Development finance is rooted in supporting the ambitions of people in developing countries – unlocking the energy and potential of entrepreneurs, providing livelihoods to millions and supporting businesses that have a wider benefit beyond themselves. Running a business is one of the hardest things you can do: doing it with intermittent power and connectivity, in a poor business enabling environment, and with a lack of social infrastructure can be incredibly challenging. It is BII’s job to take on those risks and, through long-term partnership, show that it is possible to invest sustainably, and deliver outcomes that address poverty and advance development.


Question 1: What are the British Investment Partnerships (BIPs) and what are their objectives? What role does British International Investment (BII) play within them?


1.       British Investment Partnerships (BIPs) is the range of economic development policy and programming that the UK provides in developing countries. Building from DFID’s 2017 Economic Development Strategy, BIPs outlines five ways the UK can support long-term economic transformation in developing countries: development finance (via BII, PIDG, private sector arms of Multilateral Development Banks, MDBs); concessional finance (MDBs and British Support for Infrastructure Projects – currently under design); guarantees (via MDBs) and technical assistance (via Centres of Expertise); and export finance (via UKEF). Each type of financing has its own role, with the BIPs umbrella bringing strategic coherence, knowledge exchange and learning across the five streams. For BII, there is a high degree of collaboration with the other development finance organisations for example, in Mozambique, PIDG and BII worked together to fund one of the first grid-scale solar-battery storage plants in Sub-Saharan Africa).[1]


2.       The UK’s objective for development finance is to use public risk capital to accelerate the necessary economic transformation that supports poverty reduction while achieving net zero. Developing countries have a chronic lack of investment; have small productive formal sectors; large unproductive informal sectors; and are most at risk to the impacts of climate change.[2] As a result, young people in Africa are no more likely to be in waged employment than their parents.[3] Without addressing this structural challenge, poverty will persist. Governments of developing countries understand this and cite the need for investment, green growth and job creation in their Regional and National Development Plans.[4] When surveyed, African citizens cite decent work and economic growth as their top priority.


3.       Development finance addresses market failures by intentionally directing investment to the countries, sectors, and populations that most support inclusive growth and where there is insufficient private sector investment. This is not trickledown economics[5] development finance is explicitly geared to poverty reduction by tackling the long-term challenge of structural transformation. Development finance is effective at, and needed to tackle the significant challenges of:


4.       As the UK’s development finance institution, BII is the UK Government’s principal mechanism for development finance in developing countries. Established in 1948 as part of the Overseas Resources Development Act, BII tackles development challenges by investing patient, flexible capital to support private sector growth and innovation. The development finance model uses returnable capital to support the growth of sustainable businesses, recycling proceeds to deliver further impact in new investments. BII has been shown to be an effective institution for delivering development finance at scale. Over BII’s previous strategy period, between 2017 – 2021, it made new commitments of almost £7 billion to more than 600 impact-led investments[13] and performed well (A+) against Department’s performance expectations.[14]


Question 2: How does the BII’s strategy align with the FCDO’s development agenda?


5.       BII’s new five-year technical strategy is aligned with the Department’s development objectives. In line with the UK’s international commitments[15] to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and the Paris Agreement, the FCDO’s development agenda reinforces the role for economic development and development finance alongside humanitarian aid; disaster relief; cash transfers; strengthening public systems; and governance/peace building activity. As well as development finance being necessary to reduce poverty, it is often complementary to the achievement of other aims, for example: Berbera port (a BII investee) is playing a key role in enabling humanitarian aid to enter the Horn of Africa, reaching close to 2 million refugees.


6.       In line with international best practice,[16] the Department sets BII’s objectives and goals every five years. These objectives and goals are set out in BII’s Investment Policy which take into consideration the Department’s development objectives and BII’s mandate / capabilities. BII’s management then develops a Technical Strategy for achieving these aims (see Q.4 on governance). This process took place over an 18-month period involving BII’s Board, senior government officials, Ministers, and external stakeholders. Key objectives and goals set for BII over 2022-26 include:


Question 3: How does BII’s strategic outlook compare with that of other comparable overseas institutions?


