Adaptive impact measurement and learning for CDC Plus businesses as they navigate the Covid-19 crisis


It is estimated that Covid-19 will result in at least US$220 billion in losses in developing countries, with the impacts in Africa and Asia expected to be especially damaging. The impact on businesses is acute, forcing them to deal with unprecedented financial and operational stress. In response, CDC Group’s technical assistance facility, CDC Plus, has launched two new facilities – the ‘COVID-19 Business Response Facility’ and the ‘COVID-19 Emergency Technical Assistance Facility’ – to support up to 100 businesses it currently invests in to better respond to the pandemic and its effects, reaching an estimated minimum of 300,000 underserved people at this time of need. Triple Line is working with both facilities to support learning, impact measurement and management.

CDC Plus moved fast to set up the two Covid-19 facilities, which were launched in April 2020 and approved £1 million of support for 22 projects

CDC Plus works with CDC Group pipeline and portfolio companies to develop and test solutions to address business challenges or uncover opportunities in priority sectors and geographies, with the aim of increasing economic opportunity, improving standards of living and creating a more sustainable environment. To date, CDC plus has committed US$35 million in funding and supported more than 60 projects.

For CDC investees, Covid-19 has immediate implications for consumers in some of the most underdeveloped economies and financially vulnerable populations. These companies have an important role in playing their part in ensuring that micro-economies, value chains and customers are protected in the longer-term. CDC Plus moved fast to set up the two Covid-19 facilities, which were launched in April 2020 and approved around £1 million of support for 22 projects supporting healthcare companies and businesses distributing basic goods and pharmaceutical products in Africa and South Asia, as well as producing portfolio-wide guidance and tools on how to navigate the crisis.

Our team has direct experience in CDC’s core geographies and thematic areas, as well as in the development of results measurement frameworks for other Covid-19 projects

To ensure adaptive impact monitoring and management of the funded projects, CDC Plus sought the technical advice and support of a learning partner to help design the framework and tools and guide implementation. We were able to rapidly deploy a quality in-house team of impact measurement experts with direct experience in CDC’s core geographies and thematic areas. The team brings current experience of developing results measurement frameworks for other Covid-19 related projects.

Over an initial six to 12 month period, our team is responsible for reviewing, validating and refining the CDC Plus approach to impact measurement and monitoring for a growing portfolio of Covid-19 response projects; providing support with drafting, reviewing and finalising monitoring plans for each project, developing and implementing a learning agenda, and supporting the planning and development of case studies.

Intentional – deliberate and structured – learning, with clear goals and processes, is central to our approach and to CDC Plus’s wider objectives. This will enable adaptive management in response to new information and continuing changes brought about by the fluid nature of Covid-19.