Guidebook to Digital Inclusion Bond Financing

September 8, 2021

In partnership with Verizon and Vista Equity Partners, Cleary Gottlieb partners Jeffrey Karpf, David Lopez, Duane McLaughlin, Francesca Odell; associates Emily Arndt, Maria (Kiki) Manzur, and Anirudh Sivaram; and law clerk Andrew Pai assisted in drafting the EDISON Alliance (the Alliance) and the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Guidebook to Digital Inclusion Bond Financing.

The Alliance is an initiative launched earlier this year by WEF which aims to foster affordable and accessible digital opportunities for all by forging collaborations between the information and communications technology sector and leaders in other areas of economic development. WEF launched the Alliance to mobilize a global movement prioritizing digital inclusion as foundational to the achievement of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to create a cross-sector platform to accelerate collaborative action. The Alliance’s goal is to improve one billion lives globally by 2025 through affordable and accessible digital solutions across areas including health, finance, and education.

The Guidebook follows the recent movement of investors and other sources of capital toward supporting activities and projects with a focus on environmental sustainability and meaningful social programs. It discusses how sustainable financings frameworks can be used to meet the global challenge of digital inclusion and offers a roadmap for investors interested in the digital inclusion bond offering and loan financing processes.

The Cleary team researched examples of existing sustainable finance frameworks and key performance indicators that could be leveraged for digital inclusion projects, outlined the key steps involved in adopting a digital inclusion financing framework, and drafted proposed language for the Guidebook.

Read the Guidebook here.