The United Nations estimates the financial capital needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals is US$ 5-7 trillion annually – imagine if the reported amount could be deployed from the philanthropic capital worldwide towards achieving the SDGs.  The complexity of the impact challenges in Asia have led to a call for more strategic collaborative opportunities between the philanthropic community and policymakers, so that greater impact can be created between their resources and policy mandates and programmes.

Prior to new forms of social investments like impact investments and impact bonds, the philanthropic community used to independently provide grants to tackle development issues. Despite best efforts over time, gaps persisted in funding and desired social impact, leading philanthropic organisations to not only venture into more innovative forms of capital mobilisation but also to invite creative forms of partnerships with policy actors to achieve development outcomes. On the other hand, policy actors grapple with the lack of human and financial capital to improve development outcomes, prompting the policy community to also explore new avenues beyond public funding to meet this need.

AVPN’s Asia Policy Forum (APF) was formed with a vision to create greater social impact by engaging policy and its stakeholders to catalyse the growth of socially impactful investments and related forms of capital. The role of government and policymakers can go far beyond laws and regulations, as explained in AVPN’s Social Economy Policy Framework. Collaborations between policymakers and philanthropy and social investment have the potential to channel financial, intellectual and human capital drawn from private and public sectors to build an enabling environment for the social economy to flourish. Since 2014, APF has engaged with over 300 policymakers and policy stakeholders in Asia to uncover the opportunities for collaboration with the philanthropic, social and impact investment community, resulting in flagship convenings in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Read the full article about collaboration opportunities for philanthropy and policy actors by Patsian Low, Rachel Chan, and Anjali Shivananda at Philanthropy In Focus.