Our Principles

These principles guide the work we do, and the work we don’t do. They are an important part of who we are, shaping our interactions with our partners and our funders.

  • We believe that prosperity starts with healthy, educated people.

    We focus on the interrelated fields of health, education and nutrition because they are essential for reducing poverty and creating prosperous and equitable societies.

  • We focus on systems-level change, because we believe it’s the best way to achieve large-scale, lasting results.

    Well-functioning systems have many perks. They deliver a wide range of benefits to many people, including the most vulnerable. They’re durable and thus able to weather shocks. And, importantly, they don’t depend on outside assistance — they’re self-sustaining. By focusing on key elements of strong systems, from financing to innovation to citizen and public-private engagement, we believe we will have the greatest impact over the long-term.

  • We believe that local change agents — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — are the people who can bring about lasting change.

    That’s why they are the primary focus of our work. We listen to what they need, build on existing expertise and work alongside them to generate knowledge and resources that can be applied to real-world problems. We offer fresh perspectives, global evidence, access to peer networks, process support and coaching, but we leave decisions to them.

  • We achieve results at the country-level and capture and synthesize important global knowledge intended to catalyze action across the world.

    When we support specific countries or local organizations, we aim to synthesize and broadly share knowledge gleaned from these activities. And when we engage in global-level research or analyses, we push those findings to the people who can use them and encourage uptake. The research we do is applied — practical, context-specific and most importantly demand-driven — and the implementation we do is strategic, resulting in large-scale impact and universal lessons.

  • We believe we will achieve more together.

    Whether we’re co-creating with local change agents or convening funders, policymakers or practitioners and encouraging collaborative learning and problem-solving, we believe that engagement among varied stakeholders will lead to greater (and faster) progress.

  • We are committed to continuous learning.

    Although we have deep technical expertise and lots of practical experience, we rely on evidence to guide us. Evidence may be generated through careful analysis or through experimentation and testing — regardless of the method, it is essential for informed decision-making.

  • We are mission-driven and results-focused.

    We go beyond simply carrying out deliverables. We approach every effort with passion and the full expertise of the organization. This leads to strong relationships and deep, multi-year engagements that help our partners achieve more robust results.

R4D Digital Communities

We create and support global communities of innovators, funders and policymakers for continuous and iterative learning, knowledge generation, exchange and collaboration. Explore some of our communities: