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Sustainable business growth in uncertain times

With a global pandemic affecting all aspects of our lives, it has become increasingly difficult to simply “overcome and adapt” these days. Apart from the personal challenges we are facing, such as social distancing and not seeing our loved ones, we are also faced with the harsh reality of business continuity. This affects both the employee and employer. Will I still have a job if the company doesn’t open again soon? Will I lose everything I have worked so hard for over last years? These are questions that’s keeping many of us awake at night, irrespective if you are working as a hairdresser or running a multinational company. The problem stays the same: How do we get through this and how do we still strive for sustainable business growth in these uncertain times?

However, it is important to understand that adapting your business to meet the current safe measures is by no means the same as sustainable business growth. We are talking here about fundamental changes driven by the change in the marketplace to ensure your company’s longevity.

In recent years, sustainability has evolved from just being an internal investments for a leaner and cleaner (environmentally speaking) production of goods and services, to the inclusion of communities, technologies, and growth strategies. McKinsey and Co. states that when technologies are indeed referred to as sustainable, it is due to the fact that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Bots, and CRMs are seen as “key sustainable drivers” for the digital era. It is in “our” belief that this concept of digital key drivers for a sustainable growth, will even evolve one step further into a broader concept –  into something that is already defined: Digitalization – the way in which many domains of social life are restructured around digital communication and media infrastructures.

With COVID-19 forcing us to change the way we think about business and conduct business unusual; we find ourselves in the midst of our own digital revolution. If we wanted to or not. In a blink of an eye, businesses had to adapt the fundamentals of everyday working life. Home office is not only a luxury to select few anymore, but a way of life. Zoom calls are a daily activity and even virtual coffee breaks are all the rage now. Universities switched over to online classrooms and Bayer AG was the first DAX company to have a virtual annual shareholder meeting. Businesses are adapting digital operations models at an alarming rate to try and stay in business and some are even better off that before. The big question you are probably asking yourself now is “what can I do?” If you are a business owner or employee, it is always good to know what options are available and what would determine your strategy to implement and leverage digitization for a sustainable business growth.


To answer this question is no easy task and would need you to drill down and very clearly identify your core competencies of your company or your own capabilities. When facing the downfall of the analog photo industry, Fujifilm was faced with a similar dilemma: digitize or die. While their competitors were still hoping for the market to turn, they focused on their core competencies and turned a traditional film company into one of the world’s leading image-, healthcare & material-, and document solutions companies, while competitors, such as Kodak, went bankrupt.

Already identifying this digitalization dilemma in 2018, a friend and colleague of mine, wrote his MBA thesis on the topic. He has been active in the digital industry for over 12 years and has been on both sides of the table when it came to digital implementations. At the time when he was writing the thesis, he was working for a remote support company that offered smart-glass solutions to big service companies and found it remarkable how different companies approached the implementation of such a massive digital transformation in a usually very traditional analog industry.

His thesis addressed the following question: “Determining the optimal method for developing digital tools to implement into industrial service operations: Internal Development vs. Outsourcing”. In short, if you want to digitize, should you outsource, or should you develop the operational model internally? This does not only apply for big businesses, but for all SME’s alike. The determining factor would be your business strategy. Do I need something quick for now or do I want to make sure that if this pandemic continues or happens again, I am ready for it?

For his primary research, he compared two very large global players in the service industry and interviewed the two heads of service to identify their strategy and long-term goals for their digitization efforts. The one company’s strategy was to neat their competitors to the market and the other’s was to shape the market itself. After identifying their strategies and goals, both gentlemen were asked to complete the IMPULS Readiness Model for digitization, which addresses topics, such as Strategy and Organization, Smart factory, Smart operations, Smart products, Data-Driven services, and Employees to compare if what they say is what they do.

Findings – Internal development

If you have a long-term strategy, you probably want to keep the development of a new digital strategy and business model inside the business.

The advantages will include:

  1. Companies will develop the skills that will provide in-house expertise for future projects and further internal improvements.
  2. The learning and information stay inside the company.
  3. Projects are easy to expand and scale-up as per internal or future requirements.
  4. Solutions are tailor made to the business.
  5. There will be a first mover advantage inherited with the completion of the project

However, there will be some disadvantages identified as well:

  1. Such a strategy would require vast and fast learning that might not be in-house.
  2. Some projects can be easily underestimated, due to the lack of experience and expertise.
  3. Some employees will have double work or be reassigned from their original positions – Capacity issues
  4. Sourcing new employees to fill the gap will require cost-time investments.
Findings – Outsourcing

If you have a more short-term strategy and just want to be quick to the market, you will probably want to go the outsourcing route.

The advantages will include:

  1. This would be the fastest route the market, by letting the experts do what they do best.
  2. Costs will most certainly be cheaper and once-off.
  3. The company can remain focused in the core business.
  4. Expertise can be rapidly available to re-scope the project and improve the outcome.

However, there we some disadvantages identified as well:

  1. Current employees might feel threatened by the 3rd Parties.
  2. There is no absolute control on the development of the project.
  3. Security/intellectual property of the firm might be compromised.
  4. The opportunity cost of not developing internally raises as the projects grow larger.
  5. The service provider can demand share of the value created if it reaches a broader proportion of the product/ company as it was originally envisioned.
Conclusion and discussion

After a second round of interviews, both gentleman concluded that both strategies can well serve for any given company, as long as the scope and strategy of the project has been clearly defined. They admitted that without a clear strategy, their projects would have failed and identified that as the key starting point for any new digital endeavor.

So, to recap:

  1. Make use of outsourcing if you need a quick deployment into the market.
  2. Take the internal development route when you want to ingrain the changes into your company and create a whole new digital business model.

I started by asking the question: How do we achieve sustainable business growth in these uncertain times? The easy answer would be the digitalization of your business model, however, the path remains dependable. Digitizing is “easy” if your industry allows for it. It might be more difficult if you own a restaurant or are the head of a university. Luckily, people can be very creative and achieve great things by answering the fundamental questions. For the man with the restaurant, he wants to be fast to the market, so outsourced his orders to Foodora. On the other hand, a business school in Cologne changed their entire setup internally, to accommodate online lectures and even exams for these times and the future. This would even allow them to enroll remote students across the world.

