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Investing in Emerging and Frontier Economies: How Blended Finance can make the most of public funding

October 4, 2021

Combating climate change and achieving the SDGs require vast investment in sustainable projects in developing countries, but the world is falling short.A crucial reason is that a rich source of funds is not being fully tapped into: the private sector, which is eager to significantly increase its sustainable investments, but is constrained by avoidable obstacles.Private investors face an unattractive risk-return nexus; they lack easy access to crucial information: e.g. which projects the public sector is planning that they could take part in, and what they entail.Exposure to the risks of investing in less mature markets, with insufficient insurance available, deters them as well.In this report, the Investor Leadership Network (ILN), whose members manage over USD 9 trillion of investments, offers solutions.It calls for better collaboration between public and private sectors to make blended finance (public/private investment partnerships) a driving force in this area.Compiled with the support of The Rockefeller Foundation, the report calls for a sea change in how multilateral development banks (MDBs), governments, foundations, and other public institutions see private-sector involvement.

Evaluation of Impact: The Rockefeller Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa Initiative

December 31, 2018

In 2013, the United Nations projected that Africa would be home to over 40 percent of the global youth population by 2030. The challenge of how to successfully absorb these young people into the formal economy became top of mind for governments, policymakers and development practitioners.Thinking toward this future, The Rockefeller Foundation recognized the potential of Africa's growing information and communications technology (ICT) sector to create new economic opportunities – particularly for its young people. The Foundation created its Digital Jobs Africa (DJA) initiative to help equip youth – specifically those with limited access to opportunities – with the technical and soft skills, and job placement support necessary to transition into a technology-enabled workforce.Nearly five years into implementation, the Foundation commissioned an independent evaluation of DJA to better understand the extent to which it was realizing its goals and driving impact. Genesis Analytics was engaged to collect data and gather case stories from participating youth in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.

Institutionalizing Urban Resilience: A Midterm Monitoring and Evaluation Report of 100 Resilient Cities

December 3, 2018

100 Resilient Cities (100RC) identified the need to transform public institutions, functions, and operations in city government as its primary strategy to affect how cities mitigate shocks and reduce chronic stressors, particularly for its poorest and most vulnerable citizens. The program promotes such practices as inclusive planning, comprehensive analyses of external shocks and internal stressors, consensus building, and cross-sector collaboration to effect systemic change in these cities. 100RC selected and has worked with three cohorts of 30 to 35 cities since 2013.This midterm evaluation report provides the most recent findings of four studies assessing 100RC's objectives. Three studies relate to four core "pathways" along the program's theory of change to strengthen urban resilience: increasing resilience in cities, expanding the marketplace of resilience services and partners, and cultivating a community of resilience professionals and champions. The report also addresses features of the overall 100RC model and its organizational structure.

Putting "Impact" at the Center of Impact Investing: A Case Study of How Green Canopy Designed its Impact Thesis

March 7, 2018

This case study documents the journey of one organization, Green Canopy Homes – and its financingarm, Green Canopy Capital – toward more systematically thinking about, measuring, and managing itsimpact. While developing the impact thesis for its resource-efficient homes, Green Canopy applied atheory of change tool, an approach common within the social sector, to systematically map the causalpathways between its strategies and intended impact. Its rationale for adopting this approach wassimple: use it to maximize impact, and understand and minimize possible harm. The tool also effectivelypositioned Green Canopy to measure and communicate about its social and environmental performance,and to make client-centric adaptations to its business.The case study provides an illuminating example of how investors can adapt theory of change toserve their impact management needs. By demonstrating the relevance and transferability of this toolfor articulating, measuring, and managing impact, the hope is that this case study can contribute tostrengthening other investors' approaches, in turn contributing to building the evidence base for the"impact" of impact investments.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Transforming Health Systems Initiative: Final Evaluation

