How the study was conducted

In order to compile this report, a qualitative methodology, was used, based on researching secondary sources and conducting interviews with actors that included impact first investors, philanthropists, social investors, and impact investment experts. Additionally, with the support of an Expert1 Committee, 37 cases of the region were selected, and a detailed survey was conducted taking into account the pillars of investing for impact, in order to characterize and identify patterns in these initiatives.

Latimpacto

1 The 12 practitioners that were part of the expert committee are listed in the acknowledgement section

Methodology

Grafica 1

In order to complete this work, Latimpacto hired three consulting organizations that are also part of the ecosystem and are familiar with the studied countries: Pipe Social in Brazil, Compartamos con Colombia in Colombia, and Ethos Laboratorio de Políticas Públicas in Mexico. The research commenced in March 2020 and concluded nine months later.

The methodology consisted of three phases:

  • Ecosystems mapping by country and pre-selection of cases

    This first phase focused on recognizing relevant actors related to investing for impact in the main countries of this study: Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. Based on the prior knowledge of the consulting teams in these countries, and after several interviews with different actors, close to 120 initiatives in the region were mapped, out of which 68 were pre-selected, then validated by the Expert Committee. At the same time, additional interviews were conducted in Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, and Peru, in order to gain insights from these ecosystems and identify relevant actors and cases in those countries.

    In order to pre-select cases, besides looking at how the pillars of investing for impact ─tailored finance, non-financial support, impact management and measurement─ are being practiced, other criteria such as relevance and location (representation in each country), were taken into account. A preference was also given to cases that were responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    It was proposed that the cases had to be led by organizations providing capital ─financial, human, or intellectual─, and belong to one of the following seven “silos”:

    • Foundations

    • Corporations and companies with social investment programs or vehicles (i.e. funds, corporate accelators, etc.)

    • Financial institutions such as banks and asset managers with a focus on social or environmental impact

    • Family offices and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI)

    • Professional services firms that provide services to the social and/or environmental sectors

    • Academic institutions and think thanks

    • Public sector and multilateral agencies

    Pre-selection and initial insights by country were shared with the Expert Committee, in order to select the final cases and complement the first findings. For this final selection, the most important criteria taken into account included financial sustainability, social innovation, replicability potential, representativeness according to the “silo” to which the promoting organization belonged, the participation of other actors in the initiative, and response to the pandemic.

  • Documentation of regional cases and country reports

    After the selection process with the Expert Committee, 37 cases were identified: 11 in Brazil, 10 in Colombia, 8 in Mexico, and 2 for each of the remaining countries (Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, and Peru).

    Priority was given to Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, as they are the countries with the most consolidated ecosystems in the Region. Cases were also taken from Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, and Peru to gain a more comprehensive regional view.

    The consulting teams proceeded to document these initiatives taking into account how they applied the pillars of investing for impact, could serve for learning purposes, or inspire others to replicate some elements.

    Each case study follows the same structure:

    • An initial infographic that summarizes the initiative.

    • Background and context in which the initiative takes place in order to understand the problem it seeks to solve.

    • A description of the investing for impact initiative, in order to better identify the motivations for tackling the problem.

    • The details of the tailored finance instruments provided to the social purpose organization.

    • A detailed description of the non-financial support offered,, considering that this is a fundamental aspect of investing for impact.

    • The results and the impact achieved to date (first semester 2020), explaining how they are measured.

    • The learnings and challenges faced by these experiences that can help other actors that are part of the ecosystem.

    As mentioned earlier, organizations included in the case studies also completed a survey in order to provide quantitative data.

    After each case was written, they were shared with the organizations in order to validate the information.

    Besides documenting cases, the consulting teams drew up reports for each of the three main countries studied, which became key inputs for the regional report. Throughout the process, interviews were conducted with 187 people from all over the region, belonging to 120 organizations from across the continuum of capital.

  • Regional report compilation

    Finally, Compartamos con Colombia, the principal consulting team, and Latimpacto analyzed the selected cases and the country reports for the purpose of consolidating this regional report.


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