Parliament of Georgia

Government of Georgia

Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development

United Nations

Tbilisi City Municipal Assembly


The 2030 Agenda structured around 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets envisages a world that is free of poverty, hunger, preventable diseases; a world that ensures universal and equable access to healthcare, education and social protection; a world that respects human rights and ensures environmental sustainability.

However, implementation of the inspirational development agenda is challenged by a critical financial gap estimated at 2.5 Trillion USD per year. UN member states, public, private and civil society partners are faced with a main question – how to close the financial gap of 37 Trillion USD until 2030? The 2018 Report of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development indicates that the official development assistance (ODA) among 30 members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) remains at 0.31% GNI as of 2017 – far short of the United Nations target of 0.7% GNI. Only 5 DAC countries have actually reached or exceeded the 0.7% ODA target, including Denmark, Luxemburg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In this context Innovative Financing emerges as a mechanism that can play a transformational role in funding 2030 agenda alongside the domestic financial flows, foreign direct investments and official development assistance. Innovative Financing is a unique, politically neutral funding instrument for human development. We have excellent examples from UNITAID, Product (Red) and solidarity funds of different countries, that innovative financing can save millions of lives and reduce suffering from poverty or emergencies.

Innovative Financing is equally important for low, middle or high income countries either to address local development priorities or to support global actions for climate change or humanitarian crisis.

In fact, the broad international consensus on the potential of innovative financing has been already achieved and reflected in the outcome documents of four major international financing conferences. Starting from 2002 Monterrey Consensus to 2008 Doha Declaration, 2015 Addis-Ababa Agenda for Action and most recent conclusions and recommendations of ECOSOC 2018, the global policy makers agree that Innovative Financing can serve as an important catalyst of development funding. The 2018 World Assembly Statement of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments further calls for increased efforts to analyze and report on innovative initiatives and to establish national and international funding mechanisms that promote achievement of development goals.

At the same time we witness and welcome expanding dialogue and initiatives of innovative financing in both public and private sectors. Indeed, tax levies, voluntary solidarity contributions, national solidarity programmes, thematic bonds, social impact investments and blended finance are the diverse innovative funding solutions for development efforts.

While speaking about the potential of innovative financing, Dalberg estimates that from 2001-2013 innovative financial solutions have mobilized over 100 Billion USD. Impressive, but not sufficient. How can we move to “Billions to Trillions” agenda?

Finally, while the Leading Group has been focusing on the predictable platforms of innovative financing – a new ecosystem of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) or Blockchains have emerged. Cryptocurrencies and blockchains, may become major game-changers in funding SDGs as innovative solutions, if the international community reaches an agreement on the risks vs. benefits of DLT.

It is increasingly clear that Innovative Financing is the future of funding sustainable development, especially in the modern era of globalized economy with ever-expanding capacities of digital market and distributed ledger technologies.


Formally known as the Leading Group on Solidarity Levies to Fund Development, the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development was established in 2006 as a global platform of member states, international organizations and civil society.

Bringing together over 60 member countries and 100 international partners, the Leading Group has championed concrete initiatives and global dialogue around innovative financing for health, food security, education, climate change and biodiversity. The Leading Group aims at showcasing solutions for sustainable development through production of expertise and exchange of good practices.

Presidency of the Leading Group: starting from 2006 till 2016 the Leading Group has been chaired by Brazil, Chile, Guinea, France, Japan, South Korea, Mali, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Spain and Finland. In 2017 Georgia was appointed as the new President country of the Leading Group.

The Leading Group is coordinated by the Permanent Secretariat which is located in Paris at the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. Currently the following countries and organizations are members and observers to the group:

Participating countries (members and observers): Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Congo, Cyprus, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Korea South, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Togo, United Kingdom, Uruguay. European Commission has also joined the membership of the Leading Group.

International organizations: African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, OECD, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, FAO, IFAD, WHO, African Union, Global Fund to Fight Against AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, GAVI , IOF, Commonwealth Secretariat, Global Fund for Cities Development, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UNAIDS, UNDESA, UNESCO, UNEP, UNITAID, NEPAD.

Foundations and corporations: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Althelia Ecosphere, Crédit Cooperatif, Babyloan, Dalberg, Finance Participative France, Funbio Brazil, Heoh, Rencontres du Mont Blanc, Chirac Foundation, Innovative Finance Foundation, Medicine Patent Pool, IFFIm.

Non-governmental organizations: Acción, ACF – Action against hunger, ATD Quart-Monde, Attac, Care, CCFD Terres Solidaires, Center of Concern, Coalition PLUS, Coordination SUD, CONCORD, Epargne sans Frontière, EURODAD, Global Financial Integrity, Milken Institute, ONE, Oxfam, Climate Action Network, Results Japan, Stamp Out Poverty, Tax Justice Network, R20.


Georgia was honored to become the President of the Leading Group for 2017-2018 and to join the first global champions and over 150 distinguished members of the innovative financing movement.

