Livelihoods Fund Part of a Renewed Vision on Development Aid


In a report commissioned by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Emmanuel Faber (Deputy General Manager of Danone) and Jay Naidoo (Chairman of the board of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition- GAIN) present 10 proposals for a new approach on development assistance based on the principles of the “inclusive economy”. Livelihoods Venture’s President Bernard Giraud helped co-write this report, given that the Fund’s innovative investment hybrid model is a perfect real-world example of how a diverse coalition of actors from the private and public sector can work together in this arena.

Indeed, the Livelihoods Fund is a major example of the importance of the “inclusive economy” – the keyword of the report. The term is defined by “its contribution to solving problems of general interest, and its concern for the long-term and for economic viability.”” When faced with global challenges (i.e. climate change, poverty), no government or single actor can come up with solutions on its own, which is why a co-creative approach between private companies, public institutions and civil society is essential to leveraging impact. This belief is what makes Faber and Naidoo such strong supporters of Livelihoods’ approach. Faber is in the top management for Danone, a multinational company that has long been committed to social innovation and is one of the Fund’s largest investors, and Naidoo was a former minister under Nelson Mandela and now presides over GAIN, an NGO that is committed to the same goals as Livelihoods: eradicating food insecurity and poverty.


The report titled “Innovating through the mobilization of the actors: 10 proposals for a new approach to development assistance” was officially presented to Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development & Francophonie, on Friday June 20th at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Quai d’Orsay). Bernard Giraud was a guest for a roundtable on the theme “What are coalitions of actors?” in which he presented Livelihoods’ investment model. The mechanism of the Livelihoods Fund can be summed up as follows: through the carbon economy, it contributes to ecosystem restoration and development of the local economy and thus to the fight against poverty in countries where it invest. Hundreds of thousands of families can contribute to the restoration of their ecosystems while improving their food income.


The authors of the report champion not only a new vision of development aid, relying less on governments and international aid mechanisms alone, but also a new vision of development itself, in line with the challenges of the 21st century. With a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, the report stresses the importance of funding in priority areas like women and youth empowerment, smallholder family farming, urban social projects, and access to energy.

Read the full official report here: