Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals
By working to increase the impact of social enterprises, FHI Ventures seeks to contribute to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
In 2013, FHI 360 launched its Catalyst Fund, an early stage seed fund designed to incubate innovation among FHI 360 employees. The Catalyst Fund provided FHI 360 staff with grants to develop approaches, tools or products that addressed human development challenges and strengthened FHI 360’s competitive advantage.
These investments included:M360 school information system mobile apps
The M360 school information system is a suite of mobile apps that collect health and education data from schools in remote areas or conflict zones. M360’s ability to send data without internet connectivity keeps information up-to-date and helps policymakers make informed decisions to support student success. The product consists of three applications that track students’ time spent learning, factors that influence students’ ability to learn to read, and whether students’ nutritional needs are being met, either at school or at home.
The Catalyst-funded “Health Service Delivery in the UAV Age” project examined the acceptability and feasibility of using UAVs to solve development challenges. The project conducted one study on citizen and government perceptions of UAVs uses for development in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and a second study to identify the current and potential role of UAVs in development, including main challenges and ethical considerations. These studies are among the first to explore perceptions of UAVs in developing countries.
Expanded Organizational Capacity
In 2011, FHI received funding support from the FHI Foundation to acquire the projects and expertise of AED (Academy for Educational Development), forming FHI 360. This expansion of talent and experience further equipped the organization to address diverse and inter-related challenges in education, health, nutrition, economic development, civil society and environment.
During the 1980s, with funding from what would become the FHI Foundation, FHI 360 initiated early pilot programs in Africa to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic, paving the way for the organization to become an international leader with one of the world’s largest HIV/AIDS portfolios.
In 2001, a US$1 million investment from the FHI Foundation allowed FHI 360 to demonstrate the viability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) programs in resource-constrained settings in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. These pilot programs were quickly replicated, expanded and funded by the U.S. government and many other government organizations, bringing life-saving treatment to millions.