March 1, 2018

In the decade leading up to the 2008 economic crisis, health policy experts increasingly questionedthe donor community's prevailing focus on interventions targeting specific diseases, such as HIV/AIDS,tuberculosis, and malaria. Though these disease-specific interventions produced major, measureableresults, they did so at the cost of creating coordination, financial, and reporting challenges for recipientcountries which already had overstretched health systems.When The Rockefeller Foundation launched its Transforming Health Systems (THS) initiative in 2009, itcommitted itself to driving renewed attention to strengthening health systems as a whole. The Foundationbelieved that this was essential for meeting its overall commitment to equity – so that national healthsystems could provide quality care to everyone, rich and poor alike.This final evaluation – conducted by the Foundation's monitoring and evaluation grantee, MathematicaPolicy Research – assesses and documents the initiative in its entirety. It reviews the outcomes of theinitiative's global advocacy, regional networks, and country-level investments, and its overall effectivenessand influence, as well as the Foundation's legacy for advancing UHC. By sharing this evaluation report, it isthe Foundation's hope that others will join us in celebrating our successes, learning from our challenges,and building on this knowledge base to continue advancing Sustainable Development Goal 3 – healthand wellbeing for all.

Putting "Impact" at the Center of Impact Investing: A Case Study of Toniic’s T100 Project

January 2, 2018

This case study shares the significant efforts of a network of investors to document and analyze theimpact of a collection of impact investment portfolios. Toniic's T100 project gathers information aboutthese impact investments into a single data base, allowing its own network members and other investorsto increase their understanding and select investments based on risk, impact theme, and asset class.These data help investors to more effectively manage their portfolios to drive financial, as well as socialand environmental returns.

Global Advocacy for Universal Health Coverage

August 2, 2017

When The Rockefeller Foundation launched its Transforming Health Systems (THS) initiative in 2008,the concept of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was controversial and often misunderstood. At thesame time, health policy experts were increasingly questioning the prevailing focus on disease-specificinterventions, with renewed attention to strengthening health systems as a whole. This trend, togetherwith a nascent and growing movement to promote UHC, came together in the THS initiative. Yet thecontroversy loomed large. To ensure success, it was clear from the start that the Foundation, throughTHS, would have to be a global advocate for UHC. We believed that this was an essential to meet ouroverall commitment to equity – so that the health systems that countries build truly cover everyone, richand poor alike.This case study, part of an evaluation conducted on THS by Mathematica Policy Research, assesseshow the activities of the initiative impacted the trajectory of UHC over its decade-long march frommisunderstood concept to full acceptance as an issue of global concern. It examines how and howwell the initiative strategically executed its approach – disseminating UHC evidence and information,promoting UHC dialogue, identifying and supporting UHC champions, and promoting UHC at thecountry level.

Understanding the Impact of Rural Electrification in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India: Evidence from The Rockefeller Foundation's Smart Power for Rural Development Initiative

May 1, 2017

Launched in 2015, Smart Power for Rural Development (SPRD) is a $75 million Rockefeller Foundationinitiative aimed at accelerating development in India's least electrified states. Through the deploymentof decentralized, renewable energy mini-grids, SPRD has supported the Foundation's vision of speedingthe growth of rural economies, while at the same time improving the lives and livelihoods of poor andmarginalized families and communities.A monitoring and evaluation (M&E) grantee, Sambodhi, was funded to work alongside implementingpartners to measure and document the changes that the initiative is having in people's lives. Sambodhialso collected data to inform decision making and support course correction throughout the initiative'simplementation.This report summarizes M&E data collected in late 2016, covering the period March 2016–August 2016.The sample for this report is 39 sites across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, consisting of 1,000 households and320 micro-enterprises. Together, these constitute nearly 10 percent of SPRD customers. Another 328non-customer households were consulted to provide a comparative perspective.

The State of Entry-Level Employment in the U.S.: A Study Examing the Potential Effectiveness of Impact Hiring on Youth Unemployment

March 1, 2017

Youth unemployment is a serious, but not unsolvable, problem in America. There are millions of opportunity youth in the United States, young people ages 18-24 who face barriers to economic participation. Impact hiring provides employers with new approaches to talent practices—specifically related to recruitment, hiring, and retention—that address their entry-level talent challenges and improve employment outcomes for those who face barriers to opportunity, including disadvantaged youth. This study was conducted by the research firm Edelman Intelligence with support from The Rockefeller Foundation to uncover entrylevel hiring challenges for employers and youth, reveal perceptions about entry-level jobs, and identify solutions to address these challenges. Findings indicate that:* Employers are concerned with finding and keeping the right entry-level talent to meet their business needs* Nearly half of employers cite sourcing enough candidates as a top challenge when filling entry-level jobs* Screening for college degrees in the hiring process denies youth the opportunity to learn skills on the job* The top metric for evaluating the success of entry-level employees is how well the employee fits with company culture* There is a disconnect between the benefits and supports employers think will matter to younger workers and those that truly matter to them* By overlooking opportunity youth in hiring processes, employers are ignoring candidates who could serve as the solution to many of their hiring challenges for entry-level roles

