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Govt Releases Social Impact Investment Principles

9 August 2017 at 4:12 pm
Lina Caneva
The Turnbull government has announced a set of principles to help develop Australia’s Social Impact Investing market.

Lina Caneva | 9 August 2017 at 4:12 pm


Govt Releases Social Impact Investment Principles
9 August 2017 at 4:12 pm

The Turnbull government has announced a set of principles to help develop Australia’s Social Impact Investing market.

Treasurer, Scott Morrison said the guidelines reaffirmed the government’s $30 million commitment to develop a strong Social Impact Investing (SII) market in Australia, in a bid to deliver positive outcomes for those at risk of homelessness and juvenile detention or those battling long-term welfare dependency.

Social impact investments are investments made with the intention of generating measurable social outcomes while delivering a financial return to the investor.

The principles state that where the government is involved in the SII market it must have regard to:

  • government as market enabler and developer;
  • value for money;
  • co‑design with stakeholders;
  • fair sharing of risk and return;
  • robust outcomes based measurement and evaluation; and
  • outcomes that align with Australian Government policy priorities.

“This emerging investment approach brings together governments, service providers, investors, philanthropists and communities to tackle a range of critical issues that affect Australian families,” Morrison said on Wednesday.

“As announced in the federal budget, the government will also partner with state and territory governments to trial SIIs and help build the capability of organisations to grow the Australian SII market,” he said.

The investment includes:

  • $10 million to support state and territory governments in developing projects which specifically help young people at risk of homelessness, including young people leaving juvenile detention;
  • $12 million to support other priority groups and build an evidence base through data linkages between the Commonwealth and the States to identify further SII opportunities; and
  • $8 million to implement an SII Readiness Fund to support non-government organisations to develop SII opportunities to help people at risk of long-term welfare dependency into jobs, using an expert intermediary to direct the funds.

“Together, the principles and measures announced in the 2017-18 budget form the government’s response to its Social Impact Investing Discussion Paper released earlier this year,” Morrison said.

“These measures build on our commitment to develop the sector, supported by the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.

“The government will continue to look at ways to reduce regulatory barriers inhibiting the growth of the Social Impact Investing market.”

The announcement is in line with a recommendation to the federal government by peak body Philanthropy Australia in a submission responding to Treasury’s Discussion Paper on Social Impact Investing.

“Philanthropy Australia is excited that the Australian government has made some real and tangible commitments around impact investing, and we think that the new principles are a positive development,” Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies said.

“One of our recommendations was to add a principle around co-design with stakeholders, including experts, delivery organisations and communities – so we’re very happy that this recommendation has been adopted by the government.”

“As impact investing in Australia grows and the Australian Government gets more involved, tools such as these principles will be an important part of developing the ecosystem we need for impact investing to really flourish.”


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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