Catalytic Capital | September 22, 2017

Development impact bonds take aim at health challenges

The team at


Nearly 100 social impact bonds have been launched since the first SIB in 2010.

Development impact bonds, or DIBs, on the other hand, haven’t made as much traction. Only three have taken off in low-income and emerging markets; 25 are in development.

A new report, Impact Bonds in Developing Countries, highlights the predominance of philanthropic funders in DIBs, compared to SIBs, which are often backed by commercial capital. They also tend to tackle different issues.

Health is a big one for DIBs, finds the report, by blended finance network Convergence and Brookings’ Center for Universal Education.

Eleven planned DIBs target the health sector, including cataracts, nutritional education for prediabetic women, and maternity care. Health-related DIBs are tackling problems that also simultaneously address water, sanitation, and malnutrition.

Last year, Convergence backed a feasibility study for a $25 million to $35 million bond DIB focused on skills training for refugees (read the new case study).

The full report is available here.