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JICA Becomes First Japanese Signatory to the Operating Principles for Impact Management

Tokyo, August 26, 2019—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) signed the Operating Principles for Impact Management, a groundbreaking new set of standards for impact investing. JICA is the first Japanese signatory to Principles.  
Introduced by IFC and other impact investors in April 2019, the Principles bring much-needed discipline, transparency, and credibility to the impact investing market. They require signatories to assess and monitor not only their financial returns, but the progress of their investments in achieving impact. Signatories commit also to independent verification of their impact systems, which provides greater transparency on how impact funds are managed and boosts investor confidence.
As more investors look to align their strategies with the Sustainable Development Goals, impact investing is gaining prominence as a way to achieve both financial returns while addressing global and local issues like poverty, inclusion, education, employment, and health. IFC estimates that the current size of the impact investing market is relatively small at $813 billion, but that the potential market could be as high as $26 trillion. 1
“Impact investing has the potential to raise trillions and help fill the funding gap to address the world’s most pressing development needs,” said IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou. “JICA’s adoption will push impact investing further into the mainstream and sends a positive signal to Japanese companies and investors at a time when they are meeting at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development.”
According to JICA, by adopting the Impact Principles, the agency aims to share the knowledge of its Private Sector Investment Finance operations, which contributes to economic growth, poverty reduction and combats against climate change in developing countries, with IFC and other signatories of the Principles, and expects that other Japanese financial institutions are encouraged to adopt the Impact Principles.      
“JICA’s Private Sector Investment Finance operations have practically embraced the concept of the Principles, and I am confident that JICA, through our adoption, can cooperate with IFC and other signatories for further development of the Principles.” Shinichi Kitaoka, President of JICA said. “I strongly expect that other Japanese financial institutions are encouraged to become signatories of the Principles, inspired by JICA’s adoption of the Principles as the first Japanese institution.”
IFC worked with a group of the world’s leading impact investors, including asset owners, fund managers, investment banks, and development finance institutions to develop the Principles. JICA brings the total to 69 investors that have signed on to the Principles.
About JICA
JICA is an incorporated administrative agency with more than 100 Overseas and Domestic Offices, in charge of administering Japan’s ODA, such as Technical Cooperation, ODA Loans, Private Sector Investment Finance, Grants and so on, supporting socioeconomic development in developing countries. Private Sector Investment Finance aims to stimulate economic activity and improve the people’s standard of living in developing countries through equity investments and loans for projects undertaken in developing countries by the private sector. For more information, visit https://www.jica.go.jp/
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
1: Combined $71 billion in private impact funds with $742 billion invested for impact by development finance organizations.  Source: “Creating Impact: The promise of Impact Investing” (published by IFC in April 2019, available at https://www.ifc.org/creatingimpact )