Answer social and economic development needs of the African Portuguese-Speaking Countries (PALOP) and East Timor, through human resource development and the strengthening of their institutions in education, health, including research, and arts.

The programme reflects the Gulbenkian Foundation’s opening to the world and its commitments to future generations. It operates in the PALOP countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe) and East Timor.

PALOP and East Timor persons and institutions working in health, education and the arts, as well as in bolstering up civil society organisations operating in these countries and fields.

Operational strategy
In PALOP countries and East Timor, the programme runs as a manager of its own projects, as financer and as coordinator of internationally-financed projects.

The programme is built around the following four axes:

Create better conditions for future generations’ literacy and numeracy;
Improve healthcare quality;
Foster creativity;
Strengthen civil society organisations;

In line with the development agendas’ priorities of partner countries and with the 2030 Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063, the programme has cross-cutting concerns with the promotion of:

  • gender equality: women’s empowerment;
  • regional equity and non-weakening of state structures;
  • conditions for the development of the digital economy;
  • decent employment opportunities.

The ability to accept risks and to call for proposals allows the Foundation to intervene in partnership with foreign countries’ ministries and multilateral institutions—such as the World Bank or UNICEF—committing itself to development programme ‘orphan niches’ like oncology and health research.

In this context, the foundation also encourages country participation in networks and partnerships at international level:

  • European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), supporting PALOP’s applications for the capacity building call for proposals from the ethics and regulatory affairs national committees.

New approaches
The necessity to continue to find solutions to ‘old problems’ and to ‘emerging problems’, such as employability and the use of technology, is a concern of this programme.

In 2018, the ‘Gulbenkian Initiatives for Development Innovation’ were created with the purpose of supporting project launches, through calls for proposals, in non-traditional areas of cooperation like pre-school education and the creative economy, as well as finding new answers in maternal and child health care.