This thesis built a corner stone, from where an uncertain path to digitization (outsourcing or internal development) only requires a quick question: Do you require a quick launch to the market? or Are the skills to be built also required in the long term? In truthfully answering these questions, businesses have the best chance to stay competitive.

So, my final question to you: Do you want to adapt, or do you want to grow?


References

(1) McKinsey & Company (2011) The business of sustainability. Retrieved from: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/the-business-of-sustainability-mckinsey-global-survey-results on 26.04.2020

(2) Hoque, Faisal. (2015) The 7 Fundamentals Of Sustainable Business Growth. Retrieved from: https://www.fastcompany.com/3049856/the-7-fundamentals-of-sustainable-business-growth on 26.04.2020

(3) McKinsey & Company (2106) The new world of sales growth. Retrieved from: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-new-world-of-sales-growth on the 26.04.2020

(4) Bloomber, Jason (2018) Digitization, Digitalization, And Digital Transformation: Confuse Them At Your Peril. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2018/04/29/digitization-digitalization-and-digital-transformation-confuse-them-at-your-peril/#43b276af2f2c on 26.04.2020

(5) Impuls (2020) Industrie 4.0 – Readiness Check. Retrieved from: https://www.industrie40-readiness.de/?lang=en on 26.04.2020

Featured

Personal opinion – SIB to reinsert single mothers to the workforce

There is a strong message that I want to disclose before moving on with the post: The idea comes from personal experiences, from knowledge in the topic and it is not – by any means – polished. Meaning, I believe there is an opportunity area in this context and most likely someone with more experience in the matter might come to complete the concept, take it as it is, or argument against it. All opinions are welcomed.


Background

Coming from a country in current state of “Developing economy”, I have seen in first hand challenges that raise specifically to single mothers when they look for a reinsertion to the workforce. Singles mothers will be understood within the scope of this publication as: “Single undependable on the reason”

Is because of the sum of empiric knowledge and facts that this topic has raised some internal concerns on how much is being done by governments, private organizations, and the society itself. If the work so far is arguably “still in progress”, the question comes to mind “Would a SIB be a game improve in how the public organizations/ institutions tackle the challenge?”

While expressing the concept, a proposal will be thrown to the reader as how it should be – at a bare minimum of players and targets – for it to work. Clear is, this social intervention should be evaluated across a medium-to-long period of time.


Quick facts
In North America:
  • Families headed by unmarried women are the ones most vulnerable to poverty and some of the most likely to be among the working poor (1)
  • Women who become single-mothers generally have less human capital to bring to the labor market due to having less education and fewer work experiences than their peers (1)
In the UK:
  • In 2016 there were 2.9 million single parents in the United Kingdom, representing an 18.6% increase in single parents since 1996. Women account for 86% of single parents with dependent children, the average age of a single parent is 38 years of age, with approximately 60% of single parents caring for one dependent child (2)
  • Despite high employment levels single parents are more likely to experience fuel poverty than other family structures. In addition, single parent families are still nearly twice as likely to be in poverty as those in couple parent families, with 67% of single parents reporting that they struggle with finances (2)
  • A study across 27 European countries found that single parents (in comparison to cohabiting parents and married parents) had poorer health, with the United Kingdom being substantially worse in this regard (2)
  • Brown and Morgan (1997) examined marital status, poverty and depression in female parents over a 2-year period and found that single parents were twice as likely as their married counterparts to be in financial hardship (Brown and Moran 1997), despite being twice as likely to be in full-time employment
In Latin America:
  • In Argentina 48% of the mothers in the country lived in 30% of the homes with the less economical resources (3)
  • Almost half of Latin American women over 15 have no income of their own, while only one in five men is in that situation (4)
  • Females heads of households have less monetary income than men, both in poor and higher-income households (4)
  • In 2002, only 36.7% of the total number of employed persons in Latin America corresponded to women, a figure that has not varied much compared to the 31.5% recorded in 1990 (4)
In the world:
  • Women earn less than men. Dedicate more time to domestic chores without any remuneration at all. Are more vulnerable to extreme poverty and less opportunities to enter the workforce. “Gender equity has not been achieved in any country in the world” (5)

Proposal
Players

Single Mothers: Actors which might be in one of the following scenarios; Currently out of the formal working force (- (1) with or (2) without previous experience) and (3) Currently part of the formal work force without an honorable salary. Quick facts prove that this selected type of population requires extra efforts from private or public organizations to be re-inserted into the workforce or (- if already there) to compete again for an honorable salary.

Government: Similar to any SIB, the ultimate responsible to provide a premium to the investors in case the intervention has succeeded, will be the government. Any specific branch – dependency will vary with the country in scope. In a bit more specificity, those departments/ dependencies responsible for “family care” or “Child-hood protection” might be the ones with bigger interest in this specific intervention.

Investors: None investor that has interest in improving the quality life of single parents families should be denied of funding capital to the intervention. Nonetheless, private organizations should raise self-awareness that the problem steams principally from their common operations. If indeed current organizations are taking steps to address the problematic of single parents, it is also true that more actions can be taken. Social investing in a similar program could potentially improve corporate image, finances and internal social initiatives.

Evaluating Agency: Similar to some other social interventions, the agency itself would represent better the interests of all the parties if evaluated by a third party. Metrics can and should be discussed among the stakeholders before agreed and most potentially with a big enough footprint to follow-up on all the participants

Intermediaries (Arguably the most relevant player in this initiative): The right intermediary should offer a wide range of solutions for single mothers most common challenges: Day-care services, further education tailored to the possible required scenarios (suitable level, schedules, location, etc.), understanding of the labor market current context, professional relationships to improve chances of success, psychological support for the participants, and other challenges that might raise along the development of the initiative.


