Development of Humane Action (DHAN) Foundation, a professional development organisation, was initiated on October 2, 1997. It brings highly motivated, educated young women and men to the development sector. They would make new innovations in development to root out poverty from the country, in thus achieving the Mission of the organisation.



Building people and institutions for development innovations and scaling up to enable the poor communities for poverty reduction and self-reliance


The broad purposes for which DHAN stands are:
  • Mothering of Development Innovations: The institution intends to promote and nurture new ideas on development themes such as microfinance, small scale irrigation, dry land agriculture, and working with Panchayats which can impact on poverty in a significant manner.

  • Promoting Institutions to reach scale: Exclusive thematic organisations will be promoted to takeup development work with a sub-sectoral focus. The primary role will be to promote and ensure that quality benefits reach a large number of poor.

  • Human Resource Development: The institution would bring young professionals into the development sector and give them an opportunity to practice and develop relevant knowledge, attitudes and skills needed for long term work.


The principles guiding DHAN are
  • Engaging high quality human resources to work at the grassroots. The focus would be to enable the poor, not deliver services.

  • Valuing collaboration with mainstream institutions and Government to demonstrate new and effective intervention to link them with the people.

  • Promoting people’s organisations to ensure entitlements and to build an effective demand system to promote people’s interest.

  • Promoting livelihoods to address the issues of poverty directly.

  • Enriching the themes and retaining sub-sectoral focus as a strategy for growth.


  • DHAN Foundation is always a pioneering development institution to build poverty-free, gender-balanced, equitable, ecological-sensitive, democratic, just and value-based inclusive society. It creates freedom of choice to the families, groups and community to determine and develop the meaning of their lives, their identities and their life styles for the well-being of their life.

  • DHAN Foundation opens new frontiers for better humanity and would build scalable, cost effective and sustainable innovations for self-reliance.

  • DHAN Foundation will always be acknowledged as a leader in institution building for poverty alleviation. It would be trend-setter in grassroots development with people governance and management.

  • It will be occupying its legitimate space in policy making forums to shape the macro-environment to the realities of grassroots and serving development community by disseminating good practices. It will shape thousands of development professionals to make millions of poor live with dignity and right livelihood. DHAN Foundation will foster alternative paradigms with social entrepreneurship and collective leadership.

  • It will be respected for its role in unleashing the potential of the poor and guiding them through their movements by building new institutions for achieving significance. It will promote networks, alliances on development ‘causes’ with relevant stakeholders – Academia, Civil Society, Government, Business houses, Professional networks, Media, Financial institutions and other resource institutions – at national, regional and global environment.



DHAN has rooted in values, such as Grassroots action, Collaboration, Enabling, Innovation, Excellence, and Self-Regulation. DHAN believes that these values are its core strength needed to realise its Vision and Mission.

Development of Humane Action (DHAN)
Values of DHAN

1. Grassroots action

2. Collaboration

3. Enabling

4. Innovation

5. Excellence

6. Self-Regulation

Contact Information

DHAN Foundation

1A, Vaidyanathapuram East

Kennet Cross Road

Madurai 625 016, Tamil Nadu, INDIA

+91-452-2302500 , 2302598



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