Situating the Next Generation of Impact Measurement and Evaluation for Impact Investing

December 1, 2016

In taking stock of the landscape, this paper promotes a convergence of methods, building from both the impact investment and evaluation fields.The commitment of impact investors to strengthen the process of generating evidence for their social returns alongside the evidence for financial returns is a veritable game changer. But social change is a complex business and good intentions do not necessarily translate into verifiable impact.As the public sector, bilaterals, and multilaterals increasingly partner with impact investors in achieving collective impact goals, the need for strong evidence about impact becomes even more compelling. The time has come to develop new mindsets and approaches that can be widely shared and employed in ways that will advance the frontier for impact measurement and evaluation of impact investing. Each of the menu options presented in this paper can contribute to building evidence about impact. The next generation of measurement will be stronger if the full range of options comes into play and the more evaluative approaches become commonplace as means for developing evidence and testing assumptions about the processes of change from a stakeholder perspective– with a view toward context and systems.Creating and sharing evidence about impact is a key lever for contributing to greater impact, demonstrating additionality, and for building confidence among potential investors, partners and observers in this emergent industry on its path to maturation. Further, the range of measurement options offers opportunities to choose appropriate approaches that will allow data to contribute to impact management– to improve on the business model of ventures and to improve services and systems that improve conditions for people and households living in poverty. 

Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage

October 4, 2016

The Joint Learning Network (JLN) is a key innovation and central part of The Rockefeller Foundation'sefforts to promote universal health coverage (UHC) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)under its Transforming Health Systems (THS) initiative (2009-2017). Launched in 2010, the JLN is acountry-led, global learning network that connects practitioners around the globe, in order to advanceknowledge and learning about approaches to accelerate country progress toward UHC. The JLNcurrently includes 27 member countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America that engagein multilateral workshops, country learning exchanges, and virtual dialogues to share experiences anddevelop tools to support the design and implementation of UHC-oriented reforms.The core vehicles for shared learning and resource development under the JLN are technical initiatives,which are managed by several technical partners and organized around key levers for reaching UHCobjectives, including i) provider payment mechanisms, ii) information technology, iii) primary health care,iv) population coverage, v) quality improvement, and vi) health financing innovations. To address moretargeted technical needs, the JLN has also established technical collaboratives, which fall within or cutacross technical initiatives, as well as the "Joint Learning Fund" (JLF), a flexible funding pool to addresscountry-specific learning needs. A global Steering Group, comprised of member countries, technicalpartners, and network funders, ensures that the technical initiatives and other joint learning efforts arealigned with country priorities. It also sets the strategic direction of the network, implemented by a NetworkCoordinating Team of technical and coordinating partners. At the country level, country core groups(CCGs), comprised of staff at government agencies, organize and facilitate country participation in the JLN.The Rockefeller Foundation is a founding funder of the JLN and has actively supported the network'sactivities and goal of becoming a high-impact, country-led, and sustainable learning platform. Under theTHS initiative, the Foundation has provided almost $19 million in grant funding to the JLN, accounting forroughly 70 percent of total donor funding for the network to date. THS grants to JLN partner organizationshave supported the design and launch of the network, ongoing network coordination, management ofthe JLF, and facilitation of three technical initiatives (Provider Payment Mechanisms [PPM], InformationTechnology [IT], and Quality). The Foundation has also engaged in a range of non-grant activities aimedat strengthening the JLN's influence and sustainability. These include coordinating with and buildingsupport for the network from other donors.

Assessing Market-Based Solutions: Lessons from Evaluating a Youth Employment Initiative

September 26, 2016

Over the last few years, The Rockefeller Foundation – working with other funders, industry associations, governments and networks – has supported a portfolio of grantees to test a range of models for training, employing, and supporting low-income youth to carry out digital work. The Foundation funded an evaluation for its work in digital employment and the experience from the initial phase - which focused on impact sourcingprovided instrumental lessons on how one might think about assessing youth digital employment programs that embed market-based approaches.