Proposed targets

Targets should be divided among the three possible scenarios of the single mothers:

  • Currently out of the formal working force – without previous experience
  • Currently out of the formal working force – with previous experience
  • Currently part of the formal working force – without an honorable salary

Within each previous category, differentiation should be made on the levels desired to be achieved by the participants. Important: If the final goal is for all the participants to have a formal – with honorable – salary, the time constraint and individuals circumstances must be also considered in the intervention goals. Some examples below:

  • Has enough education being provided to be competitive in the labor market given the following variables: Age, location, profession chosen, time?
  • Is the applicant currently in enough application processes to consider that one will end in a positive result?
  • Has the participant achieved the ultimate goal of an honorable salary and stable position?

Conclusion

The target population is not a new topic. Is not facing new challenges. It has certainly been identified, yet efforts seem to not provide if not at the moment, in any short foreseeable future any improvements in net numbers.

A proposal for a social intervention similar to this one makes sense in the context when a key player (Intermediary) has enough resources to come upfront with the desired results.

Capital investment should not come as a challenge as many companies are increasing the resources to improve quality of life for their own employees. If similar is happening with other departments where services are being outsourced, same principle should apply for social improvement of the society when internal resources do not have skills and men hours required.

How much yet is left to be done? How many publications do we have about looses and benefits of bringing people from the informal workforce to the formal labor market?

References
  1. Damaske, S., Bratter, J. L., & Frech, A. (2017). Single mother families and employment, race, and poverty in changing economic times. Social science research, 62, 120–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2016.08.00800078/ Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300078/
  2. Brown GW, Moran PM. Single mothers, poverty and depression. Psychological Medicine. 1997;27(01):21–33. doi: 10.1017/S0033291796004060 Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5932102/
  3. Lupica, Carina (2015) Pobreza: mucho más fácil caer en ella cuando eres madre. Retreived from: https://blogs.iadb.org/desarrollo-infantil/es/pobreza-maternidad/
  4. Comision Economica para America Latina y el Caribe (2004) Pobreza afecta más a mujeres que a hombres en Latinoamérica. Retrieved from: https://www.cepal.org/es/comunicados/pobreza-afecta-mas-mujeres-que-hombres-latinoamerica
  5. Delle Femmine, Laura (2018) Las mujeres, dobles víctimas de la pobreza. Retrieved from: https://elpais.com/internacional/2018/02/14/actualidad/1518615690_779994.html
  • Brown GW, Moran PM. Single mothers, poverty and depression. Psychological Medicine. 1997;27(01):21–33. doi: 10.1017/S0033291796004060

Carbon Footprint per head. Limited.

Here goes a proposal.

Do we need to act against the climate change, ab sofort (German; “From now on”)? Yes

Do we know what are the activities that contribute the most to the climate change? Yes, CO2 release from burning fossils for E.g.; Energy.

Do we have an estimate of how much CO2 is released on year-on-year basis? Yes, per country and per capita

Is the society aware of how much is the approximate limit required to generate a change, based on international goals? No

Do the people have the tools to measure how much CO2 is released from their daily activities? No

Brainstorming: Why don’t we take small – but effective – steps to stop this break-less train and why don’t we start quantifying, to begin with, how much CO2 should be theoretically allowed per person?

Some numbers into the idea.

In 2018 based in the Global Carbon Project we released a total of 37 Gt.

Same wise, in 2018 there was a total of 7.5 billion people (different sources) in the planet.

In average, in 2018, every person in this planet released an approximate of 4.933 tones of CO2. Take this number subjectively. There are countries that release up to 2, 5, 10 times more than others (Global Carbon Project).

Now, comes the tricky part. How much do we have left? As the Yale environment 360 puts it: “It depends on who you ask.”

Lets briefly explain, every organization decided to use the variables (justified) according to what they thought would be more precise, E.g.; Are we going to continue with the deforestation at the same levels? Is the planet absorbing the CO2 in the atmosphere? but above all, the main question that they ask themselves, and arguably the most relevant… What would be the maximum change in temperature allowed?

If the numbers before (Estimated budget for CO2 left) were confusing, the numbers about the change in the temperature become trickier now. Again, briefly explained; because the amount of variables to consider are somewhere near to infinite, among the different actors in the academy, the consensus arrived to a maximum change of 2°C, however that change might implicate almost none consequences for some actors while others – based on their analysis – demand even a more drastic change in the realms of 1°C. Here the detailed explanation.

Interim conclusion

Estimations swing around the 350 billion tons and the scientific community did not argue – in general – for a goal in the realms of the 2°C (+/- 0.5). For this post purpose and goal, those numbers will be assimilated as the “safe to use” numbers.

Get to the point.

350 billion tons / 7 years goal / 7.5 billion people = 704 tons of CO2 a year per head.

In perspective; an average passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Important: Emitted by the vehicle, not by the production of it!. Food accounts for 10-30% of a household’s carbon footprint.

Not to forget!

  • There is disparity in the emission of CO2 per country and per level of income. Huge disparity!
  • The 7 years goal is used in different literature as a check point to check our progress and/ or to start seeing climatic effects
  • 350 billion tons are debatable. They were used as a safe number

What can this number is meaningful for?, if you have access to this blog and if you understand the topic here related, there is big chance that you belong to the portion of the population that produces the most CO2 and is now your responsibility to start acting accordingly. There are no second chances, only one. Let’s better do it right.

Carbon Footprint. The impact to the environment

Year 2020.

The year itself has been proved to be a challenge for the society in many different fronts. However and sadly, the biggest challenge – arguably – this year has been one related to health.

Nevertheless, parallel a different threat and challenge was arising on the side. A threat that has been constant, silent, and highly uncontrollable; the effects from the climate change that works in a self-fed cycle.

Digging deeper into climate change; the topic itself can be analyzed from different sides and perspectives, with different defendants and detractors as well. But, here comes as always a but, there is a fact that can be quantified and that no detractor or perspective can look away from reality: The CO2 into the atmosphere that has been increasingly released and that it’s own effects release even more now than ever.

Some numbers.

Based on the information by the Global Carbon Project, “after a three year hiatus with stable global emissions (from 2014 to 2016), CO2 emissions grew by 1.4% in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018 to 37 Gt…” (Giga tons of CO2). Major CO2 gas releases being by – in this order – China, USA, Europe (28), and India.

