Private sector sees opportunities — and risks — in AIIB collaboration

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By Lean Alfred Santos

The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is opening up opportunities for more private sector involvement in infrastructure development. But balancing risk and taking innovative approaches will be key to engaging with business, Chris Heathcote, CEO of Global Infrastructure Hub, tells Devex.


Have development impact bonds moved beyond the hype?

Development impact bonds, as a tool, have been around for a few years. While some of the early enthusiasm may still exist, the intervening years and initial experiences of trying to launch DIBs have brought expectations down to earth. Here's a look at what's been learned so far and what's needed to accelerate future DIBs.


A look inside the Educate Girls development impact bond and the first-year results

On Tuesday, the group of partners behind one of the first development impact bonds, which funds Educate Girls to implement a program to get more girls into school and improve educational outcomes in Rajasthan, India, announced their first-year results. Here's an inside look at how the DIB came to be, what it's taken to get to this point and whether it's on track for success.


City lights: De-risking the LED revolution

A global conversion to LED lighting could cut the world's lighting consumption in half, while increasing access to lighting by 50 percent. The technology is ready, emerging countries are ready, yet roll-out of LED in the world's poorest, fastest growing cities is still a "first-world problem."


What it will take to get more companies to tackle the SDGs?

Devex spoke to the Coca-Cola Co., Mumbai-based multinational group Mahindra and global biotech company Novozymes about what it will take to get other companies to engage on development challenges and adopt a shared value business approach. Watch this video to see what they have to say.


New is not always better: The case for investing in proven solutions

Social enterprises from the "global south" are driving development innovations and creating high-impact solutions. Pahlavi Shrivastava, founder of Desiderata Impact Ventures, explains why we must create the capacity, funding and partnership needs of enterprises looking to replicate their successful models into other emerging markets.


Ikea Foundation's humanitarian aid strategy

The Ikea Foundation has made it a priority to work with local partners in humanitarian response and emergency preparedness. To learn more about Ikea's strategy and what it looks for in partners, watch this interview with Per Heggenes, the CEO of the Ikea Foundation.


Coffee and climate: The development imperative for smallholders

Climate change is fundamentally altering the places where and ways in which coffee will be grown. As smallholder farmers look to protect their livelihoods and coffee companies look to protect value chains, multisector partnership approaches are needed to tackle the mounting problems that the industry faces as a result of a warming planet.


UN Global Compact summit: Sustainability critical to CEOs

The majority of CEOs believe that sustainability is important, and mobilizing and harnessing that belief was part of the agenda at last week's United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit, which brought together heads of international business and industry. Here's a look at what happened.


The Catholic Church's vision for impact investing

On Sunday the Vatican convenes a conference on impact investing, where religious leaders and financial and development experts will discuss the church's role in impact investing and how church-funded organizations might pivot toward market-driven models.


How is biotech firm Novozymes integrating the SDGs?

Novozymes has embedded an SDG assessment framework into its innovation pipeline. In this video interview with Claus Stig Pedersen, Novozyme's head of corporate sustainability affairs, Devex checks in on how things are going with the new approach.


New off-grid energy grand challenge signals shift in USAID approach

The United States Agency for International Development is making a bet on the off-grid energy market with a new initiative that will commit $36 million over the next three years in an effort to reach 20 million households in sub-Saharan Africa.


Where is the private sector in humanitarian response?

The number and breadth of businesses involved in humanitarian relief is growing, following a similar boom in private sector engagement with development aid. Yet the pace of change is slow, and a host of barriers stand in the way. The recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul was an opportunity to assess where things stand and build new relationships, here are the key takeaways.


The deliberation: How impact investors evaluate what venture to fund

The art of the pitch meets the decision to invest. Devex explores what impact investors are looking for when evaluating which ventures to fund.


The art of the pitch: How startup social enterprises pitch impact investors

What makes for a compelling pitch to impact investors? Devex put the question to social entrepreneurs in agriculture looking to make the leap from grant funding to commercial capital. Here is their advice.


Mahindra: Profits are evidence of shared value

Mumbai-based multinational group Mahindra measures shared value by looking at traditional business metrics, such as a return on capital. The group only measures social impact in its corporate social responsibility programs, said Rajeev Dubey, group president of HR and corporate services and CEO of aftermarket sector.


How Jamaica is turning its energy debt into development

Jamaica has been proactive in investing its debt from energy imports into national development. Is it prepared for a more permanent shift in its energy mix?


For humanitarian response, a cash-based payment consensus

A fundamental shift in the way humanitarian aid is delivered is underway. Still in early stages, the push toward cash or digital payments in response to disasters or refugee crises could alter the landscape permanently. Devex takes a look at where things stand and the barriers to change.


How banks de-risking can undermine development

Correspondent banking — an essential service for international banking — has been on the decline in recent years. The trend has strong development impacts for small countries, particularly in the Caribbean.


The 'first Kenyan running shoe' hits its stride

Devex spoke with Weldon Kennedy, co-founder of Enda Athletic, about his vision to help Kenyans benefit more from their reputation as the world's elite runners. On Wednesday the startup reached its initial Kickstarter fundraising target.