Our Approach

Our mission is to develop and advance policies and practices that shape investment to contribute to, rather than undermine, sustainable development.

We strive for a world in which international investment contributes to, and does not undermine, sustainable development. Sustainable development includes improved human wellbeing, reduced inequalities, the protection and realization of human rights, and the protection of the planet and its ecosystems.

In this world, host governments have the tools and incentives to attract, encourage, and shape investment that advances the interests and wellbeing of all citizens. Project-affected individuals and communities can effectively participate in decision-making concerning, and oversight of, investment projects that impact them. Mechanisms to resolve disputes between communities and project proponents, as well as between governments and companies, are consistent with rule of law principles and the primacy of human rights. National and international governance systems progressively reduce economic, social, legal, and political inequality. And businesses, their investors, their lawyers, and the financial sector ensure their activities align with social, environmental, and human rights goals and principles, in policy and in practice.

Achieving our vision will demand a tremendous mobilization and realignment of both public and private investment. It will require new investments and will require existing investors and companies to change their practices to contribute to overall growth. Foreign direct investment (FDI) and the activities of multinational enterprises play a fundamental role. FDI mobilizes capital, knowledge, technology, job creation, economic linkages, and infrastructure development; yet, without proper governance, such investment has also been a source of corruption, social degradation, environmental devastation, and other negative outcomes. The extent to which the positive effects are realized and the harms avoided depends on the policies and practices of governments, companies, investors, and a range of national and international institutions and stakeholders.


Understanding the drivers, incentives, impacts, opportunities and trends of investment governance and business activities, in particular with respect to our global goals for sustainable development and human rights, is critical to underpin policy-making, business decision-making, and public engagement.

How We Work

We work in three iterative steps:

  1. We help establish an evidence-based understanding of the effects and implications of legal and policy frameworks and practices, of future drivers and trends, and of a range of proposed solutions regarding the outcomes and impacts of international investment.
  2. We disseminate and advance ideas for reforming investment frameworks and practices through convenings, publications, and formal and informal engagement with key stakeholders.
  3. We develop and provide tools, resources, training, and support to help stakeholders take steps to improve the sustainable development outcomes of investment.
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Policy and Advisory Services
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Multi-Stakeholder and Expert Dialogue
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Teaching and Curriculum Development
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Resources and Tools

We support and create new opportunities for traditionally underrepresented stakeholders to influence investment policy, decision-making, and governance. For example, this includes spaces for investment-affected communities and their allies, as well as for citizens and officials from lower income countries.

We apply a politically sensitive approach across our work. This builds on our early leadership in integrating a political lens into practice through the work of the Executive Session on the Politics of Extractive Industries.


Our Stakeholders & Collaborators

We support, partner with, and leverage the expertise of a vast network of stakeholders:


CCSI has also defined a five-pillar framework for sustainable international investment that underpins our mission and approach.

Click here for CCSI's Theory of Change.