The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has moved into Phase II of its Social Impact Investment (SII) Initiative with an aim to develop global standards for definitions, data collection, impact measurement and evaluation, to trigger substantial investment activity, especially to promote investment in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The evolving project follows on from 2015’s major OECD report, titled: Social Impact Investment: Building the Evidence Base which RI reported had been pulled together because of a lack of evidence and consistency of approach around social impact investment in OECD countries, which was hampering its development.
Phase II of the initiative is based around four goals to build on that evidence case: (1) developing a framework for internationally comparable SII data, (2) the creation of a set of case studies focused on investment patterns and financing instruments, (3) research and regional workshops mapping the SII market in developed and developing countries and (4) a mapping and review of policies to facilitate social impact investment.
The findings of the Phase II work will be collected in a second OECD Social Impact Investment report planned for publishing in 2018.The OECD is a major driver in the standardisation and development of nascent investment products because of its convening power with the experts of supporting organisations. On impact investing it is bringing together groups such as TONIIC, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), B-corp, GIZ, the Social Stock Exchange, the World Economic Forum and Bridges Ventures in its work.
Most recently, in July, it gathered the major players in Chicago to launch its policy work on social impact investing and present an initial policy framework that could act as a guiding tool for government policy actions.
It also presented the progress of its data workstream aiming at enhancing transparency and raising comparability of impact data in four key areas: a set of principles on transparency and data sharing developed by key actors in the SII market; an initial data reporting framework that seeks to improve quality, comparability and interoperability of data, covering activity/transaction data; the linkages of SII data to existing publically available data, providing context-dependency of social impact investment and improving data interpretation; and aiming to establish a common language on impact.
The OECD says Sustainable Development Goal Investing (SDGI) requires clear measurements of the impact outcomes in order to invest public capital more strategically and attract needed private capital. It hopes this current gap in impact assessment can be filled by its Phase II report.