7.       BII’s strategic outlook is comparable to the French, German and Dutch institutions. As identified by the IDC in 2011,[18] BII had become smaller (less than 50 employees) and with less capabilities than the equivalent institutions in Europe. Since then, in a phased and structured build up, BII is now of equivalent size in terms of portfolio and annual commitments with the European DFIs of France, Germany and the Netherlands.[19] BII’s sectoral focus remains consistent with that of other DFIs given the areas of the economy where development finance is most effective (see Question 1).[20] There is a high degree of harmonisation on standards and practice, particularly across the Association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) of which BII is an active member.


8.       BII retains several distinct characteristics which allows it to work effectively with other DFIs. Having areas of specific differentiation allows DFIs to leverage each other’s expertise.


Question 4: How effective are the governance structure and internal oversight mechanisms of BII (e.g., oversight over direct investments, fund investments, BII controlled companies)?


9.       The governance framework of BII aligns with good practice guidance from the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury for the management of a public finance corporation. BII is incorporated in UK law under the Companies Act as a Public Limited Company and, as a company conducting investment activity, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The NAO reviewed the existing corporate governance framework finding it to be thorough[21] with the Department setting out in detail the effectiveness of the arrangements to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.[22]

10.  The framework provides strategic alignment and clear accountability: the Department sets the objectives, goals and parameters (via the Investment Policy and Policy on Responsible Investing (PRI); BII’s Board has specific skills and experience to oversee performance against the strategy and is fully accountable to the Department; and BII’s senior management is responsible for delivering the strategy. The Department holds BII accountable through regular reporting. Quarterly and Annual Shareholder Meetings are Chaired by the Director General with oversight for BII and the Permanent Secretary. The Chair meets annually with the Secretary of State and a quarterly with the Minister for Development. Alongside this, there is an established process for escalation of significant incidents. The model ensures: 

More information on the Department’s oversight of BII is set out in the answer to Question 6 including a description of what is captured in BII’s quarterly reporting to both the Board and the Department.


11.  BII’s has a robust control framework that assesses risk on all investments on a quarterly basis. BII’s specialist staff have frequent interaction and oversight of investees. Investments are risk assessed on a quarterly basis across dimensions of risk including development impact; environmental, social, governance (ESG) and business integrity; and commercial. Those that are potentially off-track against the investment thesis are escalated for discussion with the relevant Managing Director and the Offices of Chief Impact Officer, Chief Risk Officer and Chief Investment Officer. Specific actions are identified that BII should be taking in response. Those classified as higher risk or underperforming will be reported to Managing Directors and the CEO, with Board oversight. High environmental, social and business integrity risks are reported on to the Department. A dedicated function exists that addresses material events or adverse developments in high-risk or underperformance cases. Compliance, Risk, and Internal Audit oversee and advise on the activities of teams to ensure compliance on risk management. In addition, BII has a public Reporting and Complaints Mechanism[23] that allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the PRI an investee or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. In their 2021 Review, ICAI found: strong evidence that CDC is more systematically monitoring its investments and actively managing them to promote development impact. And went on to say: We also found good evidence that all investments in our sample have been subject to regular assessment of development impact and that there was active ongoing management to improve impact or manage related risks. (4.61)[24]


12.  Specific requirements placed on investees at the point of legal agreement are outlined in the answers to Question 9 and Question 11; and oversight of impact is covered in answers to Question 7 and Question 12.



Question 5: How is BII’s budget determined? How does the budget inform BII’s programme of work and to what extent can BII scale up or scale down on its investment activity?


13.  BII’s investment programme is determined by the strategic intent, an assessment of need and institutional capacity to deliver. As part of the five-year strategy planning process, an assessment of the demand for the type of impact capital that BII provides is undertaken against the strategic parameters set by the Department (for example, geographic mandate, level of return, operational costs framework). The amount of capital that BII can invest is determined by a combination of recycling capital from investments that have achieved their impact objectives, plus new capital from the Department. New capital contributions are determined by the Department through its standard departmental process for allocating ODA funds, including Ministerial approval of a detailed business case.  


14.  Since its first capital injection in 2015, BII has been approximately 4% of the UK’s ODA budget – and since 2019 the amount of new capital has fallen year on year. Based on recommendations from the IDC, in 2012 the Department initiated a phased build of BII to increase capabilities and extend its risk appetite. This scale up has been funded by a combination of recycling proceeds from exiting investments and new capital from the Department, enabling it to achieve strategic ambitions.


