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DFID’s IMPACT Programme announces First Call for Concept Notes

Deadline: 20 November 2019
In this first Call for Concept Notes, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) IMPACT Programme is currently inviting innovative ideas for specific impact investing products, tools and services that address system level market barriers and that aim to increase the flow and distribution of capital aligned to the Global Goals to Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The IMPACT Programme (“the Programme”) is a 4-year programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) managed by Palladium in partnership with Enclude Capital Advisory and The Good Economy.

The Programme’s overall goal is to unblock constraints preventing Impact Investing from scaling in SubSaharan Africa and South Asia. It seeks to support the flow of investment capital from Impact Investors into businesses reaching the underserved as consumers, suppliers, distributors or employees, in hard to reach/difficult geographies, and/or through innovative business models.

The IMPACT Programme funds a range of non-state actors, including but not limited to, private sector companies; civil society organisations (CSOs), nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs) research organisations, policy institutes/think tanks; and trade and industry associations.

The Programme will not be investing in individual businesses or impact investing funds but will be focused on reducing market-level barriers in the impact investing ecosystem. Applicants who demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and wider ecosystem engagement with counterpart or match funding will be considered particularly favourably.

PrincipalsThe Programme’s principal focus will be:
  • Development of a range of Products, Tools and Services, which help to increase the flow and distribution of investment to impactful enterprises;
  • Development of generally accepted principles and methodologies for managing and measuring Impact Investing performance, with a focus on impact (as opposed to financial) outcomes and outputs;
  • Deepening awareness, identity and practice of Impact Investing in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in order to encourage more impact investing activity;
Funding Information
The Programme is now accepting funding applications for projects between £250,000 and £1,000,000. Exceptions can be made for compelling applications for grant amounts which fall outside of this range.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Any organisations with a valid legal registration, and therefore a mandate to operate, may apply for funding under the IMPACT Activity Fund. This includes, but is not limited to, private sector organisations, civil society and not-for-profit organisations and entities.
  • To be eligible to receive funding, interventions should:
  • Meet minimum eligibility criteria
  • Do no harm;
  • Contribute to delivering systemic changes to the impact investing ecosystem particularly in SubSaharan Africa and South Asia;
  • Have the potential of being adopted / replicated by the wider ecosystem;
  • Include proactive and inclusive measures for knowledge sharing with stakeholders in the impact investing ecosystem; and
  • Avoid excessive reputational risk to DFID, the IMPACT Programme, Palladium, and The Good Economy.
Assessment Criteria
Concept notes will be assessed against the following criteria:
  • Alignment and System level Impact: Concept demonstrates aligned objectives with DFID Impact Programme and the focus of this Call for Concepts (products, tools and services). It should operate at sector or market level and is likely to have a systemic impact in Sub-Saharan Africa and/or South Asia.
  • Sustainability (self-perpetuation): as part of the design of each investment, prospective grantees will be required to demonstrate how their initiatives will become independent of the Programme as part of their business cases and proposals, outlining how the initiative will become embedded in the impact investing ecosystem.
  • Inclusiveness: applications are expected to outline how stakeholders (local, regional) in SubSaharan Africa and/or South Asia will be included in the design, implementation and adoption of the proposed intervention;
  • Additionality: The Programme operates according to a principle of additionality. This means that the provision of funding under the IMPACT Activity Fund through a contract or grant agreement must not substitute or replace an organisation’s core funding, or crowd out other funding sources. Initiatives funded under the IMPACT Activity Fund will show additionality by ensuring that the outcomes would have been delayed or not achieved without support from the Programme.
How to Apply

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