BOP launches first-of-its-kind initiative to support achievement of SDGs

BOP, in partnership with UBS Optimus Foundation, British International Investment, the US International Development Finance Corporation and others, have launched a new initiative – the SDG Outcomes initiative – to use innovative blended finance to support outcomes-based partnerships that tackle the UN-backed Sustainable Development Goals.

The initiative targets essential healthcare, education, employment, child protection and environmental outcomes aimed at improving the lives and livelihoods in lower- and middle-income countries globally including Africa and South Asia.

Programmes under the initiative will target some of the most challenging sectors and vulnerable communities, as well as advance financing tools that help accelerate the progress of key development challenges facing the continent.

SDG Outcomes has launched initial programmes in West Africa, providing upfront capital to initiate and deliver education and environmental services:

  • Education in Sierra Leone– supporting the local government to improve numeracy and literacy outcomes for 195 primary schools and working with over 42,000 children, while also helping to develop the schools through teacher training and curriculum improvement.
  • Education in Ghana – a similar-government-backed outcomes partnership, which aims to assist over 40,000 children already in education and increase access to schooling for a further 18,000 children outside the education system in the Northern region of Ghana.
  • Sustainability in Nigeria – supporting the growth of Wecyclers, a social enterprise that collects, re-sells and recycles plastic waste via a franchise model. Wecyclers is aiming to collect over 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste during the next five years, while creating over 700 jobs in franchises and improving the incomes of thousands of waste sorters across Nigeria.

The outcomes-based approach offers multiple benefits that result in better service delivery and greater impact. It helps to create innovation and greater collaboration between stakeholders, keeping all parties accountable for and focused on delivering better outcomes and value. The delivery organisations are incentivised and allowed more flexibility to adjust their programmes to local circumstances, whilst also ensuring that they continue to be create real positive impact.

Mila Lukic, CEO of BOP, said:

“We’re hugely excited by the potential of SDG Outcomes to improve lives at scale and, over time, to transform the way in which development projects are designed and delivered. Around 600 million young people globally lack numeracy and literacy skills; millions more are suffering from the effects of plastics pollution. We are pleased that SDG Outcomes’ first projects are helping to address these challenges through innovative, outcomes-based partnerships.”

Maya Ziswiler, CEO of the  UBS Optimus Foundation, added:

“The SDG Outcomes initiative is one of the first of its kind to provide the scale so desperately needed to provide real impact. By creating an investible solution, we can help our clients and partners to mobilise all forms of capital – from philanthropic, through to public and private investors motivated by both financial and non-financial returns on their investments. We are excited to be bringing this landmark initiative to market.”

Photo: Nyancho Nwanri & Wecyclers Corporation