The Hewlett Foundation was founded in 1966 by William Hewlett and his wife Flora Hewlett. It is located in Menlo Park, California and is the fourth largest grant giving foundation in the United States. It has assets worth roughly $9 billion, and gives grants to the tune of tens of millions of dollars a year.
The Hewlett Foundation gives grants to a variety of liberal and progressive causes. It is involved in education, having donated $400 million to Stanford University and invested in Creative Commons near its inception. Environmental concerns also rank highly in the foundation’s agenda. It donated $460 million to a variety of causes related to conservation, particularly in California where it funded the restoration of salt ponds and the preservation of forests. Additionally, it makes large grants to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that promote health. The Hewlett Foundation focuses particularly on reproductive health and family planning. Most of these projects are within the U.S.
In Africa, the Hewlett foundation is engaged in a variety of activities. It has provided funding to a foundation known as Africa’s Voices which works on promoting domestic African media production such as radio and television shows. Additionally, they work with think tanks in Africa to develop solutions by Africans for Africa. An example would be the 2014 African Transformation Report “Growth in Depth” which was developed by the Ghanaian African Center for Economic Transformation. It appears that the Hewlett Foundation functions far more as a source of funding for other NGOs to advance projects than as a project implementer itself, as such it is difficult to evaluate whether or not it is succeeding or failing.
Be that as it may, in Western terms the Hewlett foundation is doing excellent work. One area that I would say is definitely succeeding would be in the area of reproductive health, this is an issue the Hewlett Foundation has focused on domestically and it appears that it has been able to export its expertise overseas and cooperate productively with NGOs to enhance health in Africa.