Thought leadership – Grantmaking

Towards unified and sustainable social investing

  • 31 May 2016 | Graeme Wilkinson | Opinion | Category: Grantmaking

In the alphabet soup of development finance, one can be forgiven for conflating SRI with CSI. Sustainable, responsible investing (SRI) might be thought of as being something very conscientious, high net-worth individuals and highly regulated pension funds concern themselves with. Corporate social investment (CSI) might be seen as something corporates do to score some SED points on their broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard. Yet socio-economic development (SED), as it is understood within the framework of B-BBEE regulation, very seldom qualifies as SRI. “Surely these are two very different things?” you might exclaim.

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Counting the benefit; making sure the benefits count

Since 2009, the development sector has made a notable shift in the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practices of corporate social investment (CSI) programmes.

Trialogue reported in their 2012 CSI Handbook that the monitoring of programmes has improved, from the simple tracking of expenditure to tracking outputs and outcomes indicators and conducting site visits to funded projects.

While the attention on more and more accountability for the results of social investments increases, we are yet to see significant strides in the evaluation component of M&E.

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