Last week, Transform Finance Executive Director Andrea Armeni attended a workshop in Uppsala, Sweden on financing the SDGs. As part of UN DOCO's efforts to drive private capital towards fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals, this workshop featured a mix of advisors, private sector actors, and UN Officials from Armenia, Kenya, Indonesia, Jordan, and Colombia. The two-day workshop was hosted by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation.
The meeting represented the latest engagement with Transform Finance and UN DOCO, for which we have assisted in conceptualizing capital flows in ways that align with the three principles of transformative finance: community engagement, non-extractiveness, and a fair balance of risk and return. In November 2017, we developed a capital gap assessment on a field visit to Somalia, whereby we engaged with community stakeholders and government officials in determining the factors that may or may not allow private capital to effectively provide relief in a post-drought crisis.
Central to the mission of the Uppsala workshop was reimagining private capital as aid, and evaluating means by which these new capital flows would not replicate the pitfalls of grant aid. The UN is in a position of power to enact these programs, by de-risking outside investors, convening many kids of stakeholders, and integrating existing campaigns via synergies with private capital. Yet challenges persist in translating the private sector to the UN system, which can prove to be inflexible and slow-moving. Still, some countries have already begun activities on this front; participants of the workshop reviewed the programs of UN offices acting early, from Islamic finance in Indonesia to to accelerator programs in Armenia.
See the Dag Hammarskjöld's recap and interviews with participants here.
Transform Finance continues to advise UN DOCO and other actors controlling international capital flows in an attempt to make sure that as more private capital flows into aid vehicles, the primary beneficiaries are indeed the communities they intend to serve. Learn more about our work in this space.