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.
The United States government has made repeated declarations over the last decade to align its assistance programs behind developing countries’ priorities. By utilizing public attitude surveys for 42 African and Latin American countries, this paper examines how well the US has implemented this guiding principle. Building upon the Quality of Official Development Assistance Assessment (QuODA) approach, I identify what people cite most frequently as the ‘most pressing problems’ facing their nations and then measure the percentage of US assistance commitments that are directed towards addressing them.
Ben Leo testified before the House Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade on July 27, 2011 about the importance of multilateral development banks to the United States and the greater world.
New SME Financial Access Initiatives: Private Foundations’ Path to Donor Partnerships - Working Paper 254
This paper provides a review of the rationale for and against SME initiatives and an overview of existing targeted USG and IFI programs. The authors offer several new incremental options for private foundations to establish focused partnerships with donor agencies in their efforts to assist SMEs in order to meet their organization goals.
By 2025, the number of IDA client countries will likely shrink substantially and primarily be smaller in size and overwhelmingly African. This working paper predicts how these changes will impact IDA's operational and financial models and recommends the World Bank begin addressing the implications of these developments sooner rather than later.
Inside the World Bank's Black Box Allocation System: How Well Does IDA Allocate Resources to the Neediest and Most Vulnerable Countries? - Working Paper 216
As the International Development Association (IDA) pushes for more funding for the neediest and most vulnerable countries, visiting fellow Ben Leo examines whether IDA’s existing performance-based allocation system (PBA) gives the developing world its fair share of funds. He says the system already has several built-in biases toward the neediest, but some donors feel it is not enough.
Against the backdrop of the fast approaching Millennium Development Goals deadline, World Bank shareholders have an opportunity to dramatically increase resources available for the poorest, most vulnerable countries. By better leveraging the IBRD’s balance sheet for creditworthy blend and hardened term countries, IDA could have provided up to an additional $7.5 billion for IDA-only countries during the IDA-15 period.
Leveraging World Bank Resources for the Poorest: IDA Blended Financing Facility Proposal - Working Paper 214
CGD research fellow Ben Leo estimates that the World Bank could provide an extra $7.5 billion to the poorest countries over the next three years by adjusting the balance sheets of IDA and IBRD, its main lending arms.