Graphic available in The global Carbon Project

The statement from the organization was clear. Emissions to date place us in a trajectory for warming that is currently well beyond the 1.5°C, and potentially, 2°C.

Then 2020 happened.

COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on 11, March 2020. Measures imposed were ramped up from the isolation of symptomatic individuals to the ban of mass gatherings, mandatory closure of schools and even mandatory confinement, affecting directly the emissions of the gas in a global scale.

The nature climate change made (and published) and effort to measure the temporary reductions in C02 emitted during pandemic times of this 2020. Needed to say, there are some important remarks to understand before reading the numbers as ultimate truth:

  • Systems are not in place to monitor global emissions in real time
  • CO2 emissions are reported as annual values, often released months or even years after the end of the calendar year
  • Fossil fuel use is estimated for some countries at the monthly level, with data usually released a few months later
  • Observations of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere are available in near-real time, but the influence of the natural variability of the carbon cycle and meteorology is large and masks the variability in anthropogenic signal over a short period

Because of the challenges mentioned above, the analysts envisioned the following method to analyze the reduction in CO2:

“… we used a combination of energy, activity and policy data available up to the end of April 2020 to estimate the changes in daily emissions during the confinement from the COVID-19 pandemic, and its implications for the growth in CO2 emissions in 2020. We compared this change in emissions to the mean daily emissions for the latest available year (2019 for the globe) to provide a quantitative measure of relative change compared to pre-COVID conditions.”

Natural climate change – 19 May, 2020

Result:

“The estimated decrease in daily fossil CO2 emissions from the severe and forced confinement of world populations of –17% (–11 to –25%) at its peak are extreme and probably unseen before. Still, these only correspond to the level of emissions in 2006. The associated annual decrease will be much lower (–4.2 to –7.5% according to our sensitivity tests), which is comparable to the rates of decrease needed year-on-year over the next decades to limit climate change to a 1.5 °C warming…

Natural cllimate change – 19 May, 2020

Authors opinion: “… most changes observed in 2020 are likely to be temporary as they do not reflect structural changes in the economic, transport or energy systems. The social trauma of confinement and associated changes could alter the future trajectory in unpredictable ways, but social responses alone, as shown here, would not drive the deep and sustained reductions needed to reach net-zero emissions.”

But the 2020 did it again. The California fires.

Up to the 18th of September, 2020 This year’s fires in California have already burned through 1.4 million hectares (3.4 million acres) of land, and the fire season isn’t set to end for at least a couple of months… (Elizabeth Claire, 2020)

Along with the flames, the outcome is inevitably CO2 emission into the atmosphere, which in turn, accelerates the climate change that provokes it.

It is estimated that the 2020 California wildfires have already generated more than 91 million metric tons of CO2 (Equivalent to 0,91 Gt); in comparison, the total activity of the humanity in a year pre-pandemic times is close to 40 Gt.

Nancy Harris, research manager of Global Forest Watch, said what’s particularly concerning about the California fire CO2 emissions is that it contributes to a multipart climate feedback system that will exacerbate the effects of climate change.

“The emissions are not happening in isolation,” Harris told Mongabay. “They’re part of this larger feedback loop — more emissions causes climate change, which causes more emissions, which causes increasing temperatures. So we’re sort of stuck in this vicious cycle of increasing temperatures, and as the trees and vegetation dry out, [they are] more flammable and susceptible to burning which causes more emissions, which then increases temperatures even further.

Discussion

CO2 plays a huge role in the efforts to reduce the global warmth to the required levels, and yet with all the technology available we cannot measure on a daily basis how much our actions contribute to the emissions of CO2.

The proposal is to take an step forward and start placing efforts in place to measure in a rough – whoever reliable – manner how much CO2 is emitted from the products and services we consume on a daily basis. Only when taking the first steps, they will be able to evolve and become more accurate with time. But for that, the first step must be taken.

Link to the page to ask for guidance on how to measure the carbon footprint.

References

Global energy Growth is Outpacing Decarbonization. (September, 2019) Global Carbon Project. From: https://www.globalcarbonproject.org/global/pdf/GCP_2019_Global%20energy%20growth%20outpace%20decarbonization_UN%20Climate%20Summit_HR.pdf Retrieved on: 20.09.2020

Le Quéré, C., Jackson, R.B., Jones, M.W. et al. Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 647–653 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0797-x

‘Off the chart’: CO2 from California fires dwarf state’s fossil fuel emissions. Alberts, E. Claire. (18th, September 2020). Mongabay. Retrieved on: 20.09.2020 from: https://news.mongabay.com/2020/09/off-the-chart-co2-from-california-fires-dwarf-states-fossil-fuel-emissions/

What can be expected to change? Life after COVID-19

The social game has been changed. It is no secret that society has taken a hit – in a global scale – as it was not seen since many years ago. While we struggle and fight against the challenge that we have in front of us, the question remains, What will change?


Only a dreamer and unknown to the world would be brave enough to say that he/she has the answer to the question. The answer is and will remain 100% uncertain until it happens, nevertheless, it can be analyzed in different contexts and dimensions to forecast where the main impacts will take place.

For that purpose, the topic will be analyzed as follows:

  • Social behavior
  • Governmental funding
  • Private equity
  • Sustainability!

Social behavior

First prediction. We as social animals (1) might come back to the same social interactions that we had before.

There is no scenario where we do not come back to the same social no-distancing that we had before. It is in the nature of the human to feel surrounded by people and a sense of belonging to a society. Introverts and extroverts will come back to the same routines that they had.

Second prediction. Stockpiling will remain as a natural answer to the uncertainty. One article mentioned it already: “We’ve seen this before throughout history. Back in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis, when nuclear war seemed imminent, American families filled their basements with enough canned goods and bottled water to survive an atomic blast” (2). As long as the time does not flow and something new does not come upon the society, stockpiling will remain for some years to come as an intrinsic behavior of the society. Important to notice, with a negative slope!

Governmental funding

First prediction: In another post it has been already mentioned how the government has funded less and less (-in specific in some countries) to the healthcare system. This tendency will change.