The foundation of Georgia’s Presidency of the Leading Group was built in 2014, when the Solidarity Fund of Georgia – the largest integrated platform of innovative financing – was established under the Prime Minister’s Initiative. Georgia joined the Paris-based secretariat in 2015 and the same year, in partnership with the Leading Group, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Georgia, Tbilisi City Municipality, Ministry of Culture & Monument Protection and the National Business Association hosted the first international forum dedicated to innovative financing for post-2015 Agenda.

The 2015 Tbilisi International Solidarity and Innovative Financing Forum (TISIFF 2015) brought together over 120 delegates from national, regional and global organizations supporting or implementing innovative funding solutions for poverty eradication, nutrition, health and climate change. TISIFF was the first attempt to consolidate the existing global knowledge in solidarity and innovative financing vis-à-vis 2030 SDG agenda. The meeting discussed experience of global initiatives (UNITAID, UNITLIFE, GAVI, Stamp out Poverty and SUNREF) and national solidarity funds and programmes from France, Georgia, Mali and Tunisia.

More importantly, TISIFF 2015 generated an outcome document ‘TISSIF Recommendations’ that offers a new vision and a common roadmap how to galvanize innovative financing for Sustainable Development Goals (see Table 1).

In September 2016 and September 2017 Georgia and France co-hosted high level side-events on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly sessions, reflecting on TISIFF 2015 discussions and opportunities for expanding partnerships around innovative financing.

In April 2018, Georgia, as the President country of the Leading Group was actively involved in the ECOSOC 2018
Financing for Development Forum co-facilitated by the Permanent Mission of Jamaica and Portugal to the United Nations. Georgia’s engagement led to more visible inclusion of innovative financing in the final conclusions and recommendations of ECOSOC Forum, thereby positioning the topic on a high level political agenda similar to the Monterrey Consensus, Doha Declaration and Addis-Ababa Agenda for Action.

France, as the Permanent Secretariat of the Leading Group and Georgia, as the President country used the opportunity of the ECOSOC 2018 to organize a side-event on “Innovative financing vis-à-vis climate change”. This was the first side- event co-hosted in partnership with Germany, one of the most active member countries of the Leading Group.

Finally, in September 2018 on the margins of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly Session in New York, Georgia in partnership with France and Germany convened a side-event on “Cryptocurrencies & Blockchains: A New Boost for SDG Financing?“ The side event joined by government, private sector, academia and civil society representatives discussed the opportunities vs. risks of DLT technologies in mobilizing additional innovative financing for development.

In order to further facilitate the global dialogue on innovative financing for 2030 agenda,
Georgia as the President country of the Leading Group hosts the second Tbilisi International Solidarity and
Innovative Financing Forum (TISIFF 2018) on December 14-16, 2018.

Table 1.
Highlights of TISIFF 2015 Recommendations

‘TISSIF 2015 Recommendations’ – the outcome document of the first Tbilisi International Solidarity and Innovative Financing Forum offers a roadmap for global, regional and national stakeholders how to galvanize Innovative Financing for 2030 Agenda.

Specifically the document offer ‘Categorization’ of potential platforms and sources of innovative financing at different levels. The report identifies 9 potential platforms at global and regional levels and 14 platforms at national and sub-national levels that could generate more innovative resources from tourism, shipping, banking, culture, sports or other industries. While dialogue on innovative finan cing has been largely dominated around successful examples from global initiatives (i.e. UNITAID), the experience of national solid arity funds of different countries indicates that it is equally important to explore national and subnational sources of innovative funding. Therefore, TISIFF recommendations makes a special emphasis on country level platforms.

‘TISIFF 2015 Recommendations’ also provide a unified framework for ‘Prioritization’ of innovative financing vis-à-vis 2030 agenda. For each of the 17 Goals and 169 targets of 2030 agenda, the report identifies priority areas for advocacy and resource mobilization a nd potential sources and instruments that could be used for leveraging additional innovative financing solutions.

The Leading Group on Innovative Financing identifies ‘TISIFF Recommendations’ as a way forward, a common framework of action how to support sustainable development goals through more and diverse innovative financing.

For more information please visit http://www.leadinggroup.org/article1245.html


The purpose of the 2018 Tbilisi International Solidarity and Innovative Financing Forum (TISIFF 2018) is to bring together policy makers and practitioners engaged in design and implementation of innovative financing initiatives at global, regional and country levels to:

  1. Reaffirm urgency of stronger advocacy and partnership actions to mobilize and unlock additional significant financial resources for SDGs through innovative platforms.
  2. Define the “Innovative Financing Toolbox for SDGs”, including already existing innovative funding solutions (e.g. tax levies, solidarity funds, social impact investments, blended finance) and new promising opportunities, such as cryptocurrencies and blockchains.
  3. Share experience and lessons from different innovative financing mechanisms to identify strengthens, opportunities as well as remaining risks and challenges for shifting from “billions to trillions” agenda for SDGs.
  4. Agree on an international coordination mechanism for innovative financing for SDGs to ensure stronger synergy of policies and action, prospecting, impact measurement, transparency and accountability of innovative funding solutions at global, regional and country levels.
  5. Draft TISIFF 2018 Recommendations and agree on the process of finalizing the outcome document for submission to the United Nations Secretary General’s Office on behalf of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing.
TISIFF 2018 Audience

