Dr. Sulley Gariba Appointed Head of Impact for the Mastercard Foundation

Longtime friend and colleague, the Honourable Dr. Sulley Gariba, has been appointed Head of Country and Regional Program Impact for the Mastercard Foundation.  An international leader in development evaluation and public policy, Dr.Gariba will carry out his pan-African mandate from Accra, Ghana. Formerly Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada and Senior Advisor to the President of…(Read…

Jackson and Associates Wins SDG Leadership Award

We recently learned that E.T. Jackson and Associates Ltd. has won a 2019 SDG Leadership Award in the small-business category for our research, evaluation and field-building in impact investing and innovative finance and their resulting contributions to the achievement of SDG #8 on decent work and economic growth in developing countries.  Our candidacy received many…(Read…

Mainstreaming Gender at DFC Belize

Earlier this month, the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) of Belize kicked off a series of staff training sessions and community consultations aimed at informing its new Gender Equality Policy and Action Plan.  This initiative is supported by the Caribbean Development Bank and E.T. Jackson and Associates.  DFC has appointed a Gender Champion from among its…(Read…

Using The Principles for Digital Development in Evaluations

In a recent post for AEA365, Zach Tilton makes the case for evaluators to integrate the Principles for Digital Development into their professional practice.  Among others, the Principles promote user engagement, scale, sustainability and open source in the design and implementation of digital innovations and applications.  To read his blog, click here.  For more on…(Read…

Next Generation Research Partnerships

Organized by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation and the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development, the NextGen Symposium was held at the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa on May 25-26, 2019.  The meeting brought together reflective civil-society practitioners and engaged scholars to exchange lessons and tools for more effective research partnerships…(Read…

New Workers’ Rights Agreement in Garment Industry in Lesotho

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Worker Rights Consortium and other partners in the Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) Network recently announced a legally binding agreement to stop sexual harassment and gender-based violence in Lesotho’s garment industry.  Modelled after CIW’s Fair Food Program, and featuring an independent verification body like the Fair Food Standards Council, the…(Read…

UWinnipeg is Home to the Most Sustainable Campus Meals in North America

Diversity Food Services is serving up the most sustainable campus meals in all of North America at the University of Winnipeg. It’s the fifth consecutive year the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) scored UWinnipeg as the top Canadian campus in the food and dining category in their Sustainable Campus Index,…

Launch of Impact Investing Ghana

A new ecosystem platform, Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh), was launched in Accra on June 18, 2019. Addressed by Ghana’s Minister of Finance, the Hon. Ken Ofori Atta, the launch event focused on the theme of ‘Leveraging Private Capital to Close the SDG Funding Gap for a Prosperous Ghana.’ (Read more)

Equality Fund Launched with $300M Contribution from the Government of Canada

An innovative new mechanism for supporting women’s rights organizations, the Equality Fund, was launched on June 2, 2019, on the eve of the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver. Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced a multi-year, $300 million commitment by the Government of Canada toward the fund,…

Seminar on Feminist and Gender-Transformative Financial Inclusion

On May 23, 2019, McGill University’s WED Lab on women’s empowerment in development hosted a seminar at the International Development Research Centre on feminist and gender-transformative financial inclusion.  With more than 120 participants attending in the room and on line, the seminar was led by Dr. Kate Grantham, WED Lab Research Associate, and panelists Martha…(Read…

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.

Universities and Social Enterprise: Scaling for Greater Impact

Canadian development NGO World University Service of Canada (WUSC) has published a new report entitled "Social Enterprise and Post-Secondary Institutions: Optimizing for Development Impact." From the Antigonish and Desjardins cooperative movements to the current crop of social-purpose tech start-ups,

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…

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…

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…

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…

ILO Future of Work Commission Reports to Davos 2019

On January 22, 2019, the International Labour Organization’s Global Commission on the Future of Work issued its first report, entitled Work for a Brighter Future.  Among other recommendations, the report advocates a “Universal Labour Guarantee, social protection from birth to old age and an entitlement to lifelong learning.” To read the report, click here

The Impact Imperative for Sustainable Development

Led by Karen Wilson, the OECD recently hosted an international meeting at which it launched its latest report on impact investing, entitled Social Impact Investment 2019: The Impact Imperative for Sustainable Development.  The report provides new evidence and guidance for policymakers and development finance actors to mobilize more capital to advance the 2030 Agenda.  To…(Read…

Building a Global Open Platform for Work

Jon Shell and Jack Graham of Social Capital Partners make the case that “a coalition of nations could build an employment platform adaptable to changing labour markets–an International Space Station for work.”  Read their visionary piece here.  Access SCP’s full report here

Engaging Stakeholders in Logic Modeling

Professor Moya Alonso of Southern Georgia University has posted a very useful blog on AEA365 on how to effectively engage evaluation stakeholders in developing program logic models.  Mobilizing a diverse stakeholder advisory group and facilitating meaningful discussion, as well as handing over the logic model that is produced to the staff group

CAIDP Celebrates 25 Years of Professional Advocacy

The Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP), a professional advocacy group and knowledge network, recently celebrated 25 years of working to make Canadian development assistance more effective.  Thanks to the efforts of leaders like Pamela Branch, Richard Beattie and others, the association instituted a professional code of conduct and an annual conference that is…(Read…

Canada Goes from Social-Finance Laggard to Leader

The Government of Canada’s recent announcement that it is allocating $800M to a new Social Finance Fund for Canada has vaulted the nation from its lagging position in impact investing and innovative finance to a position as an international leader in this space.  While the details are still to be worked out, and the funds…(Read…

Optimizing the Social Impact of Venture Capital

The African Evaluation Journal just published the article “Understanding and Optimising the Social Impact of Venture Capital: Three Lessons from Ghana,” which reports on an action research project undertaken jointly by the Institute of Development Studies and the Venture Capital Trust Fund of Ghana. Among other things, for example, the study found that venture investments…(Read…

Catalyst for Sustainability: Case Study of the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation

A new case study on the work of the University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation shows how post-secondary educational institutions can build green, social real estate projects, including affordable housing, and incubate scaled social enterprises—all in partnership with community organizations.  Commissioned jointly by the McConnell Foundation and UWCRC, and authored by Edward Jackson

UNESCO Chair Honours Ted Jackson

On October 20, 2018, at the British Columbia Horticultural Garden, Dr. Budd Hall and Dr. Rajesh Tandon, joint holders of the UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, conferred a lifetime achievement award on Dr. Ted Jackson for his leadership in advancing participatory partnerships in Canada, Africa and Asia. 

SoCap 18 Workshop on Expanding Participation in Impact investing

On October 25, 2018, at the Social Capital Markets conference (SoCap 18) in San Francisco, some 70 delegates engaged in a workshop  on the Intersection of Participation and Impact Investing, discussing obstacles to and best practices for expanding participation at all stages of the investment cycle.  Panellists included Morgan Simon, author of Real Impact