In the coming years, military spending and other categories will receive less and less funding as administrations will realize the effects politically/ socially/ financially that a pandemic of this dimensions would have in the history books and their names.

It will be in the interest of new administrations and politicians to make sure that no pandemic will damage their countries in the same dimension this one did it. Health has come to be a top priority among citizens and societies above finances, and international defense. Most probably will remain the same way in years to come.

Second prediction: Globalization is a topic that will be discussed thoroughly in the governments regardless of their political affiliations.

Countries have been shown that international co-operation cannot be trusted when danger is being faced in a global scale. USA has shown no interest of international co-operation (3) and the European Union struggles internally to support different adversities faced by the European nations (4).

Production will be slowly shifted to local markets and a more relevant topic in the agendas will be the auto sufficiency and how to shift dependency from other markets or common policies to local producers.

Private equity

One of many predictions: Disparity will increase. Governments have been tested to the limits, and results where not the best possible outcome. Funding (- and consequent saving) of top firms has been once more the first – and given current circumstances – best reaction (5). Saving the wealthiest for them to save the rest.

These actions will inevitably trigger a chain-reaction where more private equity investors will shift to safer sources of profits. Those sources will be found in blue chip companies that will create a vicious cycle where blue chips and sources of profits will be available for high socioeconomic classes and not for the rest of the population.

Second of many predictions: The healthcare systems will receive – in comparison with previous years – a bigger inflow of investment. The question truly relies on what of the sub-definitions of healthcare. E.g.; Funding for new technologies or funding for basic healthcare prevention? Question yet to be answered and highly dependent of ROIs and decisions yet to happen.

Sustainability

Last but not least.

First prediction: Sustainability will be the big winner in an indirect way. If governments will fund more campaigns of prevention, if countries will shift to internal market for auto-sufficiency and if society in general will prioritize savings/ basic goods above consumerism, in big terms the sustainability philosophy will raise.

Yet, some changes must be done in order for it to be efficient. Local certifications must be set-in place, businesses must be created and governments must shift tenders and sourcing programs to local producers.

Second prediction: With an increase in local production, the society itself will be more involved in the production of goods and raising awareness of those that require/ burn more resources, ergo, society in general will prefer those produced environmentally friendly over sourcing from regions of the world under unclear conditions.


References

  1. Baginni, Julian. The social animal. (January, 3, 2014) Retrieved from: https://www.ft.com/content/39a015c6-6bc7-11e3-85b1-00144feabdc0 on the 04.04.2020
  2. Lufkin, Bryan (2020) Coronavirus: The psychology of panic buying. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200304-coronavirus-covid-19-update-why-people-are-stockpiling on 05.04.2020
  3. the Guardian (2020) US accused of ‘modern piracy’ after diversion of masks meant for Europe. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/03/mask-wars-coronavirus-outbidding-demand on 05.04.2020
  4. De Miguel, Bernardo (2020) La UE también lucha por su supervivencia Retrieved from: https://elpais.com/internacional/2020-04-04/la-ue-tambien-lucha-por-su-supervivencia.html on 05.04.2020
  5. Cochrane, Emily and Tankersley, Jim. (2020) Here’s What’s in Congress’s Emergency Coronavirus Bill. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/us/politics/congress-coronavirus-bill.html on 05.04.2020

Prologue of a Pandemic – COVID-19

“… Since Word War 2, there hasn’t been in our country a similar challenge where everything depended so much upon our joint solidarity action …”

Angela Merkel, March 2020 – Chancellor of Germany

Many things can and will be said on how the pandemic was managed by international leaders, it is not in the scope of this text to analyze them. Aftermaths cannot be measured only after the storm has passed, and even time is required to asses – “fairly” – the cost of such a global event; it is also not in the scope of this text to predict them.

If the present (- from the beginning of the pandemic) will not be judged and the future is irrelevant at this point, what is left to asses is the past. Decisions in the past that took us to the point where we are.

For that purpose, the beginning of a previous pandemic has been set as parameter. Since that point in time, expenditure of OECD countries (% of GDP) in healthcare systems will be tracked across time to see if there was a significant change up to the closest point when a new pandemic changed the way we behave as a global society.


AH1N1 – also: H1N1pdm09

“In the spring of 2009, a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus emerged. It was detected first in the United States and spread quickly across the United States and the world.” (1)

Quick facts:

  • From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the AH1N1 virus (1)
  • Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from AH1N1 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated.
  • Globally, 80 percent of AH1N1 virus-related deaths were estimated to have occurred in people younger than 65 years of age. This differs greatly from typical seasonal influenza epidemics, during which about 70 percent to 90 percent of deaths are estimated to occur in people 65 years and older (1)

Important to notice that all numbers are estimations and ranges!

In healthcare, the variables are sometimes – literally – impossible to control and only some numbers can be estimated. E.g.; “CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from AH1N1 virus infection” and they must remain the same way.

Opposite to estimated cases and ranges, finances can be quantified. If we narrow the players and metrics to specifically OECD countries and % of their GDP spent in healthcare, numbers can be easily tracked.

Must be disclosed beforehand, I will not exhaustively dig in other factors (internals or externals) that might have influenced the expenditure. All those variables are left to the reader to search for and apply upon each case.

% of GDP to Healthcare of some OECD Countries
Expenditure per country in healthcare (% of GDP) from 2010 (-End of AH1N1 Pandemic) to 2018 (Latest available data)

The compound annual growth rate per country, looks as follow:

CountryCAGR
Canada0.01%
France-0.06%
Germany0.22%
Israel0.67%
Italy-0.18%
Japan1.97%
Korea2.98%
Mexico-1.00%
Spain-0.19%
UK1.64%
USA0.37%

Between the eleven countries together, there was only a raise of 0.56% in expenditure (% of GDPs combined) in the healthcare system after the AH1N1 pandemic.

In the gates of this new pandemic, which countries are -and even had – tackling better the challenge and which are facing bigger problems to contain it?

What are the day-to-day numbers of the COVID-19 telling us about national healthcare systems?

Who are the ones needing for a bigger financial rescue package?


Conclusions

Eleven years passed between the last pandemic and the current one.

