Public Policy

The IRI’s work on public policy that supports the creation of an impact investing ecosystem is a collaboration between the Initiative for Responsible Investment and InSight at Pacific Community Ventures, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, The objective of the project is to develop research in support of stakeholders from the government, investment and related communities involved in designing policies that lead to more robust and effective impact investing markets.

The IRI collaborative with PCV has launched the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative, a global community of researchers and policymakers who share knowledge and influence capital markets to support more effective impact investing. Visit the IIPC website to view impact investing and public policy resources and connect with other researchers and policymakers.


In December of 2013, the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (IIPC), through a strategic partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and with ongoing support from the UK Cabinet Office, launched the Global Learning Exchange (GLE). The GLE exists as a unique multi-stakeholder initiative that facilitates an inclusive and action-oriented dialogue on social impact investing.  The GLE will work to serve as a critical and accessible resource for influencers and practitioners across the globe to develop social impact investing. The GLE will cover a range of topics, including financial innovation, impact enterprise, social entrepreneurship, public leadership, market and intermediary infrastructure, social inclusion and investor participation. Learn more about the GLE here and see the full press release from WEF here.

In 2014, our work on public policy and impact investing focused broadly on the international policy community, a space that received a lot of attention through the Social Impact Investment Taskforce and the U.S. National Advisory Board, and narrowly on the U.S.-specific policy realm. Through the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative and the Global Learning Exchange, we supported cross-border learning through a webinar series and a recently released global snapshot report. We were also asked to share our policy knowledge internationally, participating in a meeting in Portugal on the development of a new Social Innovation Fund at the behest of the UK’s Young Foundation. Our future work will involve drilling down on US impact investing policies, researching what the Social Impact Investment Taskforce has done for impact investing policy in participant countries, and supporting engagement around impact investing policy in countries beyond the developed world.

Recent Activity

Financing Social Innovation: Analyzing Domestic Impact Investing Policy in the United States (2015) (pdf)
Following our first eighteen months of research with colleagues Enterprise Community Partners and InSight at Pacific Community Ventures, we’ve released this summary of our work to date. A working draft meant to catalyze discussion of how to stimulate impact investing policy reform, the paper includes a review of existing policy levers for investment as well as a framework for designing and evaluating new policies.

Impact Investing Policy in 2014: A Snapshot of Global Activity (2014) (Report summary pdf) (Full report pdf)
This report is a first-of-its-kind publication from the IIPC focusing on country- or issue-areas relevant to impact investing. The report offers a range of insights, from conceptual pieces on the development and mapping of the policy system, to examples of specific policies that have supported market development, and insights from private firms into how impact investing intersects with other key market areas such as international development and infrastructure investment. For interactive features, see the IIPC website.

Breaking the Binary: Policy Guide for Social Innovation (2013) (pdf)
Co-authored with the Schwab Foundation for Social Enterpreneurship, InSight at Pacific Community Ventures, and SK Group, this report focuses on policies that support the development of social enterprises globally, with the first half providing a framework for government policy action, supported by case studies, and the second profiling leading social enterprises as a way to illustrate models of social innovation.

Impact at Scale: Policy Innovation for Institutional Investment with Social and Environmental Benefit (2011) (pdf)
The second report of the Global Impact Investing Policy Project focuses on the practices of large U.S. institutional investors around impact investing the extensive role of public policy in shaping how institutional investors channel capital. The paper presents three strategies for engaging these institutional asset owners on impact investing, leveraging public policy.

Impact Investing: A Framework for Policy Design and Analysis (2010) (pdf)
How can policymakers, investors, and civil society better evaluate and develop impact investment policies? Impact Investing: A Framework for Policy Design and Analysis, a report by the IRI and InSight at Pacific Community Ventures with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, draws on case studies from around the world to address this key question.