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Social impact investing is emerging as a new approach to international development, offering the promise of long-term sustainability. Impact investing has the potential to transform philanthropy, as investors are looking to invest in socially responsible investments, which promote a social good in addition to generating revenue. Investing in companies that provide for the social good allows impact investing to assist in bettering the livelihoods of members in a community, and facilitate self-sufficiency independent of aid. Africa has been a major site for impact investing, both Kenya and Uganda have experienced significant growth. However, impact investing faces many challenges on the continent including infrastructure issues, capacity, and market volatility. Measuring the full impact of social impact investing has not been achieved, and requires a new approach for evaluation.

In this policy paper, Public Policy Fellow Jamie Van Leeuwen and Michael Feinberg analyze the case study of Staffable, a social impact company in Kampala, Uganda and their approach to measuring the efficacy of social impact. They provide policy recommendations on how philanthropists, investors, and non-governmental organizations can standardize performance metrics to measure social impact investing, as well as recommend investments in workforce development in order to reduce dependency. 

Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial U.S.-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in U.S.-Africa relations.    Read more