Our ultimate goal is to stimulate a paradigm shift in philanthropy, creating an open, transparent and vibrant marketplace with greater accountability and the more efficient allocation of capital: this is "the great".

To alleviate poverty, good development must do more than just change material circumstances; it must also address aspects of a culture's world views, beliefs and social model which contribute to poverty's hold on society. Whilst we focus always on achieving substantial "life change," supported by robust metrics, this is only "the good." Our ultimate goal is to stimulate a paradigm shift in philanthropy, creating an open, transparent and vibrant marketplace with greater accountability and the more efficient allocation of capital: this is "the great".

Our approach to development can be summarised in three interrelated principles:

  • Approaching development with an investment mind-set
  • Catalysing sustainable and measurable social improvements
  • Encouraging community initiative and ownership

We seek to identify and promote organisations and programmes that focus on a "hand up" rather than a traditional "hand out". In many cases, only a modest initial grant is required to build upon existing projects and ensure sustainability. We cluster the projects into a series of Strategic Initiatives, each lasting for three years, which maximises the impact of the grant and provides enough time to produce measurable results without encouraging over-reliance on a single donor.

The Legatum SI Fund

The Legatum Foundation organises and structures its granting according to the Strategic Initiative model, which enables us to coordinate the efforts of otherwise isolated programmes and increase the size and depth of the impact over a three to four-year implementation period.

SI Fund I saw 12 million lives changed from 2007 to 2010, and included 22 strategic initiatives – 150 projects – across 19 countries.

SI Fund II, which ran from 2011 to 2014, included 7 strategic initiatives and 62 projects in seven countries. The fund delved into five sectors including Conflict and Disaster Recovery, Economic Empowerment, Education, Health, and Human Liberty. Over the course of the three years more than 2,465,665 people were impacted, with an average cost per life of $6.81.

The Legatum Foundation's SI Fund III, covering the period 2014 to 2017, is the next stage of the Legatum Foundation's vision to stimulate a paradigm shift in philanthropy through high-impact granting. The initiatives - in the sectors of health, education, economic empowerment, human liberty, and disaster recovery - are a combination of expanded programs from prior portfolios with demonstrated effectiveness, plus new and groundbreaking programmes. The cumulative gains across this new set of programs leverage Legatum's interest in the multiplier effect of marrying financial, intellectual, and human capital for maximum effect.

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