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Co-Impact Announces $80 Million in Grants Aimed at Improving The Lives of 9 Million People in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America

Co-Impact collaborative includes core partners Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll, The Rockefeller Foundation, and – most recently – Rohini and Nandan Nilekani.

LONDON, January 15, 2019 – Co-Impact announced its first round of grants today to improve education, health, and economic opportunity for an estimated 9 million people over the next five years across Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. The grants total more than US $80 million. This is the first set of grants delivered by Co-Impact, a collaborative partnership founded in late 2017 by Olivia Leland, founding director of The Giving Pledge, and partners including Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Skoll, The Rockefeller Foundation, and Rohini and Nandan Nilekani.

Co-Impact works in collaboration with a diverse group of change makers, creating large-scale social impact by employing a systems-based approach. Co-Impact makes long-term investments to help address obstacles and limitations in systems that hamper human progress in the areas of education, health, and economic opportunity.

The first-round grant recipients include:

  • Liberia’s National Community Health Assistant Program: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and Last Mile Health, alongside other partners, will support the Government of Liberia to scale and strengthen the National Community Health Assistant Program, which is advancing universal health coverage through the deployment of a community health workforce, providing access to primary health services for 1.2 million rural people.
  • The graduation approach to economic opportunity: A global multi-stakeholder effort, involving Jeevika, Fundación Capital, and the Partnership for Economic Inclusion (PEI) hosted by the World Bank, that will enable governments to adapt and scale programs proven to help households sustainably boost their incomes and assets, as a pathway to lift millions of people out of extreme poverty.
  • Project ECHO: A global movement in 34 countries and growing that leverages technology for remote mentoring and group problem-solving; expanding work underway in India to build the capacity of community healthcare providers to treat patients with chronic and complex diseases.
  • Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa: A joint venture between Pratham and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) to support African governments and partners develop locally effective approaches to help all children read and do basic arithmetic, and to develop the essential foundation for lifelong learning.
  • citiesRISE: An initiative creating a global network of mental health friendly cities and communities (starting with Nairobi, Chennai, Bogota, Sacramento and Seattle) and scaling systemic solutions by leveraging the energy and creativity of youth, the speed and reach of technology, and through cross-sectoral collective action.

Co-Impact is also pleased to announce that Rohini and Nandan Nilekani, having served as technical partners since Co-Impact’s launch, recently joined the collaborative as Core Partners and are jointly invested in the strategic direction of the effort.

Olivia Leland, Founder and CEO: “At Co-Impact, our guiding mission is to make the biggest difference possible in the lives of millions, and I believe that our impressive first round of program partners are poised to do just that. I am also extremely pleased that Rohini and Nandan Nilekani have joined our group of Core Partners who see the great need – and opportunity – for pooling resources and knowledge to drive large-scale change. Deep collaboration is still a relatively nascent area for philanthropy. Co-Impact and our partners are committed to proving that it not only works but has the potential to drive much greater impact.”

Co-Impact is building a global group of funding partners committed to using results-oriented philanthropy to drive meaningful systems change. This growing group includes more than 25 philanthropists, foundations, and other funders representing more than a dozen countries. In addition to our Core Partners, a host of philanthropists and foundations have joined the Co-Impact Community to learn, collaborate, and collectively support initiatives – while a range of donor institutions are also joining as Co-Investors around specific initiatives.

Once an initiative is well-positioned to scale its work to address underlying systemic limitations, the Co-Impact model delivers financial and nonfinancial supports to further empower local or country- based initiatives that are proven to work. This model allows initiatives to plan for growth, activate a coalition of actors, and unlock large-scale change.

Co-Impact’s systems change grants typically range from US $10 to $50 million over five years to deliver results for millions of people in a specific country or region. In limited cases, Co-Impact also provides smaller venture grants to promising, earlier-stage opportunities to support program partners in testing and refining their change model.

Each of the grants announced today was selected as part of a rigorous assessment from an initial pool of more than 250 initiatives. Liberia’s National Community Health Assistant Program, the graduation approach to economic opportunity, Project ECHO, and Teaching at the Right Level Africa were selected to receive Co-Impact’s systems change grants over five years, while citiesRISE is receiving a two-year venture grant.

For more information on Co-Impact and our program partners, please visit



“Co-Impact is establishing the world’s leading social investment platform for philanthropists who have a passion for translating big visions into enduring legacies of good. At its core is the belief that collaboration creates multiplication. By combining the passion, insights, experience, and relational networks of its members to catalyse and accelerate breakthrough social initiatives, Co-Impact will be a testament to the power of collaborative social investing.”
Richard F. Chandler
Founder and Chairman, Chandler Foundation Co-Impact Core Partner

“This kind of philanthropic collaboration focused on multiplying impact by unleashing the power of the collective allows us all to take risks and aim higher than we would individually. Co-Impact offers a platform for philanthropists and social change leaders to advance more fair, just, and functional social systems – efforts that require sustained and committed support.”
Richard Fahey
Interim President, Skoll Foundation Co-Impact Core Partner

