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27 Mar 19

Convergence receives $450,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to develop blended finance case studies

Convergence receives $450,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation to develop blended finance case studies

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded Convergence a $450 000 grant to develop 15 blended finance case studies over three years.

These case studies will chronicle the design and implementation of real-world blended finance structures in detail, with a focus on key learnings. Convergence aims to build the evidence base for blended finance in order to support the use of blended finance to mobilize additional sources of capital to underinvested countries and sectors and to scale existing solutions that have a demonstrated track record.

In recent years, blended finance has found itself at the top of the development finance agenda; however, there is a plethora of potential blended finance structures that can be used to leverage additional financing across sectors and markets. Given the diversity and complexity of blended finance transactions, project sponsors, catalytic capital providers, and commercial investors often have a limited understanding of when, where, and how to deploy these approaches or invest in these structures aligned to their mandates. These institutions can benefit from real world examples to inform their approach, building on good practices and lessons learned to date.

Convergence is the only organizations focused on collecting and disseminating learnings on the design, implementation, and impact of blended finance at the transaction level.

“We are thrilled that our track record of writing concise, neutral, and informative descriptions of people’s real experience with blended finance transactions is being recognized by the MacArthur Foundation,” says Joan Larrea, CEO of Convergence. “This grant tells us we’re on the right track. It validates our belief that these case studies help build the field of blended finance and are a valuable resource for those who want to engage in these kinds of complex transactions.”

Prior to receiving this grant, Convergence has published 14 case studies on blended finance structures, ranging from debt conversion for marine conservation and a listed bond for women’s empowerment, to a non-profit that leverages debt funds to scale operations and a donor-backed infrastructure fund that has attracted institutional investors. These case studies have become the leading source of transaction-specific evidence on blended finance; however, the field requires more volume to reflect the diverse set of blended finance transactions across sectors and regions. The MacArthur Foundation’s support will make it possible for Convergence to scale up case study production, while keeping them a public good.

For case study content, Convergence seeks to identify innovative or scalable blended finance approaches, which reflect the diversity of solutions across sectors, regions, deal types, and blending approaches. Convergence also actively seeks direction and input from our member institutions and broader community of blended finance practitioners.

Over the years Convergence has built a reputation as the go-to source for blended finance data and knowledge. In addition to case studies, Convergence produces reports on the state of the field and data briefs on blended finance benchmarks. Convergence also has the largest and most comprehensive database dedicated to historical blended finance deals that currently boasts over 2,500 financial commitments made to over 300 blended transactions, representing a total value of $124 billion.

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