Focus Areas

Capturing & Sharing Learning

Learning is central to everything we do at Gatsby.

We seek to learn about what is working and what is not across all our programmes so we can amplify and replicate successes and change course where necessary.  We look to capture and share such lessons, including through case studies, so others can benefit from our learning.

We also conduct and commission research on key questions around international development and East Africa – aiming to strengthen our work and that of others.  The three key questions we are looking to answer currently are:

  1. What trends are set to shape the future in East Africa?
  2. How does inclusive economic growth happen?
  3. How can we help farmers access quality advice and inputs?


Case Study: Investing in new models to raise Rwandan tea farmers' incomes – Lessons from our work turning around failing tea factories and building partnerships between multi-national companies and smallholders to transform communities. Click here to learn more. 

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Research questions


We believe it's crucial to understand trends and what they mean over the medium- and long-term for East Africa – this will help make sure we are positioned to support the region in the most impactful way in the future.

As such, we have launched Horizon East Africa.  Horizon will develop forward-looking reports aiming to contribute to the conversation about East Africa’s future, and help governments, donors, firms and citizens to better mitigate risks and grasp the opportunities to come. 

Horizon's first report explores seven region-level trends in East Africa's fast-changing landscape:

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Click here to learn more about Horizon


We are partnering with the Overseas Development Institute to learn more about how economic transformation happens. We want to better understand:

  • What different countries’ experiences through history can tell us about triggering inclusive economic growth by transforming individual sectors
  • What factors drive or hold back transformative sector-level change
  • What roles governments need to play in supporting inclusive economic growth through sector-level change

Click here to learn more

 3) How Can We Help Farmers Access Quality Advice and Inputs?

In agricultural development, one of the toughest challenges is to find sustainable ways for smallholders to access quality advice and inputs.

We are exploring ways to tackle the challenge of last mile distribution through research examining different actors' experiences in this area – as well as our own.

Click here to learn more


Foundations can take risks and innovate in ways that are very difficult for government, and I strongly believe they should play this role.
David Sainsbury, Founder of Gatsby

As a private foundation, we have the flexibility and freedom to both trial new ways of working and be honest about our failures as well as our successes.  By sharing our learning we hope to help others - such as donors and governments - who have the ability to operate on a much greater scale than we do, but face certain restrictions and pressures that we don’t.

how to get involved

We are eager to share what we learn and to gather lessons from others engaged in similar work.  We also want to better understand the challenges others are facing in their efforts to support economic transformation, so that we can focus our learning and sharing on the topics most relevant to Gatsby and to others.

To register your interest in this and to start a conversation with us, please get in touch by emailing