DHAN Foundation is a development organisation working towards bringing significant changes in the lives of the poor through innovative themes. DHAN's core philosophy is mothering development innovations. DHAN is always on the lookout for emerging new opportunities for the poor; design a theme around the issue, experiment for few years to evolve a replicable and adaptable community organisation model in different contexts, and then consolidate the experience to launch it as a programme for scaling up.
DHAN´s Community Banking Programme is building on the self-help and collective action of the poor. It has an emphasis on creating access to microfinance services that include savings, credit, and insurance to poor women through their own self-managed institutions. These institutions would help address their other development needs. The Tankfed Agriculture programme aims at rebuilding the small scale water reservoirs spread across the countryside for benefiting small and marginal farmers. The experimentation projects and activities are on making rainfed agriculture more remunerative; making information technology to serve the poor; and democratising the Panchayats through local action. The salience of the programmes of DHAN are placing high quality human resources to work with the poor, organising them into self-managed organisations to avail their entitlements and run their services on a cooperative and self-help basis. DHAN always works in collaboration with individuals and organisations including the government and philanthropies.
DHAN´s works are spread over 9,800 villages in 51 Districts of 12 Indian States including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Assam, Bihar and Union Territory of Pondicherry. Through the development programmes, over 810,000 poor families have been organised into nearly 34,000 primary groups of poor women, small and marginal farmers, landless laborer, fisher folk, and other disadvantaged sections of the society. These primary groups have been further networked into 164 independent Federations owned and managed by the community thenselves. About ninety percent of the members are women.