British International Investment

SDG Outcomes Fund

KenyaRest of the WorldConsumer - Health

SDG Outcomes Fund is the first fund of its kind dedicated to to development and social outcomes partnerships (a model sometimes called “development impact bonds”) in low- and middle-income countries globally including Africa and South Asia.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

Set up as a partnership between UBS Optimus Foundation as a lead investor and Bridges Fund Management Limited, a specialist impact-driven fund manager, this Fund uses an innovative blended finance structure to invest in outcomes partnerships in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”). It targets essential healthcare, education, employment, child protection and environmental outcomes aimed at improving the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The fund brings together experienced delivery organisations in need of upfront capital and outcomes funders such as donors and/or governments interested in achieving health, education, and environmental outcomes for better value with verified results.

This investment marks BII’s first foray in outcomes investments. BII’s commitment will help mobilise capital in the fund’s senior tranche and demonstrate the viability of outcomes partnerships as an effective funding tool to unlock impact within underserved communities.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact

Improve the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations particularly through better healthcare, education and employment outcomes (addressing a range of targets within SDGs 3, 4 and 8).

How?

Primary Secondary

Support impact bond instruments to help develop the track record of outcomes-based financing, supporting further impact bond-type investments and mobilising further capital in these vehicles. Signposts for success will include successful fundraise for this Fund (short-term) and follow-on Fund, financial and impact returns aligned with BII’s investment thesis (medium term) and the continued scale-up and mobilisation of capital towards the outcome-based contracting segment, including but not limited to fund structures (long term).

Back a Fund investing in 15-20 impact bonds and providing impact performance management services for these contracts.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Individuals (e.g. patients, learners, employees)

ODA-eligible countries (we expect up to 10% to be outside BII geographies)

Based on the Fund’s strategy and screening criteria, we expect the underlying impact bonds to focus on vulnerable populations (and therefore the majority of beneficiaries to be low-income). The Fund has also qualified as a 2X Flagship Fund and we therefore anticipate women and girls to be a significant proportion of beneficiaries.

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

Millions of individuals to be directly reached through the Fund. Each bond will likely have hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries, so with the Fund expected to invest in 15-20 impact bonds, the scale is likely to be in the millions. The Fund aims to achieve direct impact through potential positive outcomes estimated to be worth more than USD 250 million from Outcomes Payers.

The impact is expected to be deep given that the populations reached will (by definition) have great need for the services that an impact bond is providing. However, there is a risk that the effect of the impact ends at the end of the delivery period of each impact bond.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality

Financial additionality: BII participating in the Mezzanine tranche, which is unlikely to attract sufficient commercial capital, and helps bring the Fund to its minimum viable size. Bringing the Fund to a minimum viable size and the presence of DFIs in Mezzanine tranche may help mobilise further capital including from commercial investors, particularly for the Senior tranche.

Value additionality: We will provide support on E&S and BI systems and processes, as well as engagement on 2X qualification, market-shaping and investee-level TA.

Risk

Execution Risk

While execution risks are high, the objective of impact bonds helps ensure that even partial success of the Fund would still deliver significant impact. Selecting the team with the most extensive combination of product and sector experience in the impact bond market is intended to mitigate this risk to the extent possible.

Drop-Off Risk

Pertains to the risk that the positive impact achieved does not endure beyond the lifetime of each impact bond – a systemic risk common to traditional delivery contracts. Due diligence findings indicate that the capacity, visibility, and fundraising traction of Delivery Organisations is durably enhanced by successful participation to impact bonds. The assumption that impact bonds can help reduce drop-off risks within the development sector will be tested through this investment and we note that involvement of local/national governments or stakeholders as Outcome Payers further increases the likelihood of enduring impact.

Efficiency Risk

Pertains to the risk that impact of individual impact bonds could be achieved without the impact bond structure, or inaccurate forecasting of impact and costs at the impact bond level could result in “over-paying” for a given impact. Track record of other impact bonds suggests that these structures can provide a more cost-effective use of public/philanthropic funds, so this risk is deemed low.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We agreed an ESAP with the fund manager which included developing an ESMS, developing a robust safeguarding policy and associated reporting mechanism, grievance management and setting up an environmental and social sub-committee.

Environmental and social risk

Medium-High

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    March 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D4478
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    Rest of the World
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Consumer - Health

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Fund
    Start date :
    March 2023
    Amount :
    $10m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Fund Manager:
    SDG Outcomes Fund GP S.a r.l
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    Luxembourg
    2X Gender Finance

    Indicates whether the investment is ‘2X qualified’ using the 2X Challenge criteria. You can find out more here. It only applies to investments made from 2018 onwards, when the 2X Challenge was first launched.

    :
    Fully qualified

Investments made by this fund into companies:

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
ASRH Kenya DIB Kenya East Africa Consumer - Health September 2023 Active

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