Advancing Human Security and Community Resilience

Lunch Panel: Collaborative Action to Xcelerate Impact and Sustainability

15 November 2021

Distinct roles of the public, private and philanthropic, but all must come together to drive more cross-sector collaborations

All sectors have its own abilities and limitations; the public sector may be limited by policy mandates while the private sector has to satisfy commercial / shareholder constraints, but the philanthropic sector can be powerful as a catalyst as philanthropic capital is usually more flexible and can take more risks. Governments can help push efforts through policies and the private sector can contribute by investing in and building businesses that create impact, while the philanthropic sector can catalyse solutions, especially those at the early stages, by providing more patient and risk tolerant capital. We need ways to combine all players to complement each other, cover gaps, and find new, innovative solutions to solve complex and multidisciplinary issues.

Requirement of an ecosystem approach – Co-Axis, a new marketplace for philanthropy and impact, exemplifies this

Building on the requirement of cross-sector collaborations, an ecosystem approach is key as no sector or entity can succeed on their own. This ecosystem approach allows for networking around a shared purpose, where each entity can come together to discover where they can synergise, leverage, and build up better connections and scale to the next level. Cross-learning with sharing of experiences between entities can help build capacity.

Philanthropic capital also gives high impact ideas scope and runway to get onto the level where another player can come in and bring ideas to commercial success. To this end, Co-Axis, a digital catalytic capital marketplace by Temasek Trust and DBS Foundation, will help direct investments into impact-focused projects, including venture philanthropy and blended finance opportunities, and create a community of impact champions, including donors, investors, impact innovators, and broader ecosystem actors.

Harnessing data for impact measurement and accountability

Data is key in understanding the effectiveness of various approaches, and also in exposing pain points and informing new innovations. Impact metrics must be developed to achieve real outcomes. However, Asia currently does not yet have the necessary data infrastructure, so there is a need to build on it to truly unlock the benefits and effectiveness of philanthropy. There is a need for regulatory frameworks that promote sustainability reporting, where metrics should be harmonised for less fragmentation. Impact efforts also require scaling up, in turn necessitating technology which can create trusted platforms for scaling. This is where a platform like Co-Axis can come into play, to provide credibility to impact projects and encourage adoption of impact measurement and management practices to avoid impact washing.