Creative ways of using financial tools to get more development bang for the available bucks have been much heralded in recent years, but the results so far have, to some, been underwhelming. One challenge still to resolve is how to scale up successfully and sustainably.
R4D is expanding its work on options that can help. For example, with R4D's support, a team of leading experts on financial guarantees has developed an initiative that could result in unleashing billions of additional dollars in African, Asian, and Latin American capital for development-enhancing investment. Based on an idea that won top honors in a competition with 800 other proposals, this initiative has over $300 million in investor commitments nearly in hand.
Another initiative, called the EdVenture Fund, is developing ways to stimulate more and faster innovation in education in low and middle income countries. Unlike many previous efforts in “innovative finance”, whose advocates seemed most interested in the power of financial tools, EdVenture gives center stage to the ultimate purpose for which those tools are used: the challenges in education.
Tackling the barriers to growth and progress in the developing world requires an ambitious approach. R4D’s focus on innovative financing which seeks to leverage markets for large-scale social and environmental gain, are helping revolutionize the approach to the world’s largest development problems.
Jean-Michel Severino - Former Head of Agence Française de Développement