Justin Flynn, Jeremy Young, Chris Barnett
Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, July 2015

This background paper is a summary of literature reviewed on the topic of the evaluation of impact investments, and was prepared for the "New Frontiers for Evaluation in an Era of Market-Oriented Development" Conference, 20-23 July 2015. The literature was scoped using various methods, namely searching for keywords related to the literature review's topic in Web of Science, a comprehensive search engine for existing academic publications, as well as Google. Other methods included scanning publications related to evaluation of various websites dedicated to impact investing, and scoping referenced articles in the literature.

Overall, 101 documents were found to relate to the topic of the review, of which 55 documents were deemed relevant enough for review (based on combinations of their abstracts/executive summaries, tables of content, titles, conclusions and the general body of text). Most of the documents were found to focus on the themes of evaluation and measurement of impact investments, as well as social impact bonds (SIBs). The summary essentially draws on the 55 reviewed articles (as well as a few additional articles).

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