The second international forum – TISIFF 2018 – aims at bringing together up to 250 representatives of national, regional and global organizations and partnership programmes that are supporting or implementing solidarity and innovative financing initiatives related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The Leading Group member countries and organizations, solidarity foundations and innovative financing programmes, UN agencies, international financial institutions, international development and cooperation agencies, bi- and multilateral donors, academia, business and civil society partners are invited to participate and share their experience, knowledge and ideas on how to enhance solidarity and innovative financing agenda for SDGs.

TISIFF 2018 Structure and Organization

The meeting will be structured around 5 plenary sessions and 4 working group discussions.

The High Level Opening Session on December 15 will set the stage to TISIFF 2018 with a review of SDG funding context, potential of innovative financing and the way forward to galvanizing action at global, regional and country levels.

The second Plenary Session will review the Existing Innovative Financing Toolbox for Development. What are the known, proven instruments of innovative financing as well as initiatives under piloting or experimentation? The first half of the session will review Innovative Financing platforms used for Resource Mobilization, focusing on Solidarity Tax and Voluntary Solidarity Initiatives such as UNITAID, UNITLIFE and national solidarity funds.

The Second Plenary will also discuss experiences and lessons from innovative financing initiatives related to impact investment and resource leveraging. The audience will have the opportunity to learn from concrete initiatives of Social Impact Investments, Blended Finance, Thematic Bonds and Guarantees that have been increasingly used by international development partners for resource and impact generation for SDGs.

The 3rd Plenary Session on December 15 will focus on the potential benefits as well as risks and concerns related to the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchains for generating new, significant amount of resources for SDGs. Can the new distributed ledger technologies (DLT) generate a new boost of SDG funding?

Day 2 of the Tbilisi Forum will start with four parallel panel discussions. Parliamentarian and Ministerial Debate, Business Dialogue, Civil Society Perspective and Vision of International Development Partners will discuss concrete questions related to innovative financing agenda. How to frame innovative financing toolbox for development? How to boost innovative financing? How to better coordinate action and agenda of innovative financing?

TISIFF 2018 delegates will have the opportunity of bilateral meetings with public and private partners on December 16 upon inquiry to the TISIFF 2018 forum secretariat (secretariat@tisiff.org). Conclusions and vision from parallel sessions will be integrated into the outcome document of the second Tbilisi International Solidarity and Innovative Financing Forum ‘TISIFF 2018 Recommendations’.

TISIFF 2018 Cosponsors

The second TISIFF forum is organized on behalf of the Georgia’ Presidency of the Leading Group on Innovative Financing. The Parliament of Georgia, the Government of Georgia, Tbilisi City Municipality, the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development (Paris Secretariat) and the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office in Georgia are the cosponsors of the event.
All delegates of 2018 Tbilisi International Solidarity and Innovative Financing Forum (TISIFF 2018) are requested to register before November 25 at www.tisiff.org (official site of the forum) and upload relevant presentations on the same site by December 10.

Delegates registering as Speakers/Presenters and representing global, regional or country level initiatives around solidarity and innovative financing initiatives are kindly requested to consider succinct presentations (10-12 minutes) that will address the following key questions:

Part 1: Introduction
1.1. Name of the organization/programme supporting or implementing solidarity and innovative financing initiative
1.2. When was the initiative launched and what were the key facilitating factors for starting the initiative – e.g.
high-level political support, specific legislative act(s), champion(s) of the initiative from public, private and
civil society sectors
1.3. Geographic coverage of the initiative – global, regional or individual country(ies) of operation
1.4. Main concept and purpose the initiative
1.5. Target audience/beneficiaries – e.g. children, youth, women, population-wide
1.6. Target SDG area of the initiative – e.g. heath, education, poverty, climate change
1.7. Type of solidarity and innovative financing platform used by the initiative – e.g. tax levies, voluntary corporate
contributions, social impact investments, blockchains?
1.8. How forecastable and sustainable is the funding model of the initiative?

Part 2: Results of the initiative
2.1. Total amount of financial resources mobilized or saved by the initiative
2.2. Number of beneficiaries reached and coverage of programmes funded through the initiative
2.3. If applicable, what were the additional/indirect effects of the initiative? e.g. price reduction of drugs or other commodities through consolidated international procurement, capacity building of professionals through
technical assistance provided within the scope of the initiative, awareness raising on specific SDG areas.

Part 3: Lessons and Recommendations
3.1. What are the key lessons and recommendations from the initiative?
3.2. Major implementation barriers or risks and how the observed challenges could be overcome?

Part 4: Replicability of the initiative for SDG agenda
4.1. Can the initiative be replicated in other countries or at regional and global levels?
4.2. If yes, what financial resources or development results could be leveraged from the replication

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