This rapid evidence assessment used a combination of key informant interviews and targeted literature searches of publicly available information to answer the following questions: (1) What is the evidence supporting the development impact of different forms of concessional finance to agribusinesses with respect to job creation, better living conditions, access to nutritious foods and climate resilience? (2)Where are the major evidence gaps? The assessment considered a number of finance sources, including development finance institutions (DFIs) that work principally through institutional structures, impact investors that provide investment capital in exchange for both finance and social returns and challenge funds that competitively allocate resources for social returns but with some expectation of financial return or capital preservation. The study finds limited evidence for linking the provision of concessional capital to the achievement of development impact.
The study puts forward the following recommendations:
• The quality of data and primary level research can be improved by capital providers enforcing the use of existing measurement and reporting standards for implementing partners. • More should be done to use the findings from studies that have been commissioned but have not been published, even if they contain negative messages. • The existing sector co-ordination structures at a regional or global level should lead the identification of research priorities, focus resources and disseminate learning. • Increasing the contribution of independent researchers and academics to the evidence base by identifying and removing current impediments and, if necessary, providing financial support.