Considering the first warning that we received – now we know it was a warning – none of the countries increased “significantly” the expenditure in their healthcare systems

Some of the countries above, and they have been selected for a reason, currently show some challenges against COVID-19. Since many of them are still in the peak of efforts and countermeasures – I wish them all only the best – no numbers or statistics will be shown here. The reader itself must asses and apply critical thinking of/ if we as a society understood where the main problems lie in a new globalized world.

Now that in the face of a second challenge… with bigger proportions and (soon to be confirmed) worst outcomes, should the countries raise to the a new world where healthcare must receive a first role instead of everything else that pushes for a consumerism life? Where lies the line of what is more important for a country to invest in …


References

(1) 2009 H1N1 Pandemic (H1N1pdm09 virus). Centers for disease control and prevention – CDC. June 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-h1n1-pandemic.html

(2) Health expenditure and financing. OECD. Data extracted on the 21.03.2020. Retrieved from: https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=SHA

The first – ever – Social Impact Bond

“SIBs were born out of the need to overcome structural barriers that prevent important social services from reaching marginalized populations and communities” (Donner & Huang, 2017, p. 1).


Peterborough Social Impact Bond, UK

The first institution to create them was the Social Finance UK, established in 2007 with a singular goal that later expanded to other countries and flows of thinking, exploiting untapped opportunities that lie in the relationship between social progress and capital markets. (Donner & Huang, 2017, pp. 1 – 2)

After understanding that scarce resources were the reason for governments to stop funding innovative social programs as well as the evaluation of methodologies and outcomes from the previous programs implemented, the government created in the city of Peterborough, UK, the first official SIB designed to reduce local cyclical recidivism patterns. It was planned for a total 3000 short sentenced ex-offender from the city with the objective of providing them rehabilitation services to reduce the recidivism rate. (Donner & Huang, 2017, p. 2)

“In 2010 Social Finance raised £5 million from trusts and foundations to launch the first ever Social Impact Bond to reduce reoffending among short-sentenced offenders leaving Peterborough prison” (Social Finance, 2017, pp. 1 – 2). The money funded an umbrella organization called One Service specifically designed to respond the complex needs of offenders and break a vicious cycle of re-incidence into the illegality. During five years, the One Service offered support to a total of 1000 short-sentenced male up to 12 months after the release, the engagement was voluntary but the whole cohort was included as a measure in the final results (Social Finance, 2017, p. 2).

The situation of many of the clients of One Service was what they had re-offended before, and for many, could not advocate a custody as a deterrent. The needs were identified and precise, a high proportion suffered from mental health and substance abuse challenges. Some others had the need for a house, didn’t have access to money/funding or were in debt. (Social Finance, 2017, p. 2).

“The One Service was delivered by St. Giles Trust, Ormiston Families, Sova, MIND, TTG Training, YMCA and John Laing Training, and managed by Social Finance” (Social Finance, 2017, p. 2). During the whole curse of the operation, it was an integral part of the Saint Peterborough Partnership and worked at all time closely with the police department, probation, integrated offender management teams, the prison, the local authority, local statutory providers and the voluntary sector, sooner than later it was a part of the environment of Saint Peterborough. (Social Finance, 2017, p. 2). The results were clear at the end, it reduced the re-offending of short-sentenced offenders by 9% overall compared to a national control group. The original target was set at 7.5% set by the Ministry of Justice, as a result, all the investors (17 in total) in Saint Peterborough Social Impact Bond received a single payment representing their initial capital plus an amount that will represent a return of just over 3% per annum for the period of investment. (Social Finance, 2017, p. 1)


References

Donner B., & Huang, C.-C. (2017). Social Impact Bonds: A potential Innovative and Effective Solution for Social Problems (Vol. Research Report #34). New Jersey, United States of America. Retrieved February 17, 2018 from https://socialwork.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/report_34.pdf

Social Finance. (2017). World’s 1st Social Impact Bond shown to cut reoffending and to make impact investors return. London, United Kingdom. Retrieved February 20, 2018, from http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/sites/default/files/news/final-press-release-pb-july-2017.pdf

Certifications that add value to consumption goods (FMCG) – Part 1

In our daily life, no matter the places, we are surrounded by information that has been strongly processed by marketing teams. Even when for some matters the marketing plays a relevant/ important role in the business core of any given company, within sustainable matters for example, where certifications with plastics or chemicals that (when used wrongly) might pose a threat for the environment, marketing should not play a role of “sales man” but instead a role of “clear communication”.

A gray line can also be drawn in the concept of how much is the responsibility from the company to communicate and how much is the responsibility from the consumer to know. Is in this topic where some elemental certifications will be addressed to understand them and for the average consumer to be aware of what to search for. Food certifications will be the only ones addressed in the part 1.

Important to notice: This list is not exhaustive, but rather informative. Do not consider by any means this list as the priority or only ones to look for.


Food industry

It is true that in the food industry certifications vary from country to country, nevertheless, several basic information can be found and mostly ni develped economies standards might be similar when it comes to imported food, i.e.

Marine Stewardship Council

Arguibly the most relevant within the sea food industry. In words from the council: “The blue fish label is only applied to wild fish or seafood from fisheries that have been certified to the MSC Fisheries Standard, a science-based set of requirements for sustainable fishing”.

Each MSC certified fishery has been independently assessed on its specific impacts to wild fish populations and the ecosystems they’re part of.

Regular DNA testing has shown that MSC labelled products are correctly labelled. So, you can trust that the fish is what its packaging or menu says it is.

The MSC is the only wild-capture fisheries certification and ecolabelling program that meets best practice requirements set by both the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) and ISEAL, the global membership association for sustainability standards. In March 2017, the MSC became the first global seafood certification program to be recognised for rigour and credibility by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI)

* Interesting fact about the council, every five years the council considers issues raised by stakeholders and data from their monitoring and evaluation team. The aim of this review is to make sure scientific developments and fisheries management best practice are reflected in MSC certified fisheries.

The soil association certification

The Soil Association is the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use.