Year (calendar)

UK Net ODA, £m (calendar)

Amount to BII, £m

BII capital increase as % of total ODA spend










































15.  BII is a long-term investor and has limited ability to adapt to material strategic changes outside of the five-year strategy cycle. In accordance with best practice, BII manages its activities to prepare for external events (for example, market shocks). However, due to the long-term commercial commitments (most investments have a life cycle of around nine years and can take several months / years to originate) and to comply with legal/regulatory responsibilities, BII has limited ability to significantly scale up or down its investment activity within a short time frame. Generating and then undertaking due diligence on impact-led investments is time intensive activity. Furthermore, the opportunity to invest is often time sensitive based on the specific context at the time: if investment decision are paused the opportunity falls away. To address this, BII’s capital is provided via promissory notes which provide longer visibility and help the efficient management of liquidity.


Question 6: How are the decisions of BII’s management scrutinised? What transparency is there over BII’s performance monitoring and reporting?


16.  Decisions by BII’s management are fully scrutinised by BII’s Board, senior Departmental officials and Ministers. Every quarter detailed management reports are prepared for the Board and the Department. They cover the full performance of BII’s activities including progress against BII’s impact and financial targets; investment levels; commitments, realisations and status of investment pipeline; cash position, budget and recruitment; ESG and Business Integrity risks. BII management are questioned on the quarter’s performance by the Department’s Director General (with oversight for the BII) at the Quarterly Shareholder Meeting. FCDO also undertakes an Annual Review against performance metrics. [Question 4 sets out sets out more on oversight mechanisms.]


17.  A full account of BII’s performance monitoring and reporting – including confidential information - is provided to official oversight bodies. BII is subject to review by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); the National Audit Office (NAO); and the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI). BII was reviewed by the NAO in 2016 and ICAI 2019-2021. ICAI’s review which concluded in June 2021 specifically highlighted BII’s learning journey and BII acting with “transparency and openness” (ICAI, paragraph 3.6 -3.11, page 12.) BII is currently inputting evidence to three further ICAI reviews; has appeared in front of three Parliamentary hearings in the last two years; and in 2022 assisted answering over 40 Written Parliamentary Questions.


18.  An independent evaluation programme reviews the overall impact of investments made by BII at the portfolio level and studies the impact of a sample of investments through in-depth case studies. The FCDO-BII multi-year evaluation programme is guided by a Steering Group, chaired by Department’s Chief Economist, with further representation from the Department, BII and at least an equal number of independent experts. The results of these evaluations are published by Gov.UK. See Q.12 for further detail.


19.  BII is proactive in its accountability with wider stakeholders holding regular sessions to promote learning and disclosing a range of governance, operational and investment data. BII’s Transparency and Disclosure Policy sets out its approach, acknowledging the range of information that BII is able to disclose directly to the public. For investments made in the new strategy period, BII discloses 18 different fields of information in its public Investment Database. This sits alongside reporting in BII’s Annual Review and Annual Accounts. The Transparency and Disclosure Policy is reviewed by the BII Board every two years to ensure it reflects emerging best practice.


Question 7: What criteria does BII use to determine investment decisions and how are financial returns balanced with achieving impact?


20.  BII’s investment decisions seek to maximise impact while preserving capital – taking an impact-led but commercially rigorous approach to all investments. BII does not balance financial returns with impact: all investments need to be commercially sustainable to deliver on their development impact thesis.[25] For example, increasing the number of households connected to reliable digital infrastructure requires a business to be profitable over the long term in order to fund expansion and maintenance of the service. Investment decisions are a process that balances impact outcomes against the risks to success (commercial, integrity, environmental, social, contribution and additionality). Investments are assessed against parameters of BII’s risk appetite and the Policy on Responsible Investing (see Question 9). Risk is managed across BII’s two portfolios: Growth (investments in businesses that have the potential to achieve sustainable growth while making a positive impact) and Catalyst (strategies that aim to shape nascent markets and build more inclusive and sustainable economies). As Catalyst is focused in markets where there are few precedents or benchmarks, there is a higher risk tolerance across the portfolio.


