New Podcast on Evaluating Impact Investing

In the first of a series of podcasts by Wider Sense, a Berlin-based philanthropy and CSR think-and-do tank, Ted Jackson is interviewed by Michael Alberg-Seberich on trends and issues in evaluating impact investing, including theory of change, participation, unintended consequences, ecosystem development and gender lens investing.

Gender Lens Investing Primer for College and University Endowments

A new US network, Intentional Endowments, has launched a primer on gender lens investing (GLI) for college and university endowments. Written by Julia Enyart, with the advice of a working group chaired by Suzanne Beigel and including, among others, Julie Gorte, Kristin Hull, Jackie Rotman and Jackie VanderBrug, the primer focuses mainly on screening and engagement strategies for public markets.

Are Development NGOs AI Ready?

In their new blog, Ted Jackson and Brian Rowe ask whether non-governmental organizations are ready for the economic and social changes already being triggered by new applications of artificial intelligence, especially the prospects of large scale job loss over the next 20 years. (Read the blog)

Maendeleo Diamond Standards Launched

On April 24, 2019, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) launched the Maendeleo Diamond Standards, which establish best practices in consent, legality, community engagement, workers’ rights, environmental protection, and health and safety for artisanal and small-scale diamond mining in Africa and the Americas.

Reality Check Needed for Blended Finance

A new report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) calls for a reality check on efforts to mobilize, structure and deploy blended capital—from the private, public and philanthropic sectors—to accelerate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The current approach is not leveraging significant amounts of private investment overall and very little for low-income countries,”…(Read more)

Learning-Oriented Real-Time Impact Assessment

On April 15-17, 2019, the Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU) of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) held its most annual Learning-Oriented Real-Time Impact Assessment (LORTA) workshop, this time at the University of Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany. Serving a growing number of approved GCF projects, LORTA technical assistance services provided by the Unit (Read more)

Africa’s Growing Digital Economy

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, McKinsey’s Acha Leke and Tawanda Sibanda underscore the rapid growth digital business in Africa: “Africa already has 122 million active users of mobile financial services, more than half the global total. Its number of smartphone connections is forecast to double from 315 million in 2015 to 636 million in…(Read more)

Operating Principles for Impact Management

On April 12, 2019, 60 global investors launched the International Finance Corporation’s new Operating Principles for Impact Management at the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  Founding signatories to the principles included international banks, insurance companies, private equity funds, development finance institutions and non-profit impact investment funds.  The principles are aimed…(Read more)