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EDFI Impact Conference 2019

05.03.2019 Brussels 24.03.2019

Organised by EDFI in partnership with ODI, the EDFI Impact Conference examined impact measurement and management for private investment in developing countries.

The conference focused on investments’s impact on jobs, energy, climate change, and economic transformation. Participants explored how DFIs are targeting impacts, current impact measurement practices, and how methods are evolving. The conference also offered insightful exchange of perspectives by different stakeholder groups. 100 experts from across Europe attended the conference which will be repeated in March 2020 with a new set of focus topics.

The conference report has been now posted for participants and the wider public, along with the session notes prepared ahead of the conference – on jobs, energy and climate, and frontier methodologies.

Conference Report
Session note on jobs
Session note on Frontier Methodologies
Session note on energy


Here are some of the key takeaways from the conference sessions:

  1. Harmonisation of impact measurement, whenever feasible
    Investors have different capacity to collect and disseminate data, but the ability of stakeholders to
    compare investor operations is currently hindered by different investor reporting formats.
    2. Understanding portfolio-level climate impacts
    Project-level impact calculations may lead to suboptimal outcomes as there may be a tension between
    climate change adaptation, climate change mitigation, and poverty reduction.
    3. Focus on quality and decency of jobs created as well as quantity
    ‘Jobs created’ does not on its own offer the full nuance of the relative impact on the job market caused by an investment or the distributional impacts of these jobs.
    4. Clearer linkages between indirect job calculations and theories of change
    Understanding indirect impacts can steer investments ex-ante, evaluate investments ex-post, and
    monitor and improve the impact of investments during the project– different products and models are
    required for these different areas.
    5. Further partnerships and knowledge sharing
    Bringing in diverse viewpoints and pursuing partnerships with those outside the immediate community
    allows for deeper consideration of the short- and long-term investor impact and for potential
    collaborations that can enhance these outcomes.

Several conference participants will contribute to a collection of 15 essays on the impact of investments in the private sector in developing countries. The essays will be published with ODI in September 2019.