Official Development Assistance & Impact Investing Can Work Together to Make the World a Better Place
This article originally appeared on the SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) website prior to SOCAP19, an annual conference focused on market-based solutions to the world’s toughest challenges, held this year on October 22–25 in San Francisco, California.
For almost 60 years, the international development community has been striving to transfer resources and techniques to the developing world in a way that will launch those countries onto sustainable paths to prosperity for their citizens. This idea, inspired by the success of the Marshall Plan in post-war Europe, was the driving force behind the early 1960s establishment of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other bilateral aid agencies sponsored by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Similarly, the World Bank’s original mandate to rebuild Europe evolved around the same time into a focus on the developing world. Other multilateral development banks have followed on that course in subsequent years.
The Problem with Official Development Assistance
Throughout the decades since the establishment of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) community, the “holy grail” of development assistance has been to make the positive effects of development projects continue after their official funding runs out. That has been a tough challenge, which seldom has been met.