There is general agreement that foundations play a central role in public policy development, but there are different views on the nature of their involvement. Some observers see foundations as independent actors: they initiate new ideas, programs, and scientific advances. One variant of this view is that foundations are hegemonic, in that their staff and donors formulate a specific agenda and fund scientific and policy research which legitimize the programs and policies they promote. A second, and rather different view, is that they operate in a more collaborative fashion. According to this perspective, donors and staff interact with other policy actors and are important, but not dominant actors in issue networks which develop goals, knowledge, methods and priorities.