The Cambodia Rural Sanitation DIB Selected as Finalist in Impact Investing Category of FAST COMPANY’S 2021 WORLD CHANGING IDEAS AWARDS

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The Cambodia Rural Sanitation DIB

For Immediate Release

Monday, May 10, 2021

New York, May 10, 2021 — The Cambodia Rural Sanitation Development Impact Bond (DIB) was named a finalist in the Impact Investing category of Fast Company's 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards. The awards, announced on May 4, 2021, honor businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice, or economic inequality.

The Stone Family Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and iDE are partners in the Cambodia Rural Sanitation DIB. The first of its kind in the water and sanitation (WASH) sector, the DIB aims to help eradicate open defecation in Cambodia and accelerate the Royal Government of Cambodia’s efforts to reach universal sanitation.

The DIB aims to develop market-based solutions that will contribute to universal sanitation coverage in six provinces (Svay Rieng, Kandal, Prey Veng, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey)—reducing stunting among children and preventing the spread of disease and contamination of drinking water. To date, the DIB has helped over 500 villages eliminate open defecation, leading to healthier households and cleaner communities for over 88,000 people.

Now in its fifth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 33 winners, more than 400 finalists, and more than 800 honorable mentions—with Health and Wellness, AI & Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 4,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. Plus, several new categories were added, including Pandemic Response, Urban Design, and Architecture. The 2021 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Brazil to Denmark to Vietnam.

Three partners with a common goal

The Stone Family Foundation, acting as the impact investor, is providing the upfront investment required to achieve sanitation outcomes, which will be delivered through the third phase of iDE’s Sanitation Marketing Scale Up program. USAID, as the outcomes funder, will provide up to nearly $10m in outcomes funding to the Stone Family Foundation, but only where results (open defecation-free villages) are achieved. The DIB model allows iDE and the Stone Family Foundation to learn, adjust, and innovate in order to achieve the goal of 1,600 open defecation free villages while reaching the most vulnerable households.

In setting up the Cambodia Rural Sanitation DIB, all three partners were united in their aim to contribute to universal sanitation in Cambodia, and in their conclusion that a DIB was the right structure for achieving this goal.

“The outcomes focus of an impact bond provides flexibility for iDE to evolve its program in a complex and constantly changing market ecosystem.” says Lizz Ellis, CEO of iDE, the implementing partner. “This flexibility is important in ensuring that all people benefit from the drive towards total sanitation.”

“As the investor, our hope at the Stone Family Foundation is that the DIB serves as an example of how long-term finance and support can address the critical challenge of universal sanitation, and demonstrates it is possible to use impact investment to enable both high social impact and financial return,” says Paul Gunstensen, Director of WASH for Stone Family Foundation.

“This new results-based financing approach to improving rural sanitation demonstrates our commitment to supporting Cambodia’s health and nutrition improvement targets,” says Veena Reddy, Mission Director at USAID Cambodia. “This DIB is USAID’s third and an example of our leadership in collaboration, co-design and innovative financing to achieve sustainable development results.”

Showcasing some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies tackling exigent global challenges, Fast Company’s Summer 2021 issue (on newsstands May 10) highlights, among others, a lifesaving bassinet; the world’s largest carbon sink, thanks to carbon-eating concrete; 3D-printed schools; an at-home COVID-19 testing kit; a mobile voting app; and the world’s cleanest milk.

“There is no question our society and planet are facing deeply troubling times. So, it’s important to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, impact, design, scalability, and passion to solve these problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have discovered some of the most groundbreaking projects that have launched since the start of 2020.”

About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.

About the DIB partners:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises and progress beyond assistance. USAID is the outcomes funder for the Cambodia Rural Sanitation DIB, committing $9,999,999 to repay the investor for outcomes achieved.

The Stone Family Foundation supports innovative, sustainable, entrepreneurial solutions to major social problems in the UK and around the world. It provides high risk, flexible capital to achieve high social impact with a vision of market-based solutions delivering transformational impact on the lives of people living in Africa and Asia currently without access to improved water and sanitation. This is the first DIB the Foundation has been involved in and hopes this could become an example of how to provide the right type of finance at the right time to achieve specific goals and aims. The Foundation has been very active in the rural sanitation sector in Cambodia, providing over $11M to various programs and initiatives since 2011. The Foundation is the only investor in the Cambodia Rural Sanitation DIB, providing the up-front risk capital to the implementation partner.

iDE is a global organization that advances market-based approaches in agriculture; access to finance; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to create income and livelihood opportunities for low-income rural households. iDE is the implementation partner who will be responsible for running the Cambodia Rural Sanitation DIB in the country. iDE has increased the incomes and improved the livelihoods of more than 33 million people by developing inclusive market ecosystems that allow more people to participate in the economy, exercise choice through economic freedom, and achieve their aspirations. The organization has offices in 14 countries around the world which employ over 1,000 people — 96% of whom are local — to create real change that gives people the power to prosper on their own terms. iDE guarantees an average social return on investment of a minimum of $10 in annual income or livelihood savings for every dollar invested in iDE globally.

Last updated: August 31, 2021

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