Different from other certifications, this association works in several fronts that tackle main problems in the food supply chains, and many others! E.g., Farming, Fashion, Forestry. Activities that range from: Campaigns, Programs that share knowledge with communities of low resources, Activities to unite people across different generations through food, Actively support the organic market and last but not the less, protect the forests. Click here to be redirected directly to their section of the website that

As mentioned before, the association itself has a certification that spans through 6 different industries: Food & Drink, Farming, Beauty and Well-being, Fashion & Textiles, Forestry and Food service, Specifically for Organic Food.

Nowadays, the European Union has published an amendment to the EU organic regulations. It covers permitted substances and practices for use in organic farming, growing, food manufacture and aquaculture. Nevertheless, the Soil Association itself has raised those standards and now certificates businesses that aspire for the such level of manufacturing and production, storage and sales.

Animal Welfare Approved

Acknowledged by Consumer Reports as the only “highly meaningful” food label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability, Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW (AWA) is an independent, nonprofit farm certification program—and now one of America’s top 5 fastest growing certifications and label claims.

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW is the only label that guarantees animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range for their entire lives on an independent farm using truly sustainable, high-welfare farming practices. It is the only label in the U.S. to require audited, high-welfare production, transport and slaughter practices, and has the single highest impact on consumer purchasing of any food label, according to The Hartman Group (“… The foremost authority on consumers, culture and trends” – The Hartman Group, 2020).

The Rain forest Alliance

The organization builds an alliance to create a better future for people and nature by making responsible business the new normal.

The alliance work at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests. By bringing diverse allies together, they keep making deep-rooted change on some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time. Together, they protect forests, improve the livelihoods of farmers and forest communities, promote their human rights, and help them mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis.

Rainforest Alliance certification helps farmers produce better crops, adapt to climate change, increase their productivity, and reduce costs. These benefits provide companies with a steady and secured supply of certified products. Sourcing Rainforest Alliance Certified products also helps businesses meet consumer expectations and safeguard their brand’s credibility.

Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms are better and safer places to live and work. They train farmers around child labor laws and promote gender equality and non-discrimination. In addition, they search to improve livelihoods for farmers and workers by working towards a living income and a living wage.

Certified farmers must protect natural resources and the environment. They use land, water, and energy carefully. Certified farmers use fewer artificial fertilizers and pesticides, prevent pollution, and manage waste. They learn how to preserve forested and protected areas, which in turn supports plants and wildlife. Finally, farmers and farm workers are also trained to use climate-smart farming methods and adapt their growing practices to the effects of climate change.


Once more, certifications here mentioned do not intend to be exhaustive, and by no means prioritized by impact or relevance in the market.

Nevertheless, as an starter into the topic and for general knowledge, these 4 certifications address in a very good broadness what it means to stay at the top of the art in sustainability.

Do always consider that brands and companies themselves might have internal certifications, mostly when the industry per se has not been regulated enough from public or international organizations and this helps to starts setting the standards. For those cases and according to the products, the consumer must be the ultimate responsible to inform itself on what it means and for what does it stands for the stamp.

In the next part, more stamps and organizations will be reviewed for a different industry.

Relevance of supply chains in the incidence of wildfires – Part 1

Recent natural disasters have taken towns, cities, and countries off-guard. The magnitude of the aftermaths and damages that they leave may last for unaccountable years. When is is true that short term-emergency strategies are needed to solve them out, there is also the need to think on the medium term on how to reduce future incidences, specifically with wildfires.

Wildfires by themselves are a natural reaction of the ecosystem to create a balance between the litter stored and it’s path back to the soil – forest floor – creating a dynamic balance between wildfires and ecosystem growth (Nature Geoscience, 2019). Nevertheless, in the past years the balance has been disrupted and among many other reasons, deforestation can be mentioned as a key driver.

In this article supply chains will be analyzed to understand their impact in the ecosystem and proposed measures to reduce their effect. For that matter, this topic will be divided in three parts to better address ideas, effects and reports specialized in the matter.


Deforestation – Immediate facts & effects

Unfortunately, in recent months wildfires across the globe have been consuming thousands of acres and claiming millions of lives. Being without hesitation the most relevant in recent times the succession of wildfires in the Amazons (Stewart, M., 2019) and the on-going ones in Australia (Chappel, B., 2020).

If worldwide efforts will be needed just to put off the wildfires, it is also true that something must be done to stop the same catastrophe(s) to happen again. In this context, deforestation works as a negative -and possibly main- feedback, reason why special efforts must be done to understand better the root cause of it and sub-sequential efforts to stop it.

To give an impression of how much wildfires have increased in size and number, raising them to be one of the most unexpected new concerns and effects in coming years, the platform Global Forest Watch (GFW) counted more than 400,000 in 2019 compared to 2018.

It is a proven fact that an increase in deforestation leads to an increase in climate change, which in-hand increase the chance of dry-outs in tropical zones with big amounts of fertile soil for wildfires. (Schauenberg, T., 2020) and (Pachamana Alliance, 2019)

From a different perspective, we do have an snapshot of how much we as human race are devastating the global fauna: “Between 1990 and 2016 the world lost 502,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometers) of forest, according to the World Bank—an area larger than South Africa. Since humans started cutting down forests, 46 percent of trees have been felled, according to a 2015 study in the journal Nature. About 17 percent of the Amazonian rain-forest has been destroyed over the past 50 years, and losses recently have been on the rise” (Nunez, C. 2019).


Supply chains and their impact in the environment

Nowadays with the sustainability on the rise of relevant topics, the tendency to hear that the companies are “carbon neutral”, “energy efficient” and/ or “social responsible” are being commonly heard. In this specific area of knowledge and definitions is where this entry intends to make an stand.

Based on the Bové, A. & Swartz, S. (2016) article titled: Starting at the source: Sustainability in supply chains, over 90% of the natural capital impact (E.g.; Affecting air, soil and land) from companies in the food & beverage industry, personal and household goods and retail, comes from the supply chains and not from their direct impact, E.g.; Headquarters or employees consumption.

