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Human development

Areas of Expertise


    Youth, education and early childhood development

    Improving outcomes for infants, children and young people.

    Half the population in Africa is below the age of 20. We are committed to helping these young people, and their peers in the Middle East, develop to their full potential and make a positive contribution to their communities and societies. We work to improve education, care and support from the critical first 1,000 days of life, through K-12 education, up to young adults’ entry into the world of work. 

    We are particularly focused on expanding opportunities for children and young people who lack choice and opportunity. We work with governments, their partners in development, and private and non-state actors to improve the reach and quality of education, care, and support services. We help clients to take opportunities and deal with challenges presented by changes in demography, climate, technology and the shock of COVID-19.


    Social protection and social care

    Helping vulnerable populations manage risk and shocks.

    Managing risks, such as the risk of ill health, poor rains or losing a job, forces many vulnerable people in Africa and the Middle East to put themselves in difficult situations. We are committed to helping people manage risks and deal with shocks. 

    We help governments, their partners and non-state actors understand the risks that affect their populations, including both “fat tail” risks such as Covid-19, conflict, or catastrophic climate change, as well as risks associated with being young or old and those related to disease, the economy, accidents and crime. 

    We help clients build social protection and social care systems and programmes that are adequately financed, are targeted equitably, allocate budgets wisely and efficiently, make good use of technologies, and are adaptive and responsive to shocks and opportunities.


    Health, nutrition and WaSH

    Improving health and nutrition outcomes and systems.

    Good health and good nutrition are essential for people to develop to their full potential. Both are major barriers to human development in Africa. Working with our health practice, we are committed to improving the financing of healthcare, and to supporting good nutrition and WaSH. 

    We help governments, their partners, and private and non-state actors to provide better nutrition, WaSH and healthcare services, with a particular focus on young and marginalised populations.


    Service: Diagnostics

    Helping to understand human development challenges and opportunities.

    Large changes in demography, technology, and climate, and the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, have renewed the importance of understanding the nature and needs of populations and the contexts in which they live. 

    Using rigorous analysis, we help clients conduct diagnostics of human development challenges and opportunities to provide more effective services.


        Service: Financing, costing and budgeting

        Helping clients spend enough and spend well on human development.

        Spending enough money, and spending it well, is a core function for human development organisations. Most organisations, governments in particular, allocate budgets on a historical basis rather than using a clear-eyed analysis of costs, needs or returns. They then often struggle to spend budgets, especially non-salary budgets, as planned. 

        With rapid changes in needs and opportunities, and immediate fiscal pressures from Covid-19, a more proactive approach to financing is often needed. We help clients improve financing, costing, budgeting and spending through rigorous analysis and diagnostics, modelling of costs and returns, resource mapping, innovative financing solutions, and the facilitation of conversations between finance and service delivery ministries.


          Service: Strategy, planning and implementation

          Improving strategy, planning, and putting strategies and plans into action.

          Making difficult choices with scarce resources – and then turning those choices into reality – is critical to good service provision. The rapid changes to which human development sectors must adapt give renewed importance to effective strategy, planning, and implementation on a regular basis. 

          Using Genesis’s approach to joint solutions, we help human development clients develop robust, realistic, and innovative strategies and plans, and then put them into action.


          Service: Regulation, governance and oversight

          Optimising the performance of human development service providers and support systems.

          Human development at scale requires hundreds of thousands of organisations functioning independently yet coherently, both to provide services (such as schools) and to support them (such as textbook printing). Effective regulation, governance and oversight arrangements are key to this. 

          Working with our Competition and Regulatory Economics practice, we help governments improve their regulation of private and non-state organisations, and improve the governance oversight of their own human development systems. We help private and non-state organisations interested in human development to navigate regulation effectively.


            Service: Service delivery

            Improving the quality and coverage of human development services.

            People can develop to their full potential when they have access to quality human development services. We are committed to helping governments, their partners, and private and non-state actors improve these services. 

            We support building and running excellent organisations (such as schools or clinics); improving systems for recruiting, training, deploying and managing capable and motivated people (such as teachers or care workers); making sure appropriate goods (such as cash or food transfers), materials (such as textbooks) and technology are available as needed; improving systems for standard setting (such as a curriculum or care standards), verification (such as a single registry for social protection) and assessment; and engaging communities.


            Service: Monitoring and evaluation

            Supporting learning, accountability and communication in human development.

            Understanding what works and why in human development is not straightforward. Human development systems are complex in themselves and interact with other complex systems. This creates unpredictability: it is by no means certain that what has worked to improve human development outcomes in one time and place will work in another. 

            However, rigorous and contextual analyses of human development programmes can help improve outcomes. Working with our Evaluation for Development practice, we help human development clients to conduct monitoring and evaluation for the purposes of learning what works and why, of accountability for public or private funding, to take a note of and learn from failure, and to identify and celebrate success.

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