval image

Women for Women International’s ‘Stronger Women, Stronger Afghanistan’ Programme was implemented with the overall goal of improving the lives of socially excluded women and their families by building self-reliance and access to sustainable livelihood opportunities. For the full report please click here

To read Women for Women International’s Management Response to the Evaluation, please click here.

Grantee: Amnesty International

Title: Accessing Justice Programme in Rural Sierra Leone – Impact Assessment Report

AI Sierra Leone

Amnesty International’s Accessing Justice Programme in Sierra Leone was primarily focused on enhancing people’ ability to seek and claim justice within the local justice mechanisms at community levels, with an emphasis on rural communities in general and on women and girls in particular.  For the full report please click here.

Grantee: ActionAid

Title: Young Urban Women Programme Baseline Study

ActionAid’s Young Urban Women’s (YUW) Programme addresses young women’s economic rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Ghana, India and South Africa. To read the full report please click here.

Grantee: Protea Education Development Project

Title: Zisukhanyo Schools Stages II and III Schools Ex-Post Review


Following the Zisukhanyo Schools Project Evaluation Report, an ex-post review was conducted for Stages II and III Schools. To read the full ex-post review, please click here.

Grantee: Protea Development Education Project

Title: Zisukhanyo Schools Project Evaluation Report

Within the Protea Education Development Project, HDF supported the Zisukhanyo Schools Project with a USD 6.7 million grant from 2007-2014.  The broad objective of the three stages of the Zisukhanyo Schools Project was to assist in bringing about improvements in educational standards in disadvantaged South African schools through the effective use of Information Technology.  For the full report click here.

Grantee: Amnesty International

Title: END FGM Campaign 2009 -2013 Evaluation Report

This campaign aimed to put Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) high on the EU agenda and ensure that practical measures are taken to end this practice and provide protection to women and girls who flee their country of origin because of it. For the full report click here.

Grantee: Population Council

Title: Engaging Parents to Promote Girls’ Transition to Secondary Education – Endline Assessment


Population Council’s Project Sankalp aimed to support adolescent girl’s transition to and retention in secondary education and to improve their learning outcomes by building parental and community engagement in and accountability for secondary education. For the full report please click here.

Grantee: Concern Worldwide Niger

Title: Niger Education Support Final Evaluation Report


Concern Worldwide Niger’s Education Support Programme was designed to help address a lack of access to quality primary education services in the Tahoua region of Niger. For the full report click here.

Grantee: Population Council

Title: Engaging Parents to Promote Girls’ Transition to Secondary Education: Evidence from a Cluster Randomised Trail in Rural Gujarat, India by KG Santhya, AJ Francis Zavier, Pallavi Patel and Neeta Shah


The Population Council, in partnership with CHETNA, MV Foundation, Awaaz.De and Navjeevan Trust, and with the support of the Human Dignity Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, implemented a 15-month long pilot intervention – Project Sankalp – to assess the acceptability and feasibility of engaging parents and communities to promote girls’ secondary education, their attendance at school, and learning outcomes in Mathematics, and the English and Gujarati languages.  The full study can be accessed by clicking here.

Grantee: Social Change Initiative

Title: Revitalizing the International Response to Forced Migration: Principles and Policies for the “New Normal” by T. Alexander Aleinikoff

SCI Discussion Paper

The Social Change Initiative (SCI) works on improving the effectiveness of activism for progressive social change and influencing how such work is funded by donors. Migration is a priority issue for SCI and with support from HDF, have been facilitating a series of discussions and exchanges with activists and thinkers, notably trying to influence the public narrative and supporting civil society to more effectively influence the political and policy debate.  Ahead of the forthcoming UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19th September, SCI commissioned Professor T. Alexander Aleinikoff of the Global Policy Initiative at Columbia University to write a discussion paper that identifies the core elements of the international forced migration system as it has developed over the past six decades and detail the range and depth of the current challenges.  The paper also suggests a number of policy and institutional reforms to respond both to the present situation as well as the coming challenges posed by the new normal.  Click here to read the full discussion paper.

Grantee: Centre for Justice & Crime Prevention

Title: Sexual abuse of children and adolescents in South Africa

CJCP study

On 1st of June 2016, the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP), an HDF grantee, launched a study on the national prevalence and incidence on child sexual abuse and maltreatment in South Africa.  The three-year study, commissioned by the UBS Optimus Foundation, is the first of its kind in the country, and provides representative data on child maltreatment and exposure to other forms of violence, as reported by 15–17-year-old South Africans.  The study can be read here.

