Private Investors Work on Impact Disclosure Guidelines: Request for Input

The central role that private investors must play in financing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) investments in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) is now widely understood and acknowledged. The just-published two-volume report of the Independent Experts Group (here and here) to the G20 helps to quantify the necessary scale. It offers a plausible and well-evidenced scenario suggesting that flows from external private investors must reach an additional $500 billion per year by 2030 to help fill SDG and global public goods (GPGs) financing gaps.

But there are also well-founded concerns about our collective lack of capacity to reliably measure and report the impact of what is labeled sustainable development finance. That uncertainty and the absence of adequate standards consistently met applies to multilateral development banks (MDBs) as well as to private investors. Given the rapidly growing risks and even existential threats posed by spending too little on a whole range of SDGs and GPGs, such investments must be associated with real results and impact. We cannot be sure that what is tagged as sustainable finance by individual investors using their own, often non-transparent, definitions meets that standard.

We are therefore pleased to highlight the work of the Impact Disclosure Taskforce. The Taskforce is a network of public and private financial institutions and investors (CGD is not a member) working to define voluntary guidelines for disclosure and reporting that will help investors and investees measure progress in achievement of the SDGs.

Today, the Taskforce released this concept note that offers an outline of its objectives. The work from here will be to define disclosure guidance covering projected impact, metrics, targets (changes from baselines), plans for reducing negative impact, and ex ante and ex post impact reporting. The Taskforce is also working on establishing an impact data platform and technical support to strengthen analytics, disclosure, and reporting.

The Taskforce is seeking input and feedback to inform the design of the guidelines. Please reach out to the Taskforce co-chairs Arsalan Mahtafar ([email protected]) and Cedric Merle ([email protected]) if you are interested in contributing to these efforts.

We look forward to reviewing and sharing the guidelines when completed in April 2024.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.

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