Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide

India, Nepal and Sri Lanka

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India's vibrant democratic traditions and vigorous civil society hold the keys to solving its enormous socioeconomic challenges.

The Regional Context

India is the world's largest democracy and in recent years has been its second-fastest-growing economy. According to some measures, it also contains a third of the world's poor. Poverty in India is geographically and demographically clustered, and it is stubbornly resistant to local and national policy measures.

The root causes of persistent poverty in India lie at the complex intersection of structural factors and patterns of socioeconomic exclusion.

Our Goal

The goal of our work is to address persistent poverty by empowering socially marginalized groups and improving government policies.

We believe a multifaceted approach to India's challenges is the most effective way of achieving this goal.

What We're Doing

We support work that can be taken to significant scale, have a tangible and lasting impact, and improve the government's capacity to partner with civil society organizations.

We do this by strengthening networks across the country, with particular attention to helping the country's clusters of poverty—its central dry lands and tribal belt, as well as urban slums—where families live off assets that are particularly precarious or degraded. We also support efforts to combat the socioeconomic marginalization of tribal communities, women and adolescent girls, and religious minority communities.

In India, we support organizations that:

  • Promote livelihood opportunities among the poorest populations
  • Advocate for economic and social rights
  • Make the government's development efforts transparent and accountable
  • Work to create more sustainable agricultural policies
  • Enable women and girls to address their sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Broaden the participation of marginalized groups through public service media.

In Nepal and Sri Lanka, we focus more narrowly on supporting groups advocating for economic and social rights and free expression as these countries go through complex post-conflict transitions.

Our grant making in the region is pursued through the following initiatives.

Issue Initiative
Democratic and Accountable Government
Human Rights
Economic Fairness
Sustainable Development
Freedom of Expression
Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Justice

Regional Office



Ford Foundation
55 Lodi Estate
New Delhi 110 003, India

+91 11 4710 5300
+91 4710 5380
+91 4710 5390

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