The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India office opened in 2006. Our efforts focus on urban programs that foster high-quality education and childhood health, and improve family economic stability among India’s urban poor, including an estimated 7.6 million children living in slums nationwide.  Our efforts are centered in 15 major cities. Our goals in India are to seek immediate positive impact on the lives of individual children we work with, and to catalyze systemic change. To those ends, we partner with a range of stakeholders, including governments, businesses, NGOs, implementation experts, community organizations and other philanthropies. We actively consult with all our partners, helping them to problem solve, assess performance, course correct and plan for the future.

The scale of need in urban India demands that each dollar we invest works toward exponential social impact. To achieve that goal, we employ a range of financial tools, from traditional philanthropic grants, to mission-driven impact investments.

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India: Education

Enrollment in India’s public and private schools has increased in recent years, but in many schools, educational quality remains low. Among grade 5 students nationwide, 53 percent cannot read at a grade 2 level, while 46 percent cannot solve a two-digit subtraction problem.[i] We seek to improve the quality of available education through a variety of initiatives. These include:

  • In-school and after-school academic programs that measurably increase student learning levels
  • Integrated school excellence programs that focus on improved leadership and teacher capabilities and processes, as well as more sustainable school operations
  • The development and standardization of high-quality learning assessments that enable data-driven insights into—and improvement of­—student outcomes, instructional quality and school performance

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India: Health

Millions of urban families in India lack access to clean water, sanitation and basic health services. Associated health issues like malnutrition increase higher drop-out rates and impair learning – they’re also easily treatable. To address the issue at scale, our India health portfolio focuses on two priority initiatives; government-led, school-based health programs and integrated water-sanitation programs that combine the efforts of a cross-section of stakeholders to achieve the best results.

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India: Family Economic Stability

Family economic stability is the bedrock on which better health and education outcomes for urban children are built. To strengthen that foundation for impoverished families living in urban India, we focus on:

  • Greater access to a range of financial tools, including microsavings, micropensions and micromortgages, designed to meet the needs of the urban poor
  • Sectorwide adoption of meaningful customer protection standards and protocols
  • High quality vocational programs designed to increase the lifetime earnings potential of young people who have dropped out of school


[i] [i] Based on ASER, a national rural survey of enrolments and learning levels reaching 700,000 children each year in approximately 300,000 households.