Investing in Maternal and Child Health: Development impact bonds

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Save the Children US

The global decrease in child and maternal deaths is one of the great achievements in international development in recent decades. Child mortality rates have fallen by more than half, from 12.7 million under-5 deaths in 1990, to 5.6 million in 2016. U.S. leadership and foreign assistance played instrumental roles in this achievement, saving the lives of millions of children around the world. But preventable maternal and child deaths are still too high. Globally, 15,000 children continue to die each day from causes that are often preventable, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria.

One of the key objectives of Development Impact Bonds (DIBs) is to attract new investors through financial incentives, such as earning a profit by investing in a development outcome. At the same time, DIBs aim to attract new stakeholders to international development through reduced risk: the Public sector and philanthropic entities are guaranteed that they will only spend their funds on successful interventions. Presented in this report are analyses of two case studies of DIB projects in the field of maternal and child health and survival. Information is based on in-depth interviews with stakeholders about the experiences, challenges, lessons learned, and potential to create new DIBs in this area. This report is intended to contribute to the growing evidence base on DIBs. It focuses on the process of formation, which will allow potential stakeholders to better understand and, where appropriate, use DIB financing for maternal and child survival interventions. 

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