Innovative Finance: Issues to consider Beyond the Basics

Room 106 C

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If Innovative Finance was in its infancy at the Addis Summit on Innovative Finance in 2015, it is now coming of age. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has launched a call for Expressions of Interest through its International Assistance Innovation Program (the IAIP); FinDev Canada is now well established and making investments, and more and more non-governmental organizations are incorporating Innovative Finance into their strategies. This panel will explore how innovative finance actors from the government of Canada ensure policy coherence, experiences with GAC’s IAIP to date, the range of approaches Canadian stakeholders adopt to engage in Innovative Finance and metrics for measuring success. The workshop includes a panel discussion followed by informal, small-group discussions on the themes noted above.

Examine new themes in Innovative Finance through a moderated discussion of compelling questions. 

  • Question 1 – GAC has launched its flagship Innovative Finance initiative called the International Assistance Innovation Program (IAIP). This is not “development as usual”. It is mostly a lending instrument that needs to be repaid. So, what are the challenges and opportunities presented by the IAIP from the perspective of an NGO that has applied? 
  • Question 2 – The launch of the IAIP alongside Canada’s Development Finance institution, FinDev Canada, creates a range of opportunities for the Government of Canada to leverage private finance for sustainable development results. What opportunities and challenges are presented by the current configuration of financing opportunities? How does Canada’s innovative finance agenda intersect with broader foreign policy considerations?
  • Question 3 – How are Canadian stakeholders engaging innovative finance? What is one tool that your organization has been using as part of the spectrum of impact investment options and how has this tool helped you to realize development results? What advice would you give to others that would like to use similar tools?
  • Question 4 – Innovative Finance is more than Impact Investing. The industry standard metrics for Impact Investing need to be expanded. What are the industry standard metrics for Impact Investing and how have these evolved into standards that can be used for Innovative Finance?

The workshop has the following objectives:

All the proposed panellists are tied in some way or another to the theme of innovative finance for local economic growth with job creation, increase in local taxation and gender equity being at the heart of their work. However, each panellist comes with a different perspective, FinDev Canada with a public sector perspective, MEDA and WUSC with an implementer or practitioner perspective, and Sarona Asset Management from a private sector perspective. These different angles will provide the audience with a 360-degree view to the topic of innovative finance and its effect on local economic growth.