The new US International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) will be considerably larger than its predecessor, and it will also be more focused on low and lower middle income countries. It will have new tools to deliver but face expanded competition.
There is a significant and ongoing ramp-up in support for explicitly subsidized official development finance to the private sector around the world, but its role remains poorly defined. Lessons from the aid effectiveness literature as a whole and principles on effective use of aid suggest the need for approaches that do not merely finance the marginal private investment.
Marginal, Not Transformational: Development Finance Institutions and the Sustainable Development Goals
Development finance institutions have positioned themselves as key agencies to help the world meet the Sustainable Development Goals. It is doubtful that they can deliver. This paper outlines the challenges facing DFIs in achieving (anywhere near) such an expansion in their impact, particularly in infrastructure and particularly in the poorest countries.
The UK has considerably increased the amount of aid it spends on research in recent years. We suggest reporting reforms that will increase transparency and allow greater scrutiny of the way UK research aid is spent. We also call for the UK to live up to its reporting to the OECD that all British aid is untied.
Inside the Portfolio of the International Finance Corporation: Does IFC Do Enough in Low-Income Countries?
IFC’s portfolio is not focused where it could make the most difference. Low income countries are where IFC has the scale to make a considerable difference to development outcomes. While an excessive portfolio shift might imperil IFC’s credit rating, the evidence suggests that there is considerable scope for increasing commitments to low income countries without significant impact to IFC’s credit scores.
Development Finance Institutions (DFIs)—which provide financing to private investors in developing economies—have seen rapid expansion over the past few years. 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.
While the misuse of antimicrobials in human health is a key factor accelerating the emergence of drug resistance, we should not overlook the role of agriculture. This paper makes the case for a global treaty to reduce antimicrobial use in livestock.
This paper seeks to determine the degree to which a gender lens has been incorporated into World Bank projects and the success of individual projects according to gender equality-related indicators.
Finding Cash for Infrastructure in Addis: Blending, Lending and Guarantees in Finance for Development
The total scale of incremental investment requirements in infrastructure in developing countries has been estimated at around USD 1 trillion a year, with a range of related studies suggesting numbers between $815 billion to $1.3 trillion. While all such numbers are open to considerable debate, and were not designed to measure the cost of delivering the specific SDG infrastructure targets, they suggest the likely scale of the financing challenge for an SDG agenda which includes universal coverage to adequate housing, water, sanitation, modern energy and communications technologies.
This paper focuses on invented or created technologies of the type that could (theoretically) be subject to patents and the potential for international agreements including the Addis Financing Conference to better create and share such technologies.
The International Finance Corporation wants to increase its development impact in fragile states. Currently, the IFC’s fragile-state portfolio mirrors that of overall foreign direct investment stocks in such countries: focused in extractive industries and mobile telephony. That suggests potentially limited value-added from the Corporation’s investments in terms of crowding in private capital. If the IFC is trying to increase its portfolio and development impact in fragile states, it should look for sectoral opportunities that share some of the features of mines and mobile investments but currently attract limited FDI.
The Global Partnership for Development: A Review of MDG 8 and Proposals for the Post-2015 Development Agenda
The eighth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 8) covered a “global partnership for development” in areas including aid, trade, debt relief, drugs, and information and communications technology (ICT). Since the goal was formulated, there has been progress as well as gaps in the areas which were covered.
This paper makes the case for publishing the details of government procurement contracts. Publication could improve government decision-making and competition for contracts, with the added benefit of lowering costs and corruption.