“While we are making progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it takes a long time to do this work well – understanding the problem, sourcing innovative solutions, identifying partners, and incorporating feedback. That’s what makes the work of Co-Impact so important. Co- Impact connects philanthropists to high-quality opportunities to drive systemic change. This helps solutions get to scale faster, which means they’ll have a greater impact on more people’s lives. For philanthropists just entering the space, this is a huge head start.”
Bill and Melinda Gates
Co-Chairs, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Impact Core Partners

“The growth of old and new societal problems seems to outpace current solutions. Bold philanthropy and the setting of audacious goals are needed to underwrite social innovation, especially for emergent issues. We strongly align with Co-Impact’s endeavour to drive systemic change by unleashing the imagination of various actors in the ecosystem through collaborative approaches. We are proud to be part of this network. We hope to contribute towards enduring impact, and we wish Co-Impact’s grantees much success.”
Rohini & Nandan Nilekani
Co-Founders, EkStep Foundation Co-Impact Core Partners

“We live at a time of great optimism thanks to decades-long progress to cut poverty, reduce hunger and save lives from disease and illness. Yet the significant human development challenges that remain require even greater investment. In fact, solving each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals requires $2.5 trillion. By working together as part of Co-Impact’s data-driven model, philanthropists and foundations can put their resources and experience behind a set of initiatives that are driving real, measurable change. Co-Impact’s first round of grantees are examples of locally- based organizations well-positioned to bring about lasting change for millions around the world.”
Dr. Rajiv Shah
President, The Rockefeller Foundation Co-Impact Core Partner

“Today, more than ever, we are in need of platforms that provide new models for philanthropic investment. Co-Impact has established a different approach where the path to achieving significant impact is collaboration. This is key to realign shared goals, incentives, and visions such that millions of individuals experience meaningful and sustained improvements in their lives.”
Elizabeth Sheehan
Founder, Care2Communities Co-Impact Community Member

“We cannot solve the world’s challenges by working in isolation. If we want to ensure we’re making the biggest difference possible, each one of us – whether donor, grantee, government, civil society, foundation or business – needs to be thinking about collaboration and learning from each other. It is a pleasure to join Co-Impact in its commitment to push collaborative philanthropy forward and support systems change initiatives.”
Ruben Vardanyan
Co-Founder, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative Co-Impact Community Member

“We are looking forward to partnering with Co-Impact on supporting the Partnership for Economic Inclusion. This collaboration is uniquely designed to pull together and maximize the combined strength of the key actors – including NGOs, researchers, governments, donors, and the World Bank–-working together to end extreme poverty globally.”
German Development Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ on behalf of German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, BMZ)
Co-Investor, graduation approach for economic opportunity

“As a global philanthropic organization working to advance the education development agenda, Dubai Cares sees the ultimate role of philanthropy as being to amplify and strengthen the ability of government to deliver services, but we recognize that we cannot do this alone. We believe that collaboration between partners is key to improving education for children worldwide. Co-Impact represents an exciting new way to collaborate to scale. Having funded some of the earliest work of Pratham for the TaRL methodology, we are thrilled to join forces with Co-Impact to help scale this approach throughout Africa.”
H.E. Tariq Al Gurg
CEO, Dubai Cares
Co-Investor, Teaching at the Right Level Africa

“Large-scale gains in children’s reading and math skills will happen only if government schools improve dramatically. We applaud J-PAL and Pratham’s work to support governments in applying the best available evidence about what works. At the Hewlett Foundation we’re delighted to be working with other committed funders to support this.”
Ruth Levine
Director, Global Development & Population program, Hewlett Foundation Co-Investor, Teaching at the Right Level Africa

“At LGT Venture Philanthropy, we believe that systemic change requires long-term investment and joint action. Together with Co-Impact, we’re supporting Last Mile Health to further strengthen their catalytic role in Liberia and beyond. Through LMH’s work with government and other social change leaders, LGT VP’s engagement aims to ensure access to basic quality healthcare for more than 1 million rural Liberians.”
LGT Venture Philanthropy
Co-Investor, Liberia’s National Community Health Assistant Program

“The Atlassian Foundation partners with others to support education initiatives with the potential to provide educational outcomes at scale, so we are very excited to join like-minded members of the Co-Impact Community who are working to do the same. We are focused on bringing out the best in our business through Pledge 1% and believe that collaboration is critical to growing the movement and driving change at scale.”
Mark Reading
Head of Foundation, Atlassian Corporation Plc
Co-Impact Community Member

“The Tata Trusts are working on making primary health care accessible and affordable through technology. We are happy to partner with Co-Impact in supporting Project ECHO in this shared cause.”
R. Venkataramanan
Managing Trustee of the Tata Trusts Co-Investor, Project ECHO


“Collaboration is at the heart of Project ECHO. We’re thrilled to join with Co-Impact to help bring the ECHO model to scale in India, a high-population country with serious healthcare needs and a government that embraces innovation and impact. Ultimately, we hope that the progress and lessons learned from our expanding effort in India will propel further growth of the ECHO model around the world, so that more people can get the care they need, when they need it.”
Sanjeev Arora
Founder and Director, the ECHO Institute
Co-Impact Program Partner

