News

Melinda French Gates says Women’s Economic Progress has Stalled 

In conjunction with the Gates Foundation’s September 2022 SDG Goalkeepers Report, Melinda French Gates says that women’s economic progress has stalled—and not only because of the pandemic. “Over the years”, she writes, “efforts (including our foundation’s) to close this gap have centered around “women’s economic empowerment,” a shorthand for providing women with jobs or cash….(Read…

US to Triple Climate Change Spending over the Next Ten Years

The World Economic Forum has underscored the significant commitment by the federal government in the United States to triple spending on climate change over the next ten years. Citing a new report by RMI, WEF notes that: “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act include more than…(Read…

Ventures at the Helm of their Impact Measurement

Longtime Jackson and Associates colleague and global thought leader in impact assessment, Karim Harji has worked with a team of colleagues—Laura Budzyna, Penny Hawkins, and Heather Hachigian—to produce one of the field’s most innovative tools, entitled Ventures at the Helm. “This guide,” the authors write, “seeks to help impact ventures identify and advocate for the…(Read…

Special Journal Issue Launched: Growing Gender Lens Investing in Emerging Markets

“Driven by reciprocal scholar-practitioner partnerships, future research on the growth of gender lens investing in emerging markets should be Southern directed, methodologically plural, anchored in open data, and actionable in real time,” write co-editors Carolina Robino and Edward Jackson in their editorial for the recently launched special issue of the Journal of Sustainable Finance and…(Read…

A Gender Lens Investing Roadmap for Australian Investors

One of the most significant events at the Impact Investment Summit for the Asia Pacific region, held in Sydney on March 29-31, 2022, was the release of the report entitled A Roadmap for Australian Investors: How to invest to achieve gender equity, racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, by Capital Human and Impact Investing Australia.  Taking…(Read…

Forthcoming: Special JSFI Issue on Growing Gender Lens Investing in Emerging Markets

From November 2021 through February 2022, the Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment published six articles online on gender lens investing that will appear in the forthcoming special JSFI issue on Growing Gender Lens Investing in Emerging Markets. Edited by Edward Jackson and Carolina Robino, and supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, the articles…(Read…

Standards Setters Work Together on Inclusive Finance Playbook

On February 18, 2022, the Investor Leadership Network convened a group of prominent standards organizations to discuss a common playbook for accelerating and measuring inclusion in sustainable investments. As ILN reported: “Roundtable participants included senior leaders from Values Reporting Foundation, Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), Responsible Investment Association (RIA), OECD’s Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG),…(Read…

Biodiversity Financing Promotes the Cooperation Needed to Stop Extinctions

Writing in The Triple Pundit, Riya Anne Polcastro underscores the importance of an initiative of major NGOs advocating annual financing from rich countries of $60 billion per year to protect biodiversity and prevent further mass extinction. “The Nature Conservancy, the Rainforest Trust and the World Resources Institute are just a few among the groups calling…(Read…

She Disrupts: Mentoring Women Social Entrepreneurs in Vietnam

In 2021, Creatella Impact and Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship (WISE) implemented a women’s economic empowerment program in Vietnam that provided mentoring and coaching to accelerate the success of women-oriented social-business startups in Vietnam. The program was supported by Investing in Women (an initiative of the Australian Government), Global Affairs Canada and the GSRD…(Read…

A Guaranteed Income for Persons with Disabilities

Al Etmanski received the Order of Canada for his remarkable leadership over 30 years of championing disability rights, including the design of the national Registered Disability Savings Plan.  His next ambitious goal is to work with a committee of representatives from the disability community to design and institute a guaranteed income for persons with disabilities….(Read…

Getting Climate Disclosure Right

Writing in the Globe and Mail, Jim Leech and Sean Cleary of the Institute for Sustainable Finance at Queen’s University applaud the Canadian Securities Administrators proposal for new rules on climate disclosure for Canadian companies which align with most of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). However, the authors argue…(Read…

CAFIID releases 2021 State of Sector Report

On December 1, 2021, the Canada Forum on Impact Investment and Development (CAFIID) launched its 2021 State of the Sector Report.  Among other findings, the report found that Canadian impact investment assets in developing and emerging economies total $3.5 billion, a significant increase over the past three years. The report also examined diversity in the sector,…(Read…

Decoloniality and the New Ethics of Climate and Nature

In a guest blog for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Jess Auerbach, an anthropology professor at North-West University in South Africa, argues that a new approach for researching and acting on climate change is essential – one that is open to and draws on new sources and forms of non-Western knowledge.  She challenges her…(Read…

Two Pandemics: The True Costs of Covid in the Global South

Kwame Anthony Appiah’s long-read article in The Guardian examines the nature and costs of the pandemic in the Global South. Citing recent research, he notes that that “the direct health impact of Covid in these relatively youthful countries was less than in richer (and, invariably, older) countries, but that economic vulnerability was decidedly greater. Households…(Read…

How Social Enterprises and Impact Investing Can Transform the Care Economy

Writing in The Next Billion, Carolina Robino and colleagues argue that social enterprises and impact investing can generate solutions to the crisis in care, a crucial area as the pandemic continues to undermine communities and economies. The authors also announce a new action research program of Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the Soros Economic…(Read…

Budd Hall Receives Distinguished Engaged Scholar Award

We join colleagues around the world in congratulating Budd Hall, recipient of the 2021 Hiram E. Fitzgerald Distinguished Engaged Scholar Award.  A driving force for half a century in transformative scholarship and community-campus partnerships for a better world, Dr. Hall holds, with Dr. Rajesh Tandon, the UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in…(Read…

