Improving livelihoods, health, and the environment for rural poor.

Our legacy Global Program was initiated in 2010 with grantmaking that concluded in 2015. We are no longer considering new funding proposals for this program.

Thanks to thoughtful strategies and careful execution by our partners in the field, the great majority of projects met or exceeded expectations. Because of these results, Barr deepened its initial commitment of $15 million to Global grantmaking to $41 million, and we extended an envisioned three-year pilot to five years.

Below you can find further information about Barr’s Global Program, including what we achieved, how grant funds were spent, where we worked, and whom we partnered with. We also offer a deeper look (via text and video) of a few of our partners and a report—From Local to Global—summarizing our approach, investments, and learning at the Global Program’s midpoint in 2013.

For any question related to Barr Global, contact Emily Sidla.

What Were Our Investment Areas and Goals?

Community Health

To increase access to quality health care in rural areas, with particular attention to mothers and children under five years of age. Focused on increasing the number of appropriately trained and supported community health workers, addressing barriers to the availability of essential medicines, and supporting the use of mobile technology to improve the quality of care.

Sustainable Agriculture

To increase agricultural productivity and market access for small-holder farmers in an environmentally responsible manner and to help strengthen resilience to climate change. Focused on introducing new farming practices, rehabilitating degraded land, and expanding access to markets and irrigation technologies.

Exploratory and Learning

To explore new issues and areas for investment, including education, climate resilience, and women’s and girls’ empowerment.

Clean Energy

To improve the health and economic welfare of families in rural areas by introducing new technology and reducing their environmental footprint. Invested in organizations with potential to increase access to affordable and clean energy by developing markets for clean cookstove technologies and solar lights, launching demonstration projects, and using existing rural distribution platforms.

How Were Grant Funds Spent?

Barr Foundation Global Grantmaking Funds

Where Did We Work?

Barr Global Grantmaking

Who Were Our Partners?

We collaborated closely with community members, local organizations, and governments, with a strong focus on capacity building. See a full list of our partners

D-tree International

D-tree International

D-tree is changing the way health care is delivered in developing countries by providing accurate and effective point-of-care diagnosis and treatment through mobile technology.

Learn more about D-tree International



By partnering with KOMAZA, farmers make their lands more productive and more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Many participants experience a tripling of earning from each acre of land.

Learn more


Relief Society of Tigray (REST)

REST Tigray

REST improves food security for the poorest rural households in the most drought prone and environmentally degraded areas of Tigray.

Learn more about Relief Society of Tigray (REST)

Living Goods

Living Goods

Over a span of seven years, Living Goods has developed and scaled a model for improving health in rural Africa. The organization trains and supports networks of entrepreneurs who go door to door to deliver health products and education to the poor in their communities.

Learn more about Living Goods

What Did We Learn?

The Local to Global report.

From the beginning of this initiative we actively engaged with peers to learn and to share knowledge and lessons—including our December 2013 publication, From Local to Global, summarizing our approach, investments, and learning.

Explore the report

Barr Global Posts