Weather it is true that all industries across all their supply chains should be held accountable, it is also truth that we are already seeing some effects of miss-use of our natural resources, E.g.; A rise in the number of wildfires worldwide and recent floods and tropical huracans in Spain… is not a shere coincidence. For that reason makes sense to make an effort to analyse the industries that generate a bigger impact within the context of land and water use.

Important note: This should not strike right away as a “good or bad” co-relation. These numbers should make it only clear to the audience to understand where the businesses should be held specially accountable for and where “us”, as final consumers, should pay more attention to certifications and public releases from the companies.


Specific case: Germany

In 2017, adelphi in collaboration with Systain and supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety released a report titled: Atlas on environmental Impacts Supply Chains which condensed the effects of several industries in Germany (Electronics, Machinery, Automotive, Food retailing, Fashion, Paper, Metal and Chemistry) into four main categories: Greenhouse gases, Air pollution, Water consumption, and Land use.

The relevance of this report lies, if not in the specificity of the industries, in the baseline that Germany can serve for. Now we have a glimpse to understand the effect of supply chains in the environment and some numbers that give a solid idea of environmental impact per EUR of turnover, below the table.

Directly taken from: Atlas on environmental Impacts Supply Chains (adelphi, Systain, and Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (2017). Page 10.

On a first glimpse is notorious that some “red lights” have been identified throughout the spectrum, however, for the scope of this publication, the emphasis will be made in the “Land use” – Deforestation – impact generated by (1) Food retailing sector and (2) Fashion Retailing sector which seem to be the most impactful – In that order.

Glimpse of the impact along the supply chain – Food retailing

If previously the McKinsey report mentioned how much of the impact was generated in percentage (%) in the supply chain compared to the in-site operations of a given company, this new report from adelphi, Systain and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, nature conservation, building a nuclear safety (2017) provides a deeper insight across different levels of the supply chain.

From the same report, a huge difference is noticed in the percentages of how the industry impacts on the environment across the supply chain

From the same report, a huge difference is noticed in the percentages of how the industry impacts on the environment across different levels in the supply chain. Relevant at this point is to notice that over 75% of the impact to the land is done in the resource extraction at the very beginning of the production process and 0% is relatively done by the company itself.

How sustainable are the companies that claim to be sustainable? Are they being green in that 0% that they directly impact or are they supporting the resource extraction suppliers to reduce their impact?

Being sustainable is giving back what you take… It does not mean, in any form, “Don’t consume”


References

Stewart, M. (2019, Nov 27) An Analysis of Amazonian Forest Fires – How does a wildfire start in a rainforest? [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://towardsdatascience.com/an-analysis-of-amazonian-forest-fires-8facca63ba69

Chappel, B. (2020, January 6) Australia Wildfires Have Claimed 25 Lives And Will Burn For Months, Officials Say. Retrieved from: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/06/793931658/australia-wildfires-have-claimed-25-lives-and-will-burn-for-months-officials-say

Schauenberg, T. (2020, 8 January) Wildfires: Climate change and deforestation increase the global risk. Retrieved from: https://www.dw.com/en/wildfires-climate-change-and-deforestation-increase-the-global-risk/a-51928388

Pachamana Alliance (2019) Effects of Deforestation. Retrieved from: https://www.pachamama.org/effects-of-deforestation

Nunez, C. (2019) Deforestation Explained. Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/

Bové, A. & Swartz, S. (2016) Starting at the source: Sustainability in supply chains. Retrieved from: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/starting-at-the-source-sustainability-in-supply-chains

Systain & adelphi (2017) Atlas on environmental impacts – supply chains. Retrieved from: https://www.adelphi.de/en/system/files/mediathek/bilder/Atlas%20on%20Environmental%20Impacts%20Supply%20Chains%20-%20adelphi%20Systain.pdf

Nature Geoscience (2019) The complexities of wildfires. Retrieved from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0311-0

Social Impact Bonds in a nutshell


The Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are a social initiative that is currently disrupting some markets and investment portfolios, not because of high expectations of ROI but because of the unique approach with potential for a triple-win outcome to the three main stakeholders: Government, Investors and the society in need.


“The purpose of the Social Impact Bonds is to generate cost savings for a government, focus on outcomes rather than inputs or outputs, and reduce political and financial risk” (Princeton University, 2014, p. 8). We can take for example how the focus of the government the past few years has been to alleviate the poverty, the homelessness or increase the job placement, but because of bureaucracy and limited budget, the outputs are not always the expected, hence, the biggest motivator for the governments to implement a SIB is the cost savings. (Princeton University, 2014, p. 8)

The SIB “is a public-private partnership where one or more investor(s) provide “upfront” capital for the realization of public projects that generate verifiable social and/or environmental outcomes” (United Nations Development Programme, 2015, p. 1).

The Government hires an intermediary, also called project sponsor, to implement and manage a social or environmental project in exchange for a promise of payment (return of capital) contingent on the social outcomes delivered by the project. This intermediary will raise the capital for the project, here is where the name Bond takes usage, from investors. Then, the intermediary will hire a service provider to deliver the desired project outcomes/outputs. (United Nations Development Programme, 2015, p. 1).

The key concept inside a SIB is that when the project fails to deliver the desired outcomes/outputs, the Government does not provide the payment to the investors, losing part or all the capital provided, on the contrary, when delivered, a premium will be paid for the success of the project. Here the term pay-for-success got coined. (United Nations Development Programme, 2015, p. 1)

Social Impact Bonds approach a recently developed idea, where they target the work of the outcome instead of the output. It is important to define the difference of Outcome instead of Output. The Output will be referred as to what is done while the Outcome is referred to the difference that is made in the final target. Just by generating more inputs or outputs in a project, we are not necessarily generating more outcomes, let’s take the next example, an outcome pertaining to employment programs would be getting the final job to the people, the input the people enrolled in the program and the output, the job training certificates. This way, the SIB will be more focused on what is desired, the objective. (Princeton University, 2014, p. 10)

Through the SIBs, the governments have the opportunity to off-set financial risks to the private sector and mitigate political risks. The key differentiator will be that if the government asses that the service providers have not met the previously signed objectives, the government will not repay the investors. (Princeton University, 2014, p. 10)


References