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AKFC Seminars on Innovative Financing for Development

June 4, 2013

 Watch selected interviews with speakers who participated in the AKFC Seminars on Innovative Financing for Development series. Complete webcasts of all the events in the series are also available.

Event Highlights

Accelerating Impact: the Role of Impact Investing in Innovative Financing for Development
March 26, 2013 – In the inaugural event of the series, Edward Jackson, a faculty member at the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, and Karim Harji, a co-founder and partner at Purpose Capital, explained that impact investing means investing for a mix of financial and social returns. “There are wicked problems that we need to solve – everything from extreme poverty to climate change – and we need some new tools,” said Jackson. “We need ways of levering capital and influence and results. Impact investing is one source of leverage and mobilization of a new set of tools and products both for private capital and for public capital.”

Clients at the Centre: Workshop to launch The New Microfinance Handbook

April 30, 2013 – This full-day workshop was held in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation and featured a keynote address by Bob Christen, President of the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, as well as presentations by Ann Miles, Director of Microfinance at The MasterCard Foundation; Steve Rasmussen, Manager of Technology and Business Model Innovation at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor; and Joanna Ledgerwood, Director of Enterprise Development at Aga Khan Foundation. The workshop explored the need for increased financial inclusion in developing countries by examining the financial market system and promoting a thorough understanding of client needs. Current research is looking to understand the financial lives of the world’s poor and the broad range of financial services that would be helpful to them, said Mr. Christen. “What are they doing informally and how can we be helpful formally? How can we add value to those financial lives? How can we help them achieve their family goals that are so fundamental?”

Innovative Financing for Early Childhood Education

May 16, 2013 – In light of uncertain economic times, budgets for education – and early human development, in particular – are often the first to suffer. In his presentation, Dr. Marito Garcia, Lead Economist and Program Manager at the Human Development Department of the Africa Region of the World Bank, described the impact this has on the world’s poor. To address this he first outlined successes around the use of conditional cash transfers and introduced two new ideas – young child development bonds and young child development credits – which could help change how education programs are funded worldwide. “The rate of return to early childhood investments is 2 to 3 times that of primary of secondary schooling,” said Dr. Garcia. This entails higher lifetime earnings, reduced crime, a lesser propensity for diseases and more, making the investment in early childhood education extremely important for societies as a whole.

Local Assets for Local Needs: Community Philanthropy in Action

June 4, 2013 – In the final event of the series, AKFC hosted a panel discussion with Janet Mawiyoo, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Community Development Foundation; Victoria Grant, Interim Director of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada; Nick Deychakiwsky, Program Officer at the C.S. Mott Foundation; and Natalie Ross, Program Officer at Aga Khan Foundation USA. In describing the the Kenyan context for community philanthropy, Ms. Mawiyoo explained that drawing on local resources through community philanthropy can reduce dependency, allow communities to lead their own development, and cultivate sustainable, long-term assets.

Further Reading about Innovative Financing:

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Accelerating Impact: Achievements, Challenges and What’s Next in Building the Impact Investing Industry [pdf]

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The New Microfinance Handbook [pdf] 

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The Case for Community Philanthropy [pdf]


June 4, 2013
Event Category:


Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
199 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 1K6 Canada