Our Impact Report

Welcome to WDF's first ever Impact Report. Scroll down, read, click and explore the quality of our work and the change we have supported in the low- and middle-income country non-communicable disease (NCD) arena over the years. Our impact is uncovered through numbers and narratives, visuals and storytelling. We will take a bird's-eye view of what we do and zoom in on the many faces that reflect the depth and breadth of our work. Enjoy!

"With this first Impact Report, we hope to start a conversation on WDF’s impact. At the same time, the report is a testament to our purpose and achievements, a spark of motivation to strive for even more and attract other like-minded agencies to partner with us in creating bigger sustainable health system transformations to address the burden of diabetes and related NCDs."

Anil Kapur, Chair of the Board, WDF

Ma(r)king a difference: WDF’s first Impact Report

“I express my deepest gratitude to all our local and global partners

Read Anil's letter

To date, WDF has supported 605 projects in 120 countries. 97 of these are ongoing projects.

Behind these numbers we find the partnering organisations that we support, the health systems that we help strengthen and the lives of individual people living with diabetes and other chronic diseases that we serve. To understand how our efforts support our mission to raise awareness and strengthen care and prevention of NCDs, we need to look beyond the numbers and dive into the changes that our funding has enabled. 

Without attributing to WDF the positive changes that have happened in the global NCD arena the past two decades, we seek to show our impact through the contributions we have made.

Maybe you want to read this report from end to end, maybe you want to create your own journey through our impact.

We hope you will enjoy as you scroll down, read and click to explore WDF's levels of impact within care, prevention and advocacy for diabetes and other chronic diseases.

On this page 

  1. Our results in numbers

  2. Humble beginnings and pioneering efforts: WDF's impact on gestational diabetes in India | Impact deep-dive

  3. The Tanzanian recipe for impact: access to care for people living with diabetes in LMICs | Impact deep-dive

  4. The advocacy timeline: highlights of WDF's impact on global policy for NCDs

  5. Building the case for NCDs: a conversation on WHO’s partnership with WDF

  6. Ongoing projects in 2023

  7. Proud and humble: reflections on WDF’s first Impact Report

  8. How we understand impact


Throughout this online-only report we unfold our impact with a focus on three levels of change:

  • Individual level: the people living with chronic disease affected by the projects that we support

  • Organisational level: the partners we work with and who implement the needed changes in the countries where we are working

  • Systemic level: the changes in legislation and policies at national and global levels

“WDF’s support has contributed to strengthening health systems for GDM services, making GDM an integral part of the antenatal care services in Madhya Pradesh

Our results tell their own story of change

From 2002 to 2023, WDF provided 201.5 million EUR in funding to 605 partnership projects in 120 countries. To date, our support has touched millions of livesEach touch accumulated helps show the reach of what we do.

Impact stories

To get a more holistic picture of our impact, we need to look closer at the changes that our support enables. Such as people living healthier lives, clinics providing better care, partners attracting more funding, and policymakers making diabetes a top priority.

Dive in and explore cases that show how WDF's support has made a real difference for our partners and the people they serve.

Humble beginnings and pioneering efforts:
WDF's impact on gestational diabetes in India

The prevalence of gestational diabetes (GDM) is increasing globally. In some countries, such as India, the prevalence  is particularly high. The potential individual and societal impact of supporting mothers and their babies is remarkable. It is a window of opportunity for healthier lives that must not be missed. 

WDF tackles hyperglycaemia in pregnancy (HiP) through two strategic tracks: care and prevention. We view GDM as a window of opportunity to improve maternal health and reduce the risk of long-term health issues for both mothers and children. Our focus on GDM seeks to support a healthy life beyond pregnancy and early motherhood for both woman and child. Mother and baby tend to be in frequent contact with the healthcare system, both before and after birth, providing ample opportunities for health interventions. Additionally, studies show that pregnant women and new mothers are more willing to change their health habits compared to during other life phases.

