Background

The end of four decades of conflict in Colombia presents a challenge and an opportunity for rebuilding affected communities. With the signing of the Peace Accord, the Government of Colombia and international actors are encouraging private sector investment, which could channel significant resources into communities that have historically faced economic, social and political exclusion.

However, such an influx of capital could perpetuate existing patterns of inequality and exclusion, or create new ones. While significant capital will be needed, it is crucial to focus on its systemic impact and who will play a role in determining its deployment in a way consistent with the well-being of affected communities.

Through this project, Transform Finance and Acumen Latin America aim to address how impact capital can target the issues of territorial inequality in post-conflict areas by increasing the power, rights, and access to resources of historically marginalized groups. Recommendations will be geared toward both mitigating the risk of increased inequality that can accompany new investments and creating novel ways for capital to contribute equitably to the process.

This project is supported by the Ford Foundation’s Andean Region program.

Project Goals

The project aims to create a concrete model for how capital flows can contribute to the empowerment of local communities in post-conflict regions of the world and relate the analysis to the current experience in Colombia. This analysis will be field-tested by investments and the creation of a pipeline of investable opportunities. The specific goals of the project will be:

  1. Develop an understanding, grounded in existing theory and practice, of how impact investing can contribute to the empowerment of local in communities in post-conflict regions of the world and relate the analysis to the current experience in Colombia. This analysis will examine the role of the state in creating the enabling conditions for this type of investing.

  2. Develop a methodological framework to diligence, measure, and manage the impact of these investments in addressing the challenges of inequality and exclusion in post-conflict areas. Based on identified best practices for investing in post-conflict regions, develop a set of investment criteria that can guide investors in identifying promising community-generated investment opportunities in post-conflict areas Colombia.

  3. Validate and adjust these practices through (1) developing proof-of-concept investments supporting community-generated investment opportunities and (2) modeling a potential pipeline of pilot projects.

  4. Create a guiding document of practices for investing in Colombia’s post-conflict regions.

Project Update

In October 2018, Transform Finance and Acumen staff underwent a field visit to several areas in the country to speak with communities, entrepreneurs, and other partners about specific projects under consideration in areas particularly affected by the decades-long conflict.