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Starting in 2004, HSDT has co–funded eight overseas programmes, mainly with Oxfam and Save the Children.
Of these, six succeeded in reaching their ambitious objectives whilst two did not.

Past Programmes: About Us

Building a Brighter Future - Our Original 8 Programmes

The Trust began by directly funding projects often working with major charities like Save The Children and Oxfam. 

Eight pilot tests were implemented in east India, north Bangladesh & Vietnam, of which two failed & six succeeded.  Two of these at least doubled the income & empowerment of 11,000 women & their families (over 50,000 people).  Other pilot tests which were scaled resulted in the appointment of over 50 new ethnic teachers in schools in Odisha, India, and expansion of a new teacher training programme to all schools in ethnic areas of Vietnam.   

Two of the eight programmes won major international Awards – a UN Equator Award for poverty reduction, and a Save The Children Phoenix Award for Innovation.

The programmes delivered included: 

  • development in fishing villages in Odisha, India

  • experimenting with how micro loans and training impacted village income over a 7 year period in Rangpur, Bangladesh.

  • training teachers in child-centred learning in remote rural areas in north Vietnam;

  • reviving education in 12 primary schools in tribal Odisha by training young & enthusiastic local teachers;

  • helping street children get into state schools & stay there ( with parental involvement) in Kolkata, India;

  • locating child domestic workers, training them as beauticians, and placing them in beauty salons or helping them start their own business (“New Horizons”), also in Kolkata.

Average length of the successful programmes was five years.

Image by Jagamohan Senapati
Past Programmes: Welcome

Process For The Original 8 Programmes

In the past, the Trust’s implementation process was to undertake innovative and higher risk pilot tests which break new ground. 

Most HSDT programmes were for 5 years or more and involved partnering mainly with Oxfam and Save the Children, and often proven local NGOs.

The Trust routinely ran multi-year research panels completing hundreds of interviews with beneficiaries to ensure their voices were heard. 

Programme results were rigorously quantified with the aim of persuading larger organizations and governments to scale up high impact programmes more widely.

Past Programmes: Welcome


Read here about the Trust's journey from its original 8 programmes to starting  #RID.

In "A Funder's Journey", Hugh Davidson, HSDT Founder, explains the research and thinking underlying the Trust's evolving approach to funding and partnership since its beginning.

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Past Programmes: About
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