The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Investing for impact

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UNOPS S3i initiative is currently under review. Up-to-date information can be found here.


Helping to build a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future for all requires thinking outside the box.

By working together with a range of partners including communities, governments and investors, impact investing aims to channel private financing to help address critical national development needs.

Crucially, it could help address two key challenges to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): financing and innovation.

Investing for the future

New kinds of investments in inclusive, sustainable infrastructure are needed to help close the gap and accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda. UNOPS is committed to helping find innovative financing solutions that will connect a wide range of stakeholders from both public and private sectors, as well as bilateral donors and governments, to form new partnerships for sustainable development.

By managing risks often associated with investing in sustainable infrastructure projects in developing and emerging economies, impact investing initiatives could help break down the barriers that may prevent private sector investors from engaging in long-term development initiatives. This would provides investors with opportunities to generate financial returns, while ensuring their contributions make a positive social, environmental and economic impact.

UNOPS is exploring how it could support potential sustainable development opportunities in locations around the world, with a focus on addressing sustainable infrastructure needs – such as affordable housing, renewable energy and health infrastructure – and more.

  • Affordable Housing

    With 1.6 billion people living in inadequate housing – including one billion people living in slums and informal settlements – investments in affordable housing are needed to improve social equality and advance local economic development.

  • Renewable energy

    By 2040, developing economies are predicted to consume 65 per cent of the world’s energy. Investments in renewable energy could support developing economies to reduce their emissions and make progress towards the SDGs, by promoting access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all.

  • Health infrastructure

    Investing in sustainable, inclusive and resilient health infrastructure and systems is needed to protect everyone – now and well into the future. New investments of up to $370 billion annually are needed by 2030 to ensure improved access to healthcare services for all – including building more than 415,000 health facilities.

Did you know?

There is an average annual investment gap in sustainable development of around $2.5 trillion.

Between 2015 and 2030, an estimated $89 trillion will be required for sustainable infrastructure development alone.

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