Our approach to learning

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

We have joined forces with DFID to better understand the impacts 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 DFID’s Chief Economist, Rachel Glennerster, which balances CDC and DFID representation with independent expertise.

More information can be found in our Learning and Evaluation Programme.

Sector studies

We will undertake multi-year studies across our priority sectors to better understand the development outcomes and impacts associated with our investments. The studies seek to analyse the existing evidence base which underpins our work and the work of our investees. The studies will be commissioned in 2019 through a limited number of DFID tenders.


Insight generate learning for businesses and investors about the impact of private sector investment and support long-term positive change in the world’s poorest places. They provide findings from original research or frame existing evidence in a way that is accessible and relevant to private sector investors. These insights seek to share lessons learned around delivering private sector impact and take the form of studies, evidence reviews, blogs and thought-pieces.

Challenge fund

We are piloting a challenge fund in partnership with DFID to unlock cutting-edge research on the impact of private sector investing. The aim of the fund is to develop rigorous research in areas where it is most needed. The challenge fund will be managed by a management agent, with open calls for proposals planned for 2019 and 2020. We will advertise the calls for proposal here.