As the WEF Annual Meeting at Davos kicks off, the IRC’s Airbel Impact Lab has released  a Partnerships Playbook “Advisory Model for Investor + Humanitarian Partnerships”, a pioneering new approach to scale the impact of multilateral development bank, development finance institution, or private sector investments for social impact projects in fragile and conflict affected contexts.  Resources include the Advisory Model Partnership Playbook, a tool for investor and humanitarian partners, and a series of case studies and lessons learned from Airbel’s current pilot projects advising investors. 

The “Advisory Model'' is an innovative finance concept developed by the IRC with the support of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations; a tool for investor and humanitarian partners to develop impactful cross-sector partnerships – allowing a “humanitarian in residence” to strengthen and support MDB, DFI, and private sector investments – from venture capital to private equity - in fragile/conflict settings. IRC is currently piloting several advisory partnerships, addressing challenges from wastewater and infrastructure to climate financing and economic development:

“Increasingly, investors recognize the enormous value of, but also risk to, critical investments in fragile and conflict-affected settings,” said Ellen Brooks, Investment Lead for Innovative Finance at IRC's Airbel Impact Lab. “But bankers are not experienced in delivering projects in humanitarian settings to benefit and reach populations affected by displacement, conflict, or crisis. That’s where the Advisory Model comes in, transforming traditional ways of working and ensuring risk to investments are not only mitigated, but set a powerful and catalyzing example of sustainable impact.” 

In an op-ed for Devex, Brooks urged humanitarians and investors to go all-in on the Advisory Model, citing myriad benefits for investors and for fragile and conflict-affected communities. “By tapping humanitarians as consultants, cross-sector partnerships can bridge gaps between investors and the humanitarian sector. We can generate more funding to address priorities such as climate adaptation for communities on the frontline of the climate crisis. We can leverage private finance and public funding in innovative ways, and we can better inform community engagement and circumstances on the ground: humanitarians know how to reach fragile vulnerable communities and bring deep expertise balancing risk and social outcomes in conflict zones.”