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Our approach

The future now, for children worldwide. We are committed to harnessing emerging solutions to build a better future for children and young people.

What are we doing?

To fulfil our vision, we are seizing the big opportunity to improve the wellbeing of children and young people in vibrant, growing secondary cities around the world, by connecting diverse players in innovative urban environments, investing in digital solutions and jointly developing scalable and sustainable business models.

How do we get there?

To fulfil our vision, we initiate and drive conversations on key questions on the role of technology for adolescent health, enable critical research to find new approaches, and invest in pioneering innovations to transform and redesign systems, specifically in secondary cities.

Investing in scalable projects and pioneering research

Fondation Botnar invests in both emerging and proven solutions at the household, community, and city level. We fund pioneering innovation, co-create new approaches, and enable transformational research toward strengthening innovation ecosystems.

Convening communities and catalysing dialogue

We convene stakeholders across diverse sectors to catalyse dialogue and help shape policy and practice. We also push for a commitment to global health targets to accelerate progress for young people around the world.

Listening and learning to maximise impact

We recognise the value of listening and learning, both internally and externally, to guide our mission and approach. We believe that by including all relevant voices – partners, grantees, researchers, young people, patients and entrepreneurs – throughout every stage of learning and evaluation, we can achieve strategic impact.

To fulfil our vision, we invest in sustainable projects and pioneering research, convene communities and catalyse dialogue; and continuously monitor and evaluate to maximise our impact.

Geographical focus

By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas and there will be more young people growing up in cities than ever before. Rapid urbanisation is often coupled with a number of threats to young people’s wellbeing, such as unsafe infrastructure, inadequate services, violence and injury. At the same time, while large international or capital cities receive investment, the smaller ones are forgotten. We see secondary cities as a missing component in most international development thinking and planning, and therefore focus our investment here.

We only fund projects in low- and middle-income countries with a strong focus on the following countries: Romania, Tanzania, Colombia, Ecuador, Ghana, Senegal, India (Odisha or Rajasthan), Morocco, Egypt, Indonesia and Vietnam, with a specific interest in projects that focus on emerging urban environments as well as on AI and digital solutions.

The selection of priority countries is based on the following criteria:

1. Children and young people’s needs with regards to health and wellbeing.

2. Digital networking and innovation preparedness.

3. Government preparedness for sustainable implementation and scaling of proven solutions.

4. Influence of country on the region.

5. Special attention is given to medium-sized, rapidly growing cities (“secondary cities”).

Other countries of operation

Fondation Botnar’s headquarters are based in Basel, Switzerland, home of the life sciences. Our work here in Switzerland is based on cutting edge research and digital related policy conversations.

Long term outcomes

Research agenda

Research breakthroughs lead to new digital solutions that can be tested and deployed in secondary cities in order to be scaled up globally.


Adolescents and households access information, self-help guidance, referral advice and change health seeking behaviours.


Community actors are better connected, more efficient, coordinate across multiple sectors and tailor services for child and adolescents sustainably.


Cities become socially and technologically smart by using digital data and AI to coordinate across sector services to inform decisions and policies.

The Future Now
For Children Worldwide

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
+41 61 201 04 74