June 2014, Volume 19, Number 2

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Markets for good: removing the barriers

Scalable, replicable market-based solutions are surely the holy grail for those seeking to solve the world’s most pressing social problems – and this is the focus of Monitor Inclusive Markets’ new report Beyond the Pioneer: Getting inclusive industries to scale. The June special feature is partly a response to this report. Guest editors are Audrey Selian and Ken Hynes of Artha Platform and Artha Networks Inc.

Beyond the Pioneer outlines opportunities for intervening to address industry-level barriers to scaling, and we asked foundations, venture philanthropists, impact investors and social entrepreneurs how they view these. Most examples in the report are drawn from Asia and Africa, so we asked Alvaro Rodriguez of Ignia in Mexico and Guillaume Taylor of Quadia in Switzerland to consider how the report resonates in Latin America and in a more developed European economy.

The special feature also raises issues the report doesn’t address. Martin Brookes asks if there are some things that should never be for sale, while Suzanne Biegel looks at the value of a gender lens on investing.

The June issue of Alliance also features an interview with Ford Foundation president Darren Walker, looking at his priorities for Ford, especially in areas such as philanthropy, infrastructure and institution building. It includes an opinion piece asking ‘Should consultants be thought leaders?’ and articles on an overcrowded crowdfunding market, impact angels in Asia, India’s new CSR law, the implications for foundations of the new FATF international standards on money laundering and terrorism, and opportunities for philanthropy in Myanmar and Liberia.

Guest Editors' Article

Beyond the pioneer: transcending competition

1 June 2014
Audrey Selian and Ken Hynes

The recently released Monitor Deloitte report Beyond the Pioneer examines why so few market-based solutions to poverty are getting to scale and what can be done so that they can deliver meaningful benefits to the poor. Based on research spanning Asia and Africa, the report’s main finding is that many of the barriers to scale cannot or will not be addressed effectively by any individual firm. What is needed is external support in the form …

 
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Editorial

Glass half full or glass half empty?

If you’re looking at impact investing, do you see a glass half empty or a glass half full? It all depends which end of the looking glass you’re looking through. If you consider that the term wasn’t even invented ten years ago[1] and there are now countless impact investing funds – GIIN alone has almost 200 large institutional members in 30 different countries – you might see a glass half full. If you look at the volume of funds in impact investing compared to total investments and the scale of social problems to be solved in a material way, you’re …

Letters

Championing the grant in India

Alison Adnitt Bukhari For Subscribers

I read with interest and enthusiasm the special feature on grantmaking for social change. The organization I work with, Dasra, …

Supporting those on the margins

Ben Simms For Subscribers

I am writing to applaud the position taken in Regan Ralph’s article ‘Supporting grassroots activism in Guatemala’ and to contribute …

Meeting the legal requirements is not enough

Boudewijn de Blij For Subscribers

In the March issue of Alliance, Anthony Tomei takes a dim view of foundation accountability. He argues that accountability is …

An ongoing conversation in the US

Vikki Spruill For Subscribers

Anthony Tomei describes foundation accountability as an operational necessity for those who seek to accomplish broader change. Mr Tomei addresses …

Why is divest-invest a good initiative for foundations?

Francesco Lorenzetti For Subscribers

Because a ‘monetaristic’ view of foundations as earning and spending machines (the greatest is the best) is far from reasonable. …

Trustees will need support

James Brooke Turner For Subscribers

Ellen Dorsey and Richard Mott’s article on the divest-invest initiative of 17 foundations carefully addresses three arguments: first, that not …