21.  BII’s current approach to maximising impact has been endorsed by independent evaluation. BII manages impact in line with the Operating Principles for Impact Management,[26] the international best practice standard and BII is committed to continual improvement. The last independent review of BII’s alignment to the Operating Principles rated BII’s alignment as ‘advanced’ for seven principles and ‘high’ for the remaining principle.[27] In addition, BII was spotlighted as an impact practice leader in BlueMark's Practice Leaderboard. Over a three-year period, ICAI also reviewed BII’s assessment of investments opportunities. It concluded “Given this progress, we conclude that the extent of consideration of development impact in investment decisions is now much greater and that aspects of this consideration are often impressive.” (paragraph 4.55 p.25).


22.  All investments are assessed against the Impact Framework.[28] This framework sets out how BII assesses the expected impact of individual investments when taking investment decisions; how BII assesses the difference it is making as an investor; and how it monitors and manage its impact performance after investment. There are six dimensions of impact against which every investment is assessed against: 1) ‘What’ is the impact; 2) ‘Who’ benefits; 3) by ‘How much’; 4) ‘How’ will the impact be achieved; 5) what is BII’s ‘Contribution’; and 6) what are the ‘Risks’. This assessment aligns with the industry leading Impact Management Project’s dimensions of impact. The assessment is summarised in BII’s Impact Dashboards.[29]


23.  New investments now receive an Impact Score to allow comparison and ensure alignment with BII’s objectives of supporting productive, sustainable, and inclusive outcomes. The score uses a series of benchmarks in the following categories, enabling comparison across investments in the BII portfolio. The Score has the following criteria calculated using external benchmarks (where available) and datapoints:

Please note - the low-income population or country reach element of the Score uses a ceiling of $5.50 PPP equivalent. This data enables a scoring comparison (0-4) across all potential investments and countries where BII invests. This should not be confused with BII targeting Upper-Middle Income Countries or higher income populations.[31] Firstly, the country score is based on the national poverty gap at $5.50 meaning the countries with more extreme $1.90 poverty receive higher scores. Secondly, as outlined in paragraph 22, the ‘Who Benefits’ dimension of the ‘Impact Framework’ provides detailed consideration about the income levels of workers and customers: investments that reach people living beneath lower poverty lines will be recognised here and, all else equal, regarded as higher impact and higher priority.




Question 8: How do external events influence the investment decisions of BII (e.g., in response to the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, the depreciation of Sterling etc.)?


24.  As a long-term investor, BII is diligent in understanding the context into which it is making investments. BII’s due diligence process ensures that external macro-economic, market and political context are fully considered ahead of investing and BII works closely with the Department on understanding the political economy around its investments. Enhanced human rights assessments will be undertaken in situations which are viewed to be high risk and BII shares its industry knowledge through practice guidance on its ESG toolkit (see Question 9).


25.  Events that result in significant economic structural changes will see BII respond accordingly – for example, the economic impact of the Covid-19 response saw BII implement a three-pillar approach to 1) support its investees to preserve impact – for example, suspending loan repayments; 2) make investments that strengthened the immediate response – including £400m of systemic liquidity to keep economies working and targeted investments to tackle the healthcare crisis such as guaranteeing the supply of syringes for the COVAX programme; and 3) kick-starting the rebuild by being the first to start reinvesting when commercial investors have pulled back. In other instances, the nature of an event such as a regime change may make it no longer possible to invest within BII’s Policy for Responsible Investing.


Question 9: What due diligence does BII undertake prior to making investment decisions and how does this compare with best practice?


26.  BII undertakes extensive commercial and non-commercial due diligence. BII’s Investment Committee process ensures that formal impact, commercial (financial viability), environmental (inc. climate aspect), social (inc. gender and diversity due diligence questionnaires), governance and business integrity due diligence is undertaken by specialist teams over a period of several months. The process includes desk research, surveys, interviews, and site visits. Expanded and enhanced ESG and Business Integrity due diligence will be undertaken in situations and sub-sectors which are viewed to be high risk, including requiring companies to undertake a compliance assessment of the supply chain. The information presented is interrogated and challenged by the Investment Committee, which includes external representatives. It is important to note, due diligence is not the same as decision-making. It ensures BII is clearly sighted on the risks involved; and if or how they can be managed. BII’s due diligence practices rate favourably when compared to our peer DFIs and commercial investors. In 2020 the Principles for Responsible Investment – a UN-supported network of investors - rated BII as ‘A+’ for its approach;[32] and in 2022, the same body awarded BII ‘ESG research innovation of the year’ for its work on the WWF Water Risk Filter. Similarly, ICAI recognised BII is a leader among DFIs in assessing and supporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues (paragraph 8, p. ii).


