Our approach to learning

Developing and sharing knowledge that supports long-term positive change in our markets.

We have joined forces with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) to better understand the impact of our investments and to work with researchers to generate new evidence where it is most needed. This work is overseen by a steering committee chaired by FCDO’s Chief Economist, which balances CDC and FCDO representation with independent expertise. 

Our evaluation and learning programme is summarised below, and you can find more details here. 

Sector studies 

We are undertaking formal multi-year evaluations across ourpriority sectors to better understand the development outcomes and impacts associated with our investments. The evaluations scrutinise the evidence base which underpins our work, and examine the impact of our investees, both portfolio-wide and through in-depth studies. The evaluations began in 2019 and have been commissioned through FCDO procurement. 

Insight programme 

Insight is a series of practical and digestible lessons on the issues of private sector investment and development. They’re based on our experiences, knowledge and research and are aimed at investors, businesses, development professionals, and anyone with an interest in private sector development. They take the form of studies, evidence reviews, blogs and thought pieces. 

Challenge fund 

We have developed a challenge fund in partnership with FCDO to unlock cutting-edge research on the impact of private sector investing. The challenge is to develop rigorous research in that is not just technically cutting-edge but also relevant to development finance institutions. The challenge is managed by Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries (PEDL), a research initiative, with the first call for proposals launched in early 2020.