“Jeevika’s scaled up implementation of the graduation approach and Co-Impact’s systems change investment bring together a rare blend of massive government outreach and private philanthropic capacity, not only in terms of funding but new generation of ideas and knowledge as well. We are excited for the next few years, which may unlock critical lessons for addressing extreme inter- generational poverty and demonstrate that government initiatives and private philanthropy together can be more than the sum of their parts.”
Mr. Balamurugan D.
Co-Impact Program Partner

“Using Teaching at the Right Level, we have helped millions of children to read and to do basic math in India. Together with J-PAL, we are excited to have the opportunity to work in Africa with many partners. Foundational skills can transform a child’s life and unlock their potential to do so much more in education and in life. We are grateful for Co-Impact’s support for this partnership.”
Rukmini Banerji
CEO, Pratham
Co-Impact Program Partner

“Imagine a world in which people living in extreme poverty were no longer relegated to the sidelines, but became active ‘economic citizens’, engaged in shaping their own futures. Fundación Capital is working to make that a reality, and is teaming up with Co-Impact and its partners to help governments graduate a million people into improved and more sustainable livelihoods.”
Yves Moury
Founder, President and CEO, Fundación Capital Co-Impact Program Partner

“Liberia is advancing universal health coverage through the historic National Community Health Assistant Program. In partnership with Co-Impact, we not only have the opportunity to further the Government of Liberia’s vision, but to prove what’s possible when you invest in a paid, professionalized community health workforce that goes the last mile.”
Raj Panjabi
Founder and CEO, Last Mile Health Co-Impact Program Partner

“Good ideas can be magical – if they receive the support they need to blossom. Governments and other partners across Africa are developing Teaching at the Right Level approaches as a key way to help all children learn well. J-PAL and Pratham have helped to seed this idea across the continent, and catalytic support from Co-Impact is helping us build a bolder vision and grow a stronger base for supporting this movement.”
Laura Poswell
Executive Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Africa
Co-Impact Program Partner

“Today’s challenges call for an integrated approach, something that was made clear in the Sustainable Development Goals. Only through deeper partnerships and intensive collaboration can we defeat HIV, TB and malaria, and deliver universal health coverage. We need to step up the fight to protect and build on the gains we have made together, or we will slip back.”
Peter Sands
Executive Director, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Co-Impact Program Partner

“While undeniably one of the most complex challenges faced by every society in the world, with the support of Co-Impact, we have an incredible opportunity to transform global mental health by uniting in action across all sectors and generations.”
Moitreyee Sinha
CEO and Co-Founder, citiesRISE
Co-Impact Program Partner

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Notes to Editors

About Co-Impact

Co-Impact is a global collaborative focused on systems change to improve the lives of millions by advancing education, improving people’s health, and providing economic opportunity.

Co-Impact brings together a group of results-oriented funders and program partners who are pooling resources, networks, and expertise to enable lasting change at scale. Today, few mechanisms exist to match pioneering social leaders with donors who can provide the right size and kind of investment to support their ambitions. Social change leaders with proven ideas expend enormous effort to raise disparate and insufficient funds. Philanthropists often struggle to identify game-changing opportunities.

Co-Impact aims to address these barriers to large-scale impact with its global model of collaborative philanthropy. Co-Impact connects donors and social change leaders to work together to drive systemic impact and enable millions of people to thrive.

Co-Impact brings together a global group of philanthropists and other funders to learn, collaborate, and collectively support initiatives, providing significant leverage for philanthropists’ resources, time, and effort, as well as an opportunity to build relationships with fellow donors. They can choose to join as Core Partners to help set the strategic direction and determine investments, become a member of the growing Co-Impact Community to contribute to and learn from each other and the initiatives, or join as Co-investors on issues that match their interests.

Co-Impact invests in systems change efforts in low and middle-income countries that are working to address underlying conditions that perpetuate social inequities. These grants are typically US $10 to

$50 million over five years, accompanied by non-financial supports, and go to coalitions of actors with proven leaders and results that are poised to bring about a step change in transforming broken systems, on a scale that can improve the lives of millions of people and sustain those changes over time. Co-Impact’s program partners do not try to change everything; instead they seek to influence one aspect that is both critical to achieving shared outcomes and can exert a powerful leverage or fulcrum effect on other parts of the system. In limited cases, Co-Impact also provides smaller venture grants to promising, earlier-stage opportunities to support program partners to test and refine their change model.

Co-Impact’s approach builds on and supports the work and experience of civil society, government and philanthropic partners, and each one of its first grants has been developed in partnership with others. By collaborating, and creating a platform for others to join, Co-Impact and its partners seek to achieve far more together than possible alone.

Co-Impact’s current Core Partners include Richard Chandler, Bill and Melinda Gates, Rohini and Nandan Nilekani, Jeff Skoll, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

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