Comparing Five Bilateral Development Finance Institutions and the IFC

Development Finance Institutions (DFIs)—which provide financing to private investors in developing economies—have seen rapid expansion over the past few years. A recent estimate is that annual commitments from DFIs as a whole grew from $10 to $70 billion between 2002-2014. Many DFIs have ambitions to play an even greater role going forward, continuing expansion and working more in fragile states. DFIs remain a comparatively under-studied set of development institutions in terms of their activities and impacts. Much of the information about DFIs is presented in forms that make aggregation and comparison difficult and time-consuming. This paper describes and analyses a new dataset covering the five largest bilateral DFIs alongside the IFC which includes project amounts, standardized sectors, instruments, and countries. The aim is to establish the size and scope of DFIs and to compare and contrast them with the IFC.

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