27.  BII’s approach to non-commercial due diligence is set out in the Policy on Responsible Investing.[33] The Policy sets out the requirements of investees, which are based on legal requirements as well as guidance from international frameworks such as the IFC Performance Standards; ILO Core conventions; OECD and UN conventions on combating bribery; FATF and Basel standards on anti-money laundering; and draws from the UN Principles of Business and Human Rights.


28.  Investees are expected to meet the minimum requirements set out in the Policy, with action plans and technical assistance interventions to support improvement. BII will work with the investee in the pre-investment due diligence phase to jointly develop an action plan that supports the investee in meeting improved environmental, social, business integrity and (where relevant) corporate governance standards over the course of the investment period. This is an important way BII can help drive impact and standards. BII may also recommend specific improvements based on investment and business context, such as community health and safety or biodiversity conservation. Compliance with the Policy is integrated in legal documents, including action plans, prior to investing.


Question 10: What current investments does BII hold?


29.  BII holds $8.1 billion (£6 billion) investments in companies, projects, banks, and funds. A full breakdown of BII’s investments is made available on its Investment Database; and aggregated portfolio statistics are available in the Annual Review and Key Data page of BII’s website. A summary is provided below.


Question 11: How effectively does BII manage funds following its initial investment?


30.  DFIs can invest into a business either directly or through partnerships. Common partnerships include funds, banks, microfinance institutions and specialist lenders. Partnerships, including those through funds, allow DFIs to effectively:


31.  BII is an active investor and ensures that it has the appropriate level of oversight and influence in its investments. BII’s investment and impact teams spend most of their time on working with investees (companies, banks, and funds) to ensure they are adhering to, and wherever possible, exceeding the ambitions and standards agreed at the time of investment. When investing through funds, BII’s relationship is with the fund manager with whom BII will have frequent and regular contact. The terms that the fund can invest BII’s capital and obligations that the fund manager needs to meet are set out in a legally binding limited partner agreement, and this includes all the requirements set out in the Policy for Responsible Investing. BII will have a range of formal oversight mechanisms, including a seat and often chairing the fund’s advisory committee; receipt and review of regular reporting on the performance of the fund and its investments; participation in ESG committees for dedicated discussions on sustainability topics; timebound environmental and social action plans and business integrity action plans with specific improvement areas outlined; rights to review initial environmental and social due diligence; requirements to report adverse events; and visits to the fund’s portfolio companies to review implementation. Fund investments are risk assessed by BII on a quarterly basis across dimensions of risk including development impact, ESG and business integrity; and commercial. Where specific actions are identified in response to high risks, BII will work alongside other investors to help find solutions. BII will also work closely with likeminded investors speaking regularly to exchange market knowledge and work together to influence both fund managers and other stakeholders. See Question 4 and Question 9 for additional information oversight.  


32.  Specialist teams within BII actively work with partners to improve implementation and undertake capacity building. For funds, BII places requirements on the fund manager to develop processes, capacity and governance systems to enable them to implement appropriate standards in their portfolios. BII provides guidance and support to these investees on how to do this, where necessary, including training and capacity building. Between 2019-2022, BII delivered training on E&S and Business Integrity topics for over 750 participants including across 200 fund managers and portfolio companies in South Asia and Africa. The purpose of this training is both to provide practical implementation guidance and also provide BII with additional information of the operations of individual managers. Best practice guidance is freely provided through BII’s online ESG Toolkit for Fund Managers and ESG Toolkit for Financial Institutions.[41]


Question 12: How does BII evaluate the impact of its investments?


