Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is an independent philanthropic organisation with headquarters in London and offices in Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Beijing and New Delhi. It was established in 2002 by Jamie Cooper-Hohn and Sir Chris Hohn. The co-founders set out to improve the lives of children living in poverty by developing strategies that have a lasting impact.

The foundation places a significant emphasis on quality data and evidence, by working with partners to measure and evaluate their programmes to achieve large-scale and sustainable impact. Areas of the CIFF’s work include maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, nutrition, education, deworming, tackling child slavery and exploitation, and supporting smart ways to slow down and stop climate change.

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The CIFF provided USD 359.4 million for development in 2020 through its grantmaking activities and programme-related investments. Compared to 2019, this amount represents an increase of 24% in real terms. Grants represented 97% of the CIFF’s gross disbursements, while the remainder was extended as standard loans and shares in collective investment vehicles.

In 2020, the CIFF provided USD 14.7 million to the multilateral system, or 4% of its development finance, all of which was earmarked for specific countries, regions, themes or purposes. The CIFF channelled most of its multilateral aid through United Nations (UN) entities and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The UN system received USD 11.6 million from the CIFF in 2020. These included UNOPS (USD 5.5 million), UNICEF (USD 4.7 million) and WHO (USD 1.4 million).

See the section on Geographic and thematic focus for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system.

In 2020, the CIFF channelled its contributions mostly through non-governmental organisations and public-private partnerships and the (for-profit) private sector as well as universities, research institutes and think tanks.

Most of these contributions were provided as project-type interventions and technical assistance such as capacity building, organisational effectiveness and research grants. Four per cent was extended as core support. Moreover, USD 56.6 million (19%) was provided in support of development awareness raising in high-income countries, particularly in the area of climate action.

In 2020, civil society organisations (CSOs) received USD 251.5 million of the CIFF’s gross bilateral finance. Of this, 6% was allocated to CSOs as core support and 94% was earmarked for projects initiated by the provider.

In 2020, the CIFF’s development finance was primarily focused on Asia and Africa. USD 91.7 million was allocated to Asia and USD 84.4 million to Africa, accounting respectively for 26% and 23% of gross bilateral contributions. Forty-nine per cent of gross development finance was unspecified by region in 2020, mainly including finance for multi-regional programmes and core support.

In 2020, 34% of gross development finance went to the CIFF’s top 10 recipients, which includes India, the People’s Republic of China and Ethiopia.

Least developed countries received USD 31 million (9%) of the CIFF’s gross disbursements in 2020. Still, the CIFF allocated the highest share of its development finance (26%) to middle-income countries in 2020, noting that 65% was unallocated by income group.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 41.9 million in 2020, representing 12% of the CIFF’s development finance.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

In 2020, 41% of the CIFF’s contributions were allocated to social infrastructure and services, 7% to economic infrastructure and services, and 29% to multi-sector and cross-cutting issues such as general environmental protection. In terms of sector, the CIFF’s largest allocations went to health and population policies, multi-sector (general environmental protection), and energy.

In terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the CIFF committed most of its contributions to SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals), SDG 3 (good health and well-being) and SDG 5 (gender equality) of the UN 2030 Agenda.

USD 136.9 million (30%) was committed in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment (SDG 5) and USD 266.6 million (58%) for climate action (SDG 13), with a strong focus on mitigation.

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, the SDG focus of private development finance, channels of delivery, unspecified/unallocated allocations, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

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