Impacting International Development: blocks and potential leverage points to achieving positive ecological and social impact through private finance in Pará, Brazil.


Via foot, boat, car, bus and motorcycle, this summer thanks to CLAS and the Tinker foundation, I conducted 32 stakeholder interviews in in Pará, Brazil. As part of my graduate thesis, I wanted to qualitatively characterize and better understand challenges to achieving positive social and environmental impact via impact investing funds that invest in agricultural assets. With institutions like the World Bank and the UN quickly moving towards leveraging large scale private capital to solve public environmental and social challenges, there is still a dearth of understanding the potential negative impacts and maladaptive solutions that leveraging private capital for development entails. My research focuses on understanding the impact of finance-driven economic development projects from a natural resource management and social equity perspective.

My goal this summer was to understand 1) what the challenges and leverage points to achieving positive social and environmental impact on agriculture impact investments in Pará, Brazil are, and 2) what insights these challenges provide to better understand limitations to using private capital to solve development challenges in the region more broadly, specifically global north investments made in Latin American agricultural assets.

Elena Bell
Publication date: 
September 7, 2023
Publication type: 
Student Research