USAID Launches New Public-Private Partnership to Facilitate Impact Investing that Addresses Social and Environmental Challenges

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

NEW YORK – At the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting on Friday, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), and JP Morgan Chase announced a joint commitment to develop a set of standards that will rate the social and environmental return on financial investments. The Impact Reporting Investment Standards (IRIS) initiative will provide a common framework for defining, tracking, and reporting the performance of impact investments.

IRIS addresses a major barrier to the growth of the impact investing industry – the lack of transparency and credibility in how funds define, track, and report on the social and environmental performance of their capital.

“By creating a common framework to evaluate the impact that private sector investments have in developing countries, the IRIS initiative will help mobilize capital to fuel smart development,” said Alonzo Fulgham, USAID Acting Administrator. “This project helps USAID meet its long-term objective to more effectively engage with non-traditional development partners to leverage greater resources for sutainable social and economic growth.”

The GIIN, a non-profit organization deducated to promoting impact investing, will spearhead the development of the standards that will enable more effective impact investments.

“This network is a response to growing appetites from investors across the world for a platform that allows them to work together to capture the powerful potential of impact investing,” said Amit Bouri, Director of Strategy and Development for the GIIN. “Now is the moment to transform disparate efforts into a coherent industry so greater capital will flow to solutions to social and environmental problems.”

The GIIN is supported by a $2.5 million commitment from the Rockefeller Foundation to mobilize investors to help develop the industry as well as to support the launch of an impact investing reporting and standards initiative. USAID expects to make a $1 million commitment toward the development of the IRIS standards. JP Morgan provided $750,000 to encourage investors to build the impact investment industry.

The IRIS system will be rolled out among impact investing firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and B Lab, E+Co, Pacific Community Ventures, Root Capital, Small Enterprise Assistance Fund, and Acumen Fund. GIIN will also perform an annual update of standards based on the input from its investment community.

About the Global Impact Investing Network: The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is a nonprofit dedicated to the effective use of investment capital to address the world's pressing social and environmental challenges. Making its formal launch at CGI, the GIIN is a platform for promoting the infrastructure, activities, education and research that will enable more effective impact investing. Through this work, the GIIN will ultimately increase the volume and effectiveness of capital deployed to solve previously intractable social and environmental problems.

About USAID: USAID is the lead U.S. Government Agency providing foreign development and humanitarian assistance. The agency's Global Development Alliance (GDA) links U.S. foreign assistance with the resources, expertise and creativity of the private sector as well as nongovernmental organizations. Since its launch in 2001, the Global Development Alliance has changed the way many U.S. international development projects are financed and implemented. USAID has cultivated more than 900 public-private alliances with over 1,700 individual partners to benefit development programming. For more information about USAID and its programs around the world visit www.usaid.gov. For more information about the USAID’s programs around the world, please visit www.usaid.gov. For more information on Global Development Alliances visit http://idea.usaid.gov/.

Last updated: June 12, 2012

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