Ideas + Practice

We believe that great ideas and strong institutions can promote a better world. Explore data and stories from our grantees, find the why and how behind our thought process, and see what we’re learning. Tell us what you think on Twitter or send us a message.


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A practical guide to outcome-focused philanthropy 

Outcome-focused philanthropy is the Hewlett Foundation’s approach to how we practice strategic philanthropy. It guides how we do our work, from start to finish. We’ve been practicing strategic philanthropy for more than a decade—focusing on what problem or opportunity we’re trying to address, whether we’re achieving our outcomes and why (or why not), and how…

For teachers, deeper learning is about letting go 

On a recent afternoon in Jennifer Burgin’s second-grade classroom at Oakridge Elementary in Arlington, Va., some students were working on a fractions game on iPads; others were making colorful drawings of part-whole relationships using crayons and paper; and others were researching national parks or working on poems. One boy held a stuffed panda, another had…

Q&A with Sameer Bhalotra: Cybersecurity’s most pressing problems 

With a global ransomware attack on more than 150 countries creating disruptions for thousands of businesses, hospitals and universities and the repercussions from last year’s DNC hack still a matter of intense public interest, the challenge of crafting effective cyber policies is only becoming more urgent. Earlier this year, the Center for Strategic and International ...

Closing in on a clean energy future 

Recently, ClimateWorks Foundation and the Climate Action Tracker published a report, “Faster and Cleaner 2: Kick-starting Global Decarbonization,” that summarized progress in three major sectors of the economy — power, transportation and buildings. The good news is that renewable energy is transforming electricity in ways that have exceeded expectations. Likewise, the rise of electric vehicles…

Help us learn about active citizens and accountable government 

How can citizens around the world hold their governments accountable for high-quality public services like education, health care, and water?  There are no perfect answers to that complex question, but we have a hunch:  Our hypothesis is that, in combination, more information about how governments raise and spend money, active participation by people in the…

This is what demography looks like 

Editor’s note: Ruth Levine, director of the Hewlett Foundation’s Global Development and Population Program, delivered these remarks at the Population Association of America’s annual meeting in Chicago on April 28th. Among the attendees were Hewlett Foundation’s grantee organizations, including researchers and communications specialists from universities, think tanks, and other groups working on reproductive health, population dynamics, and women’s ...

Charting the progress of Hewlett Foundation’s deeper learning strategy 

From 2010 to 2015, the Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program invested more than $100 million in its deeper learning strategy with over 350 grants. In 2016, the program commissioned RTI International to conduct an independent evaluation of the first five years of its strategy. RTI’s report examined several questions: What progress has been made in the ...

California Education Policy Fund evaluation of deeper learning advocacy and policy change 

Created by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2011, the California Education Policy Fund (CEPF) worked to improve education policies in the state by strengthening and supporting an “ecosystem” of nonprofit advocacy, research, grassroots and information-sharing organizations. With an annual budget of about $4 million, for the last three years, CEPF has supported organizations ...

Open Education Consortium evaluation 

The Open Education Consortium (OEC) comprises a network of nearly 300 education institutions globally who are committed to advancing the use of open educational resources in higher education. The Hewlett Foundation has supported a wide range of OEC activities since 2007 and commissioned this evaluation to better understand which of those efforts have been most ...
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