Preparing the Evaluation Field for Evaluators of Colour

Writing for the American Evaluation Association’s AEA 365 blog platform, Wanda Casillas, Sahiti Bhaskara, and Jack Serna argue that, among a range of challenges in truly diversifying the evaluation field, two issues must be addressed. “First is the challenge of cultural traditions among Western social scientists and researchers that do not accept or understand the value…(Read…

For Labour to be Genuinely Valued, We All Have Work to Do

Writing on Labour Day 2021, Aspen Institute Vice President Maureen Conway argues that, in America,: “Business leaders have choices, and they can choose to improve the quality of work. It’s time for employers to build better business models – ensuring workers are treated with respect and that they receive the pay, benefits, and workplace protections they deserve.”…(Read…

On Becoming an Anti-Human-Trafficking Advocate

Writing in Women in Foreign Policy, Senior Associate of the firm, Kizzann Sammy, shares her journey in international development from an early focus on poverty reduction to her current strong commitment to anti-human-trafficking advocacy. To her readers, she writes: “I encourage you to find a space for your voice in this area of human security…(Read…

Is the ESG Trend Bypassing Most of the Capital Market?

Writing in Canada’s Globe and Mail, thought leaders Christopher Pinney and Ed Waitzer argue that governments must act in quickly and decisively to institute effective incentives and disincentives to move to accountable net-zero strategies large companies financed by debt and operating outside regulated stock exchanges. “There is no historical precedent for the market coordination of…(Read…

Designing Evaluations of Blended Finance Instruments

A new OECD working paper takes a pluralist and pragmatic approach to the design of evaluations of blended finance instruments at the front-end of the results chain–particularly related to mobilization and leverage, additionality, and concessionality–and for downstream results, as well. Prepared by a team from DEval, the German Institute for Development Evaluation, and drawing on…(Read…

Stopping the Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate Bill in Ghana

After months of an anti-LGBTQ+ hate campaign in Ghana, the country’s Parliament is debating a bill that would severely criminalize not only the LGBTQ+ community but also anyone who advocates for their rights. The LGBTQ+ community in Ghana is tiny and is not a threat to any institutional interest, but hyper-conservative political and religious ideologues…(Read…

Ted Jackson Wins RIA Individual Leadership Award

On June 7, 2021, at its annual conference, the Responsible Investment Association announced the winners of its 2021 awards competition. Ted Jackson, President of E.T. Jackson and Associates Ltd., received the RIA Individual Leadership Award in recognition of the quality and innovation of the firm’s evaluation in 2019-2020 of the Convergence Blended Finance Platform. “A…(Read…

Mastercard Foundation Announces $1.3B for African Centres for Disease Control

On June 8, 2021, The Mastercard Foundation, with current assets of nearly $40B, announced it would deploy $1.3B over the next three years to support the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to expand the availability of affordable vaccines on the continent and bolster Africa’s response to the pandemic. The Foundation notes…(Read…

“Water is life”: Sulley Gariba, 1958-2021

“Water is life,” he often said.  On April 27, 2021, our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Sulley Gariba, passed away due to complications from Covid-19.  Diplomat, philanthropy executive, policy advisor, evaluator and mentor, Dr. Gariba catalyzed innovation for impact in everything he did.  The tributes to his excellence and leadership have flowed in, like cascading,…(Read…

OECD-UNDP Impact Standards for Financing Sustainable Development

On May 26, 2021, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations Development Program launched their new joint Impact Standards for Financing Sustainable Development. These standards focus on strategy, management approach, transparency and governance and can be applied to development finance, bonds, private equity funds, and enterprises. For the full standards report,…(Read…

CDC Group Releases New Study on Investment and Poverty Reduction

The CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has released a new report examining the relationship between investment and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Authored by Gregory Thwaites and Paddy Carter, and employing a series of statistical regressions, the study “shows that higher rates of private investment are associated with faster poverty…(Read…

ODI Publishes New Report on Development Finance Institutions

The Overseas Development Institute has published a new report, authored by Samantha Attridge and Matthew Gouett, on the current challenges and opportunities faced by bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions (DFIs) investing for sustainable development in developing countries. Ms. Attridge observes: “DFIs are powerful development actors but they are at a critical juncture. They are…(Read…

Impact Investors Need to Share Power as Well as Capital

Writing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Alyssa Ely and Denise Hearn argue that: “Investors and funders must abandon the idea that capital alone is sufficient to transform inequitable systems. They must interrogate the power dynamics underlying their decisions and operations to meet the complex challenges of racial, gender, and economic inequality, moving from a…(Read…

Impact Investing Handbook Authors on Gender Lens Investing

On March 23, 2021, Paul Herman and Nigel Lake hosted an ESGX episode on gender lens investing featuring authors on GLI in the new Global Handbook of Impact Investing edited by Elsa de Morais Sarmento and Paul Herman. The panel for this session included Angelica Rotondaro, Carmen Correa, and Maria Cavalcanti; Kristin Hull, Michael Ngoasong and Richmond Lamptey,…(Read…

Measuring the Social Impact of Business in South Africa

South African colleague Dr. Neissan Besharati has published an article in that country’s Business Day arguing for more rigorous monitoring and evaluation of community social investment initiatives funded by major corporations. While CSI is a source of significant funding for South African communities, and a number of companies are best-practice leaders in assessing the performance…(Read…

Africa’s Digital Revolution” Promise and Peril

In his new piece for the Brookings Institution on technology in Africa, Nathaniel Allen writes that: “Across the African continent, the relentless spread of networks, sensors, artificial intelligence, and automation is driving a revolution to an unknown destination.”  For states to optimize the benefits and manage the risks of this digital revolution for their citizens,…(Read…