Child-Lens Investing Framework

All investor actions impact children and their well-being. Recognizing this can improve children’s lives, minimize risk, and provide a more holistic view of investment outcomes.

Children holding each others arms


Child-lens Investing (CLI) is an approach in which investors intentionally consider child-related factors to advance positive child outcomes while minimizing child harm. It brings together best practices from the ESG and impact investing ecosystems for a holistic investing approach that honors the diverse conditions needed to facilitate a good childhood.


Investing in children is investing in tomorrow’s workers, consumers, citizens, innovators and decision-makers. However, one billion children still lack access to education, health, housing, nutrition, sanitation, and safe access to water. Faced with a $4.2 trillion SDG financing gap, official development assistance or philanthropy alone cannot drive the change needed to shift course and ensure prosperous futures for generations to come.

This document - UNICEF’s Child-lens Investment Framework (CLIF) – introduces the concept of child-lens investing (CLI) to the market; makes the case for why such an approach is needed; defines what it entails; investigates the current and historical market landscape of child-lens strategies; and shares a blueprint for the development of a vibrant child-lens investing market, field, and ecosystem.

The publication of the Child-lens Investing Framework is the result of an extensive stakeholder co-creation process reflecting insights and feedback from diverse groups of stakeholders including global responsible and impact investment ecosystem actors. It builds upon UNICEF and UNICEF USA Impact Fund for Children’s May 2023 Discussion Paper on Child-Lens Investing.

Childhood is a powerful engine of equity, prosperity, and possibility. We call upon investors and all interested stakeholders to make an audacious bet on the well-being of society adopting CLI and helping us build the field of child-lens investing.

Private Equity and Debt Investor Toolkit

A companion to the Child-Lens Investing Framework (CLIF), the CLIF Private Equity and Debt Investor Toolkit is designed to help private markets asset owners and managers in operationalizing the child lens. Applicable to all capital types, sectors, and geographies, the Toolkit may be utilized by private investors to apply the child lens to either new strategies or existing ones, on its own or in combination with other approaches or “impact lenses” (e.g., gender, disability inclusion, racial equity, and refugee) to deepen or differentiate their impact. Investors may also download templates for a CLIF Due Diligence Questionnaire and Child Metrics Bank for use.


If you are interested in learning more and to collaborate on child-lens investing, please reach out to us at

UNICEF Innovation
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