HDRF focuses on the following three areas:
Conducting research in the health, education, social, and biological fields. HDRF has the expertise to implement all aspects of research, including proposal development, project management, field work, data management, analysis, and publication and dissemination of findings. Our current focus of research is in the area of Maternal and Child Health. We believe this area to be at the core of human development. Human Development Research Foundation has the following research themes under the domains of Implementation Research and Clinical Trials:
- Perinatal (mother & child) Public Health & Public Mental Health
- Early Childhood Development & Disorders including Autism
- Health Applications of Technology
- Mental Health in Humanitarian context
Developing training materials, and conducting workshops and seminars for human service organizations and the public. We assist educational institutions in developing appropriate curricula and teaching methods for effective education. We have expertise in developing technology assisted training programmes based on m-health and e-health principles.
Implementing research into action. We believe that research is of no use unless its benefits reach the population. We develop strategies to implement our evidence-based intervention programmes at District level and beyond, with a focus on resource-poor settings. We assist organizations in scaling-up of such programmes. Our local service targets children with intellectual and neuro-developmental disorders in Mandra and adjoining areas.
HDRF’s research and service facilities are based in a rural area in Mandra, outside of the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistan. These facilities – the Mandra Research Center (MRC) and the Mandra Intellectual and Neuro-developmental Disorders (MIND) Center – act as the nuclei for the Foundation’s activities.
All these research, educational and service activities take place across the country. Our research projects are managed independently or in collaboration with national and international partners. HDRF seeks funds for its activities from national and international research funding agencies, research institutions, and academic departments; accepts donations by philanthropic individuals, and generates income through intrinsic income-generating activities such as contract research and consultancy.
The administrative head office is located in the Federal Capital city of Islamabad. HDRF has a rural research complex located in sub-District Gujar Khan. The complex is situated in Union Council Mandra, about 70 kilometres from Islamabad. This complex offers unique facilities for researchers in a rural setting. It has 30 computer stations with wireless networking, printing and internet access. It has 3 meeting rooms where training activities can take place simultaneously for over 100 persons. It is fully air-conditioned and has back-up power generating facilities in case of power breakdown. HDRF has over 100 staff trained in field research and support. It has established links with the primary health care system, local politicians, traditional healers, social workers and NGO staff working in two sub-districts of Rawalpindi, Gujar Khan and Kaller Syedan.
Health Applications of Technology Team
HDRF has a dedicated ‘Health Applications of Technology’ (HAT) team dedicated to exploring technological solutions to health challenges. It has software developers, graphic designers, and data management experts. HAT has in-house capacity for developing and maintaining complex technological systems, as well as data management systems.
HDRF is one of Pakistan's most research active NGO. Over the last 13 years HDRF has been involved in conducting community based research with a special emphasis on health systems research, developing and testing contextually appropriate interventions for priority maternal and child health issues. It has conducted 14 projects and published over 50 peer reviewed publications, reports and training manuals in the last 13 years. HDRF's work is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the NIH, Grand Challenges Canada, the British Council, and USAID. HDRF works in collaboration with major international academic partners including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester in the UK, and Duke and Johns Hopkins Universities in the US. Nationally, the Foundation has MOU's signed with the Health Services Academy (Pakistan key feeder institution for health policy) and the Punjab & Khyber PakhtoonKhwa's Lady Health Workers Programme, and the Institute of Psychiatry, Rawalpindi.
HDRF's research has created impact: It conducted the largest randomised trial of a psychosocial intervention for perinatal depression (The Thinking Healthy Programme). The intervention has been adopted for global dissemination by the WHO. As a global leader in psychosocial health research, HDRF brings a unique multi-disciplinary dimension and expertise to this project which is key to moving the field forward.