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Adapting programme strategies to changing circumstances

Oak Foundation / Programme news

Our programme strategies are road maps that help guide our programmes and clarify our long‑term goals. We also hope that our strategies help us to see the steps necessary to build lasting change. As a foundation, we strive to be respectful listeners and responsive to change, unexpected consequences, and external developments that require shifts in strategy and expectations. This is why we pay attention to and revise our strategies. Over the last year, we revised three of our programme strategies for our Brazil, India, and Housing and Homelessness Programmes. We will also be sharing our new five-year strategy for the Environment Programme soon. Check the website in May to see it live. In the meantime, you can read a summary of the Environment Programme’s evaluation of its last five-year strategy here.

Revised programme strategies:

Since 2015, our Brazil Programme strategy focused grant-making in Recife city, in the northeast of the country. In 2020, we broadened our regional focus and now support communities across Brazil. While we still concentrate our grant-making in the northeast of the country, we also support our partners’ efforts nationally to work towards greater security, fairness, and justice. The full protection of the rights of all Brazilians is at the heart of our efforts. We want to help deepen democracy and encourage inclusive public debates in pursuit of secure and sustainable communities. To this end, our partners now work to: promote civic engagement; contribute to a constructive public discourse that values all voices; and help civic life thrive.

The goal of the Housing and Homelessness Programme’s grant-making is to achieve long-lasting systemic change. We believe that proposed solutions to homelessness should be identified by the people closest to the problem. This is why the programme now seeks to fund initiatives that are rooted in a deep understanding of the experiences of people facing homelessness. Our strategy will focus on outcomes on the following three themes: renter rights; supply and access to affordable homes; and reduction in homelessness. We will prioritise work that: tackles housing discrimination and racial equity; builds a stronger sector with a robust policy narrative; and strengthens the voices of people with lived experience of homelessness.

Our India Programme strategy continues to fund organisations that support vulnerable workers, Indigenous communities, and adult and child migrants. However, our grant-making now focuses on two sub-regions within West Bengal, where the concentration of these overlapping communities is relatively higher than the rest of the state. These are the tea gardens of North Bengal, and the Sundarbans coastal region, which also face a range of climate-related and other challenges. We also hope to produce evidence from locations across West Bengal that can inform and influence desired systemic changes at the state and national levels, so that all people have a chance to thrive.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the new developments in some of our programmes. Please go to our website if you want to find out more about Oak’s grant-making!