Our History

R4D was founded in 2008.

Results for Development (R4D) was founded in 2008 by former World Bank Vice President David de Ferranti and others to ensure that local change agents are in the driver’s seat, and that knowledge is transformed into action.

R4D was launched at the urging of prominent colleagues and friends around the world who said there was a need for more organizations that could work at the nexus between thinking and doing — with skill not just in developing promising, evidence-based ideas, but also in the arduous art of applying them in practice. They said there was a need for organizations that could respond to the priorities of low- and middle-income countries and offer independent and impartial advice.

Responding to that call, a small team took the plunge with David and formed R4D. With no initial starter funding, our first R4Ders sought challenging projects and delivered results that quickly proved our organization’s value. We continue to work with these ideals of quality and tenacity in order to achieve great results.

R4D’s first funders included the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Health Workforce Alliance, the Hewlett Foundation and UNAIDS — and early projects focused on health and governance. But as funders saw what R4D could do, and as our track record built up, our portfolio grew.

Within three years, R4D had secured over $40 million in funding, the team had grown to more than 30 people, and we launched a program in education. We continued to receive funding from the Rockefeller and Hewlett Foundations, and added the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Norad, the World Bank Group and the French Development Agency, among others to our list of funders.

Today, we have more than 170 people, we have expanded our portfolio to include work in nutrition, and our annual expenditures exceed $44 million.

In 2016, R4D’s founder and first president, David de Ferranti decided it was time to hand the organizational reins to a new leader. Gina Lagomarsino, R4D’s chief operating officer and a founding staff member of R4D, was selected for the role of CEO and president. David transitioned to the role of board chair and senior fellow, and remains committed to R4D’s mission.

In 2017, R4D debuted a new organizational strategy designed to bring greater focus and impact to its work. Although the new strategy remains true to the original principles that R4D was founded on — ensuring that local change agents are in the driver’s seat, and that knowledge is transformed into action — it reflects an evolution that puts systems strengthening to support sustainable progress in health, education and nutrition at the center of everything we do.

We listen and we learn alongside our partners, helping them move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too.

And we continually ask ourselves: How can we do a better job to enable the world’s least advantaged to break through the obstacles holding them back and construct for themselves a brighter future?

R4D Leadership


Global & Regional Initiatives

R4D is a globally recognized leader for designing initiatives that connect implementers, experts and funders across countries to build knowledge and get that knowledge into practice.