33.  BII monitors and assesses the impact of investments throughout the life of its investments and at the time of exit. As outlined in detail in Question 4 and Question 7, in line with the Operating Principles for Impact Management, BII requires investees to report on key monitoring indicators.[42] At the point of exit, BII assesses whether the investment achieved the intended impact outcome using various tools including commissioning evaluations,[43] case studies, investee surveys and frameworks (i.e. the Impact Management Project’s Five Dimensions) to monitor and capture the outcomes achieved by investments. BlueMark rated BII as ‘advanced’ for its work on assessing the impact of its investments and lessons learnt. ICAI’s in-depth review of BII’s Monitoring & Evaluations (M&E) processes found:

“Our review of documentation for our sampled investments also found good evidence that CDC’s M&E mechanisms are being applied and fed into learning as intended. Development impact is monitored (as agreed with CDC) by investees and this information is submitted through annual monitoring reports. All of the investments in the sample were subject to regular assessment against their development impact theses (except where the investment was very recent and such monitoring is not yet expected) and these assessments were presented as RAG ratings for quarterly portfolio reviews. CDC staff described having made strategic portfolio management decisions in 2020 that were informed by quarterly portfolio review insights on the impact of the portfolio” (ICAI, 4.68. p.27)


34.  The FCDO-BII Evaluation and Learning programme then independently reviews the impact of BII’s work.[44] As outlined in Question 6, all investments since 2012 are in scope of the sector evaluations which consider the extent to which investments are on track to deliver their impact thesis; and to complement this, there are in-depth studies of selected investments, chosen by the external evaluators, as part of a deeper dive into specific portfolio themes. Reviews of both the infrastructure and financial institutions sector portfolios have been published. Both found c. 80% of BII’s investments in those two portfolios are on track or outperforming their impact thesis. The evaluation of the third sector in BII’s portfolio (SMART) is currently under way. The programme’s work and budget is guided by a Steering Group, chaired by Department’s Chief Economist, with further representation from the Department, BII and at least an equal number of independent experts. In addition, BII commissions and publishes its own case studies, evaluations, and evidence reviews (under its “Insights” brand) to help better understand the impact of its investments.  ICAI found:

“This second follow-up found that CDC and FCDO have made good progress with their joint formal evaluations, including publishing the first portfolio evaluation, on financial institutions. There is evidence that these evaluations have begun to inform learning within CDC.” (ICAI, paragraph 4.66, p0.67.

ICAI concluded:

“On the basis of these findings, we conclude that CDC is now a more reflective organisation that learns more effectively from good quality M&E about how to promote development impact through its investments. Staff throughout the organisation, including Investment Committee members, demonstrated enthusiasm about driving improvements in this area.” (ICAI, paragraph 4.69 p.68)



[1] BII press release Pioneering solar and storage power project in Cuamba, Mozambique-

[2] Capital flows to developing countries fell 20% to US$586b in 2020, while the SDG financing gap for them could reach US$4.3 trillion per year from 2020 to 2025 (OECD, 2022). In many African economies, over 90% of the workforce are in informal employment (ILO, 2018), and productivity in informal firms is typically a quarter of that in informal firms (Amin et al., 2019) meaning lower output and wages and higher poverty. The gap between the economic output of the world’s richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without global warming (Diffenbaugh and Burke, 2019), while a single drought can lower an African country’s medium-term economic growth potential by 1 percentage point (IMF, 2020).

[3] Bandiera et al, Young Adults and Labor Markets in Africa, American Economic Association, 2022.

[4] A core goal of Nigeria’s National Development Plan 2021-25 is to generate 21 million full-time jobs; one of five key objectives of Uganda’s Third National Development Plan (NDPIII) 2020-21-2024/25 is to “strengthen the private sector to create jobs; and the African Union’s “Agenda 2063 sets the goal of “Transformed Economies and Job Creation” in member states.

[5] Policies that make the rich richer, such as cutting taxes on dividends, that purportedly stimulates investment. See blog by BII’s Director of Development Impact Research and Policy, Paddy Carter, 'How investment can have an indirect impact on poverty – and why that’s not the same as trickledown economics'.

[6] IEA, SDG7: Data Projections Access to Electricity database

[7] World Bank - Individuals using the Internet (% of population) - Sub-Saharan Africa database

[8] World Bank Global Financial Inclusion database

[9] Asian Development Bank research

[10] IFC MSME Finance Gap database

[11] Global Food Security Index

[12] IMF, 2022

[13] BII, ‘Investing to Transform Lives: Five Years On’, 2022.

