Following the recent release of GIIN and JP Morgan’s 3rd annual report on impact investors, Perspectives on Progress, there has been some buzz about the worldwide growth of impact investments, and the influence these investments have on microfinance sectors globally.
And what impact do impact investors have? Simply due to their explicit goal of having a ‘impact’, impact investors are committed to measuring outcomes where they have invested. And by collecting data and thus measuring their own impact, they encourage the sector as a whole to be at least capable of measuring their individual impact in the microfinance landscape. This French blog post highlights the role of impact investments in the creation of IRIS (Impact Reporting and Investment Standards http://iris.thegiin.org). This Spanish blog discusses the need for proof of social impact, even as a criteria for investment. The growth of impact investments year over year is clearly shown in Perspectives on Progress, as well as the previous 2 annual surveys by GIIN and JP Morgan. Keep your eyes out for another impact investor survey due out in March from the European Venture Philanthropy Association. It is our hope that this trend towards prioritizing measurement in investment choices continues moving forward.
The Pro-Poor Seal of Excellence champions change measurement as an essential part of alleviating poverty in the microfinance sphere. The more tools and resources practitioners have can only improve the capacity of the sector to create enduring change in the lives of the poor, and the role of impact investors in this “trickle-down” measurement is certainly progress in that direction.