“The WDF team’s collaboration has been instrumental in driving the success of our shared initiatives, and WDF’s commitment to the cause of GDM has truly made a lasting impact

Discover our impact on GDM in India

The Tanzanian recipe for impact:
WDF’s contribution to better access to care

Limited or inadequate access to healthcare is a significant challenge faced by about 4.5 billion people, which means that more than half of the world’s population lack full access to essential health services. This is mainly due to systemic barriers such as distance to clinics, high consultation fees, and inadequate capacity and quality in the healthcare system.  

The WDF approach to strengthening access to care has been refined over the past 20 years, and one of the most significant examples of its impact is seen in Tanzania. Since 2003, WDF has collaborated with the Tanzanian Diabetes Association (TDA), transforming diabetes care from a humble pop-up container clinic in Dar es Salaam to the endorsement of a nationwide NCD programme owned and run by the Tanzanian government.

“WDF’s support becomes a catalyst for initiatives that we would have otherwise thought were impossible to pursue

Find out the Tanzanian recipe for impact

The impact of WDF's advocacy work

The global agenda on diabetes and NCDs has come a long way since WDF’s inception in 2002. From very limited acknowledgment of the emerging NCD burden in the early days, to diabetes and NCDs now being anchored in international frameworks and agreements. The past two decades reveal an evolution in the global recognition of and attention to NCDs - slowly but surely paving a path for diabetes and NCDs in policymaking at global, regional, and national levels.

Explore our interactive impact journey, where we seek to show an incredibly complex process in a simple manner. We list WDF's contribution to major global policy milestones on the one side and provide an overview of how the global NCD agenda has evolved on the other. The ambition is to give an impression of how our efforts in global, regional and local advocacy have played a role in influencing, informing, and advancing the global dialogue on NCDs over the years.

Explore the impact of our advocacy

Building the case for NCDs: 
A conversation on WHO’s partnership with WDF

There is a slow-moving tsunami on the horizon for global health, with NCDs predicted to create the biggest waves. NCDs have a space and momentum at national and global policy levels, which both WHO's Dr Bente Mikkelsen and WDF's Sanne Frost Helt have not experienced before in their many years working with the area. NCDs are becoming more recognised. However, to push for an even greater impact, new approaches need to be followed. Reflecting on what these approaches could be the two directors agree: strengthening integration of NCD prevention and care into primary health care.

“WDF’s expertise in collaborating with stakeholders across sectors, including LMIC governments, civil society and international organisations, has provided essential support to WHO in elevating visibility of and attention to the NCD agenda at global, regional and national levels

Read about building the case for NCDs

Ongoing projects in 2023

Without our partners, WDF would have no impact at all. Partnerships are the basis of everything that we do. Since our inception, the way we do our programmes has evolved. From small projects with many different partners, we have shifted to bigger projects with fewer partners.

Today we have 97 ongoing projects covering 65 countries.

Proud and humble:
reflections on WDF’s first Impact Report

Over the past two decades, WDF has partnered with international organisations, civil society, governments, and donors to advance prioritisation of NCDs – at global, regional and local levels. Together, we have achieved significant policy landmarks and in partnership we have helped bring much needed health services closer to home.  

The key words here are ‘together’ and ‘in partnership’ - all our efforts are in partnership with others, it is in our DNA. Therefore, this first WDF Impact Report focuses on the change WDF has contributed to, not on change which can be exclusively attributed to our support – to us, the latter would neither be possible, nor meaningful.

“When I started working with NCDs in 2003, they were barely recognised as a challenge in LMICs

Read Sanne's letter

Small drops and big waves:
How WDF programmes, advocacy and learning enable change

At WDF, we define impact as the effects our initiatives have on the lives of people with diabetes and related NCDs in low and middle-income countries. This includes both long-term systemic changes and short-term improvements that help enhance access to healthcare and increase opportunities for healthy living. 

We take an ambitious approach to reporting on impact by combining quantitative impact data with qualitative deep dives exploring how WDF has been a catalyst for change in the field of diabetes and related NCDs in low- and middle-income countries.