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3 Dec 2015

Anna Bulzomi, PwC

UN Forum Series Blog: Human rights due diligence is redefining investment opportunities in frontier markets

One of the most ambitious examples of translating the notion of human rights due diligence into practice comes from the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) – a €700 million revolving fund of the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs that aims at coupling aid and investment, with the ultimate goal of unlocking sustainable development in low and middle income countries...PwC’s Sustainability & Responsible Governance team conducts environmental, social, governance (ESG) due diligence on each fund that applies to DGGF...to unearth the key risks and understand the extent to which the intermediary funds are able to mitigate them...Our methodology looks at how the “Respect” pillar of the UNGPs has been unpacked and translated into the funds’ policies and processes...What we need to know, from a human rights due diligence perspective, is whether the policies, processes and controls actually work in practice, and how effective they are in addressing human rights risks across the whole portfolio. We need to test the capacity of the intermediary fund to work creatively to respect high standards even in countries with a track record of corruption and abuse.