10 May 2018

Do No Harm: Accountability for impact investing

Impact Investment can be hard to get right and easy to get wrong. How can they avoid the unintended consequences for their investments?

Impact investors seek social change and sustainability. Yet for investments in areas with weak rule of law, local conflicts can undermine both financial and impact returns and unintended consequences can harm the very people and environments that investors are trying to help. What tools do investors have to understand the local context and address conflicts? New and emerging tools are needed. Accountability Counsel (linked here), a global legal advocacy nonprofit, partnered with Stanford Law School’s Law and Policy Lab to investigate these tools and develop guidelines for adoption. This interview with Accountability Counsel founder and Executive Director Natalie Bridgeman Fields (bio linked here) describes the tools needed for effective philanthropy.

This interview grounds a Policy Lab discussion forum featuring findings from the Accountability for the Unintended Consequences of Impact Investing Practicum (linked here). Those findings will be further developed for a white paper issued ahead of a symposium for philanthropists in fall 2018.

Read the full interview here.