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MottoPeople unlimited[1]
FoundedJanuary 5, 1968 (1968-01-05)[2]
FocusFree and sustainable world
Area served
Africa, Asia, Latin America
MethodGrants, funding, campaigns
Key people
  • Edwin Huizing, executive director[3]
  • Carol Gribnau, programme head, Green Society
  • Will Janssen, programme head, Open Society
  • Mendi Njonjo, regional director, East Africa
  • Tanja Lubbers, regional director, Southern Africa
  • Biranchi Upadhyaya, regional director, South East Asia
  • Myrtille Danse, regional director, Latin America
Endowment99 million euro in 2011[4]
384 (137 in the Netherlands) in 2016[1]

Hivos (Dutch: Humanistisch Instituut voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking, Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries)[2] is a development aid organization, headquartered in The Netherlands. Hivos provides financial support to organizations working in Africa, Latin America and Asia, it provides advocacy and it supports knowledge sharing in particular in the field of social change, digital activism and rural innovations.


Hivos Foundation was founded in 1968 by the Humanist Association, the Association and Humanitas Weezenkas. Hivos is not a religious organization and it was established also in response to the dominance of religious organizations working in the field of development in The Netherlands.


Hivos is a private organization with a social objective which a public function.


Hivos' headquarters is in The Hague. The regional offices are six offices located in Jakarta (Indonesia), San Jose (Costa Rica), Harare (Zimbabwe), Nairobi (Kenya), La Paz (Bolivia) and Bangalore (India). Hivos has also 6 local/national offices in Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tanzania, South Africa, Timor Leste. By the end of 2011, Hivos consists of over 300 employees, of whom about 120 reside at its headquarters in The Hague.


The Executive Board of Hivos is owned by the statutory board, namely Edwin Huizing (Managing Director) and Ben Witjes (Director of Programs and Projects). The management also comprises the four heads of program offices and the Agency Assessment and Control Evaluation. The four directors of the regional offices are a part of the management, albeit remotely. Above the board is a supervisory board, the supervisor may also call upon the Board of Advisors.

Hivos consists of four agencies that implement the four programs: Sustainable Economic Development, Democracy, Rights, AIDS and Gender, Culture, ICT, and Media and External Relations. The latter agency is responsible for communication, lobbying and European networks, as well as fundraising and marketing in the Netherlands. Monitoring the proper utilization of project funds, the operation and use of project administration and administrative organization as a whole are the responsibility of the Agency Assessment, Evaluation and Control (TEC). Also develops and monitors the agency's monitoring and evaluation policy.

The Office for Donor Relations (ODR) is responsible for improving access to (private) institutional funds. ODR supports sector teams and regional offices in fundraising and coordinates fundraising outside financing system in the Netherlands.

Hivos ISO certified and has the CBF certification.


Hivos' main stakeholders are the Dutch public (especially the humanist supporters), the government, other funders and partners and partner organizations in the South. It works with numerous NGOs and other civil society organizations, businesses and governments in the Netherlands, Europe and the South. Complementarity The network of Hivos is made of organizations supporting similar aims and of partner organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Hivos uses the general term network[5] to define different relationships with different kind of organizations: i.e. grantees, donors, co-funders of Hivos' programs.

Hivos' programmes are always jointly developed with other partners. For example, in 2011 the programme Expression and engagement was supported by Dutch Foreign Ministry, Omidyar Network, European Union, Open Society Foundations, DFID, Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Norad, DOEN Foundation.

Hivos is on the Board of the Dgroups Foundation. In the Netherlands, Hivos joins forces with civil society organizations expert in one of the policy spearheads and it is member of the Alliance2015 and Eurostep network. In addition, Hivos is part of the trade association Partos.


According to Hivos,[1][2] the humanist values are central to the organisation' policy. Key elements of humanism — and the Hivos policy — are: human dignity and empowerment, aversion to dogmatism and authoritarian regimes, pluralism and democracy, solidarity, responsible citizenship and respect for cultural and social identity. Along with local organizations and civil society, Hivos seeks to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world, where women and men have equal access to resources and opportunities for development. Hivos is convinced that if people have a fair chance, their possibilities are almost limitless. Hence the slogan of Hivos. An important guiding principle is to strengthen the social position of women.