Grantee: Guardian News & Media

Title: Global Media Campaign to End FGM Progress Report

Guardian End FGM Cover

HDF has supported the Guardian’s Global Media Campaign to End FGM since May 2014. This fifteen-month report of progress and learning is a useful resource for organisations and individuals working to end FGM and can be read here.

Grantee: Retrak

Title: Making the Invisible Visible Enumeration Study

Baseline Study Cover

Retrak, Chisomo Children’s Club and the Government of Malawi sought to address the lack of information on the number of children living and working on the streets in Malawi. Retrak undertook an enumeration study of children on the streets in Lilongwe and Blantyre, using the capture/recapture methodology. For the full report click here.

Grantee: Action Aid

Title: Young Women: Life choices and livelihoods in poor urban areas study.

In 2012 HDF supported a scoping study conducted to learn about opportunities and challenges that young women experience in urban settings in India, Ghana and South Africa. The study was used to inform the development of a programme for young urban women. For the full report click on the image on the left.

Grantee: Plan Ireland

Title: Birth Registration research


HDF supported Plan’s new research in India, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Vietnam that reveals the results of an investigation into the impact of birth registration. For the full report click here.

Clore Social Leadership Programme

Title: Is the Charity Sector Fit for Purpose?


HDF participated in a study that was a part of the Clore Social Fellowship Programme.  This research brings together views from well-respected leaders in the sector from small, medium, and large charities and donors to provide evidence-based solutions to the challenges facing the charity sector in the foreseeable future.   To read study please click here.

Legacy and Learning – Impact Review of HDF

In 2016, HDF commissioned two external consultants, Rhonda Schlangen and Jim Coe, to assess the foundation’s impact to date and develop recommendations to guide the foundation’s work during the “sunset” phase of its life.  The Executive Summary for the Impact Review can be found below.

Based on the impact review findings and recommendations, in 2017 HDF will define priorities and develop operational plans to solidify its gains to date and its legacy in four priority areas:

1. Sustainable change at the project level

2. Leaving grantees stronger

3. Building enhanced knowledge through disseminating learning

4. Leaving the sector stronger.

Grantee Perception Report

HDF is committed to being a responsible grant-maker and we try to keep improving our performance.  We conducted 2 internal grantee surveys in 2012 and 2013 which gave us some good insights and learning but, as the number of grantees grew, we needed a better means of understanding our grantees’ experiences.  We commissioned the Center for Effective Philanthropy to conduct a Grantee Perception Report in April 2015 and received the final reports in November 2015.  The findings have been reviewed by HDF’s board and an action plan is being developed to respond to recommendations.  We look forward to working with our grantees on improving our performance as a grant-maker.

Key Findings and Recommendations

Report Presentation

Full Report

If you have any comments or queries in relation to the HDF Impact Review or Grantee Perception Survey or Report please contact info@human-dignity-foundation.org


Child Safeguarding

HDF is fully committed to the safeguarding of children.  HDF recognises that considerations on child safeguarding must permeate all aspects of HDF’s work and must be reflected in all HDF policies, practices and activities.   In an effort to strengthen HDF’s and HDF’s grantees’ commitment and approach to child safeguarding, we would like to highlight a number of recent developments in our child safeguarding policy, practices and activities.

HDF’s Board of Management has published a Statement of Minimum Standards of Child Safeguarding which expresses our Board’s total commitment to the safeguarding of children in our grant-making.  In addition, HDF has revised its Child Safeguarding Policy, which supersedes all earlier versions.  Of particular interest in Annex 4 (Parts I and II) of the policy document is a child safeguarding self-assessment tool for organisations developed and promoted by Keeping Children Safe.

HDF’s Child Safeguarding Policy & Process: A Training Manual for Organisations and accompanying presentation is the principal resource that was used for the delivery of training workshops with a number of our grantees, facilitated by HDF in 2015.  While the training manual is a useful resource in developing child safeguarding standards and implementation activities, HDF cautions that the manual should only be used for training purposes by people suitably qualified and experienced in child safeguarding training.

If you have any comments or queries in relation to HDF’s Child Safeguarding resources and materials, please contact info@human-dignity-foundation.org. 

Board of Management Statement of Commitment


HDF Child Safeguarding Policy

CS Policy

Child Safeguarding Training Manual

Training Manual