Social impact investing provides finance to organisations addressing social and/or environmental needs with the explicit expectation of a measurable social, as well as financial, return. It thus aims to foster economic development while achieving social outcomes. It is one way of channelling more resources towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We are currently devising global standards to enable the collection of internationally comparable data, as well as case-studies of actual transactions. Our aim is to document the variety of approaches, instruments, practices and policy issues in developed and developing countries.
Since 2016, a series of expert meetings produced (1) a set of principles on transparency and data sharing, (2) an initial data reporting framework, (3) a database of databases of relevant existing publicly available data and (4) coordination of major initiatives on impact management and measurement.
In parallel, regional workshops of practitioners are discussing the market status, actors and business models of impact investing, and conducting case studies on social and inclusive businesses to better understand financing patterns and needs.
The OECD policy framework on Social Impact Investment provides the analytical basis for international comparison. This comprehensive, holistic and cross-sectoral approach applies to donor and developing countries, and guides policy makers as they engage in SII-related policy design, implementation and review.
The next phase of our work will generate (1) a framework for internationally comparable SII data, (2) case studies on investment patterns and financing instruments, (3) a map of the SII market in developed and developing countries and (4) a map and review of policies to facilitate social impact investment. The ensuing report, including a global data reporting framework, will increase transparency in the SII market, with a view to encouraging the chanelling of private investment towards more sustainable development.
The OECD has been playing a key role in the Global Social Impact Investment Initiative launched in 2013 during the U.K. Presidency of the G8, alongside the Global Steering Group (GSG). Its report “Social Impact Investment: Building the Evidence Base” (2015) called for developing global standards on definitions, data collection, impact measurement and evaluation of policies.