In carrying out its work Hivos uses the following values:

  • Hivos is driven by ideals and implements them in a professional and efficient manner;
  • Hivos is inspired by the power of diversity and recognizes the importance and value of a plurality and diversity of actors, approaches and contexts;
  • Hivos regards itself as part of civil society, despite the fact that its funds come largely from public funds and the importance it attaches to good relations with the Dutch government;
  • Hivos is transparent and maintains open accountability to its constituency and to its public and private funders;
  • Hivos appreciates the inspiration and driving force of innovation. It creates space for new and unknown and takes calculated risks;
  • Hivos strives to be a learning organisation and therefore aims to improve quality and is shall be open to criticism;
  • Hivos is aware that its performance the key to its existence, and that the people who work for and with Hivos are crucial to achieving these results.

Hivos focuses on poverty reduction, community building and advocacy. More specifically Hivos works in 6 major thematic areas:[1]

Community building and sustainable economic production form the centre of Hivos policy. The local offices in Zimbabwe, India, Costa Rica and Indonesia play a key role in the programs and provide a significant proportion of contact with partner organizations through advice and guidance.


The work of Hivos is focussed in programme development and management, advocacy and knowledge.

Programme development and management[edit]

Within the programme development and management Hivos provides fundings for organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America according to specific working directions and aims; it manages funds and it supports organizations in capacity building and it collaborates with other donors and organisations. The programmes are:

  • Rights and citizenship is the programme focussed on supporting LGBT rights, democracy, women's rights; the programme also supports initiatives related to HIV/AIDS, gender.
  • Green entrepreneurship is the programme focussed on rural development and SMEs.
  • Expression and engagement is the programme focussed on freedom of expression and active citizenship. It is the programme supporting culture, media and ICT. The programme supports alternative and independent media, cultural networks (among which Arterial network), cultural productions, festivals and cultural spaces, internet freedom[disambiguation needed], transparency and accountability. Hivos is also promoter with the Doen Foundation of the Arts Collaboratory programme.[6]
  • Action for change is the programme focussed on advocacy and campaigns (100% Sustainable, Stop Child Labour, Women@Work) in the North.

Hivos supports more than 700 local private organizations with funds, knowledge and its network. The aim of the programmes is also to strengthen local organizations.


Hivos undertakes advocacy both in the international arena in the Netherlands. It implements lobbying activities in the Netherlands and Europe. The various campaigns Hivos supports are related to the orgsanisation' main themes. Hivos is also committed to the Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations. Hivos also participates the cooperation for Yogyakarta Principles in Action movement for LGBTI people.[7] In the Netherlands, Hivos, the following campaigns:

Stop Child Labour - school workshop[edit]

As part of the European campaign against child labor in the Netherlands, Hivos works with the General Education Association, FNV and the India Committee. The aim is to force[citation needed] governments to move to a policy aimed at total abolition of child labour, increasing their level of support and public involvement with the topic. One example is the role of the Foundation for Children's Stamps (SKN), the program against child labour from MV Foundation in India in 2007 and Hivos supports a tour of this organization in Latin America funds.[clarification needed][citation needed]


Productive employment and Decent Work are key elements to achieving a fair globalisation and the reduction of poverty. Women @ Work, Hivos’ newest international advocacy campaign, is aimed at enforcing the right to decent work for women in formal and informal economies, particularly in global production chains.

100% sustainable[edit]

Hivos and its partner organisations campaign at national and international level to reduce climate change and alleviate poverty by opting for 100% renewable energy.


Hivos supports building, sharing and applying knowledge for development.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e "About Hivos". Hivos International. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "History". Hivos International. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Organisation". Hivos International. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Hivos facts and figures 2011".
  5. ^
  6. ^ Arts Collaboratory page on Hivos website; website of Arts Collaboratory
  7. ^ Yogyakarta Principles in Action, Activist's Guide
  8. ^ Josine Stremmelaar, Knowledge integration for development: the Hivos approach in "Knowledge Management for Development Journal", special issue Collaborative Learning: The Role of Organisational Knowledge Management Strategies, vol. 5, n. 1, 2009.


  • The Netherlands Yearbook on International Cooperation 2008, ed. Paul Hoebink, Uitgeverij Van Gorcum, 2009.

External links[edit]