The Hauser Center, an interdisciplinary research institution based at HKS, aims to create an academic focus at Harvard on the nonprofit, voluntary sector as a vital contributor to the welfare of both the domestic and the international community. The Center seeks to expand understanding and accelerate critical thinking about civil society among scholars, practitioners, policy makers and the general public. The Hauser Center has five focal "domains of practice,” of which, four are potentially connected to global health: humanitarian and development NGOs; Justice and Human Rights; Nonprofits in China; and Philanthropy. Faculty affiliated with the Hauser Center who work on health include: Nancy Kane (HSPH), Joan Kauffman (HKS/ Brandeis), HGHI Steering Committee member Jennifer Leaning (HSPH), and Nancy Oriol (HMS/BIDMC).
The Center conducts research on topics ranging from nonprofit management to philanthropy to religion and public life, and publishes an annual Nonprofit Course guide for Harvard students as well as a series of books, working papers and teaching cases. It offers a concentration in nonprofit organizations for degree-program students at HKS. Translation of knowledge into practice is a main objective of the Hauser Center, and the Center appears to have considerable engagement with NGOs in its focal domains.