[14] BII scored A+ each year against the FCDO’s performance expectations set in its 2017 Business Case for capital increases to BII.

[15] Official development assistance (ODA) is defined as government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic department and welfare of developing countries.

[16] A review of sovereign investors It is common for the government or legislators to set the general objectives and goals (setting the goal posts), while the fund’s senior management is responsible for devising the strategy for achieving these (the game plan) and for the board to oversee the executive’s conduct (refereeing the game).” p.22 and p.111 Sovereign Investor Models: Institutions and Policies for Managing Sovereign Wealth | Institutions and Policies for Managing Sovereign Wealth ( and IMF Sovereign Wealth Funds: Aspects of Governance Structures and Investment Management PDP-Working Paper (


[17] As articulated in HMG’s Integrated Review, International Development Strategy, HMG Green Finance Strategy; and Aligning the UK’s international support for the clean energy transition.

[18] IDC, ‘The Future of CDC’ , 2011, p.9.

[19] Portfolio value of DFIs in 2021: BII: $8.3bn; Proparco: $8.5 billion; FMO: $12.4bn; and DEG: over $10bn (figure for DEG provided in euros (€9.2bn). More comparative analysis here.

[20] BII and other bilateral European DFIs have a similar sectoral focus. For example: BII’s portfolio (at 2021) was 34% financial services and 25% infrastructure. This reflects the sectoral distribution of EDFI’s consolidated portfolio (at 2021) which was 32% Financial Sector and 30% Infrastructure.

[21] National Audit Office, 'Department for International Development: investing through CDC', 2016, p. 5.

[22] Correspondence with the Department for International Development relating to the Committee’s Fifty-fourth Report of Session 2016-17, Department for International Development: Investing through the CDC (

[23] BII’s Reports & complaints page.

[24] ICAI, Follow up review of 2019-2020 reports, June 2021.

[25] BII research paper, Risk, return and impact.

[26] More information on the Operating Principles for Impact Management available here.

[27] NB: the ninth principle is independent verification, which was undertaken by BlueMark.

[28] BII, What impact means to us page

[29] BII, Impact Score, 2022-26 Strategy Period

[30] This latter point applies to deals that are exclusively serving Sub-Saharan Africa.

[31] Blog by Paddy Carter, BII’s Director of Development Impact Research and Policy, 'Why use the $5.50 poverty line as a benchmark for inclusion?'.

[32] BII – then CDC - CDC ranked among top in class for responsible investing by PRI – more information here.

The same organisation awarded us the ‘Real-world impact initiative of the year’ in 2021 for our pandemic response – more information here.

[33] BII, ‘Policy on Responsible Investing’, April 2022.

[34] BII, Annual Review, 2021, p.38

[35] Independent evaluation commissioned by BII-FCDO Evaluation Steering Group, ‘Evaluating the impact of British International Investment’s infrastructure portfolio’, April 2022, p.32-33.

[36] As above, p.28.

[37] BII, Annual Review, 2021, p.38 p.34.

[38] BII’s ‘BII Explains’ series, What size of investment should a development finance institution focus on?'.

[39] AVCA, ‘An untold story: the evolution of responsible investing in Africa’, April 2019.

[40] Note - Private equity investment in Africa is chiefly growth capital the model of not leveraged buy-out in more mature markets African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Guide to PE in Africa,

[41] BII’s ESG toolkit, available here.

[42] It includes a range of metrics aligned to our strategic objectives, such as how many jobs our portfolio supported, the local taxes contributed to governments, the amount of third-party capital we mobilise, as well as certain metrics for our priority sectors. We have also signed up to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures and we disclose annually the progress we are making against our Climate Change Strategy by tracking several portfolio climate metrics, for example, our portfolio carbon footprint.

[43] In addition to the three sectoral evaluations, BII commissions various reports as part of its Insight series. Examples include the impact of modern rice farming, the impact of solar homes systems, the impact of tech on farmers in India; and the impact of sustainable farming on smallholder suppliers in Ethiopia.

[44] FCDO-BII, Evaluation and Learning Programme, 2017-2023