- Expanding partnership in development
The SFD has expanded and strengthened partnership and coordination efforts with the government agencies, NGOs and international development agencies to achieve more effective development. The SFD also plays a key role in supporting decentralization and empowering local authorities, local councils and NGOs—SFD's main development partners.
- Special programs
The SFD develops special programs addressing poverty and needs such as low girls’ education enrollments, shortages of water and shortage of health workers in rural areas, in addition to other programs such as the community integrated interventions in the poorest communities, supporting microfinance programs, developing community labor-intensive works
The SFD gives broad authorities to its nine branch offices, which cover all governorates, in terms of development of annual plans, and projects implementation and it offers the opportunity for competition in performance among them. SFD headquarters carries out strategic planning, monitoring, resource mobilization and coordination with donors.
- Evaluation and development
The SFD conducts several reviews and evaluations focusing on results and impact.. The SFD uses quantitative and qualitative data from various resources such as its management information system (MIS), field studies at community, project and households levels as well as using data from the national surveys and studies. The evaluation results are used to develop the SFD policies, systems and interventions.
- Supporting national development plans
The SFD has developed its Mid-term Vision (2006–10) goes in line with, and contribute to, implementing the third five-year Economic and Social Development Plan, national sectoral plans to Reduce Poverty, the Public Investment Plan and the government efforts to mobilize resources to implement these plan.
- Transparency & cost efficiency
The SFD represents a model of a government institution governed by efficient administrative and financial systems, practicing transparent and clear procedures in resource allocation, project selection and implementation. Moreover, SFD's administrative cost is much lower than that of other social-investment funds in other countries—reaching less than 5% of SFD's total financial resources.
- Focusing on service delivery and impact
SFD's focus on service delivery and the results have earned the SFD excellent reputation in rural communities and won their confidence. The independent evaluation indicates that during 2003–06 the number of rural students, enrolled in SFD-built schools, rose by 122% for girls and 91% for boys. The evaluation also found that SFD-supported feeder roads reduced the time of access to services and markets by 50%, microfinance programs' active clients rose from 3,282 to 25,588 (86% were women)—with these programs improving the living conditions of 84% of beneficiary families.
Projects Funding Criteria
Most projects should ensure the following criteria during and after implementation in order that the projects serve the community the longest:
The SFD allocates its resources to the poorest and neediest communities groups through various projects and interventions in order to improve their living conditions. The 2006 Impact Evaluation, conducted by a specialized international company, found that the SFD-Yemen's targeting is the best among other peer funds in other countries where similar analytical procedures have been applied. It further indicates that 73% of SFD's resources go to the three lowest income deciles and just 3% to the top decile.
To ensure sustainability, the SFD supports projects that meet the actual needs of the local communities and are appropriate in terms of technical design and availability of operation and maintenance resources.
- Community-driven approach
The SFD follows demand-driven approach and promotes for its activities among the target communities in order to motivate them to apply for priority services. The independent 2006 Impact Evaluation found that 95% of SFD-targeted projects have been of high priority for the beneficiaries.
- Community participation
The SFD revives community traditional self-reliance spirit through enhancing community participation during and after project implementation starting from the prioritization of their needs and project implementation, operation and maintenance. The SFD encourages democratic practices by encouraging the communities to organize themselves and elect their representatives in community committees.
- Community contribution:
With a purpose to increase community's sense of ownership of the infrastructure projects and as part of community participation, the SFD requests beneficiary communities to contribute to project costs by providing labor, construction materials, other in-kind contributions and cash.
- Gender mainstreaming
The SFD is implementing its Gender Mainstreaming Strategy and Framework (2008–10) as part of its efforts to increase the quality and effectiveness of SFD contributions to sustainable poverty reduction for both sexes, with a focus on increasing gender sensitization in SFD policies and procedures as well as interventions and sector programs. About half of SFD project beneficiaries are women—a clear progress underscoring SFD's ability to bridge the development gender gap.