Enabling people and their goods to stay on the move by rebuilding rural roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo; keeping young children in elementary school in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda; setting up low carbon energy programs for several Central Asian countries; supporting more sustainable and resilient cities across Europe; advising governments on how to collect tax to maintain crucial public services in Peru; providing microfinance for shopkeepers and small businesses in Uruguay, and helping people get back on their feet after Nepal’s devastating earthquake.
This is what development looks like and these are real programs that represent just a fraction of the day to day work supported respectively by the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank,the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and theWorld Bank Group.
Most people agree on the need to help poor people living in tough circumstances, but far fewer understand what it takes. Supporting these projects and thousands more like them — from helping a single shopkeeper to building a power plant that will provide energy for tens of thousands of people will be critically important given that 2015 is a milestone year for development when we will take a fresh look at funding models and think seriously about scaling up.
These and other vital issues will be on the table from July 13-16 at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Ethiopia and will continue through to a September UN summit on the post-2015 development agenda, then to a climate summit in Paris in December. Success in these discussions and the decisions that need to be made will be key to the future of people everywhere and will be vital to our living planet.
This new blog platform – Fin4Dev – aims to spark conversations and build a better understanding about how the world can and is coming together to provide the resources for the sustainable development we need. (Fin4Dev will be complementary to the UN-sponsored FFD3 blog that’s been running since early May and we will be cross-pollinating our content for maximum impact).
Our institutions play a unique role in the financing for development process, but we can go further with partners and through innovation: We want to explain what that entails and get more people and more organizations to join us.
Fin4Dev will share stories of success (and sometimes failure), and engage with dynamic actors who all have vital roles to play — from project managers to policymakers, from private sector investors to activists.
Our ambition is to show how the multilateral model brings together government, private sector and civil society to achieve results and transform lives.
The bird’s eye view
We’ll also look at the next fifteen years, starting with closing the chapter on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) this year; then exploring what it will take to reach a consensus on a set of new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide the international community.
The SDGs will be bold, ambitious and potentially world changing. But achieving them will require us all to think about development finance in a new way. We’ll need to shift from thinking about from “billions” in official development assistance (ODA) to “trillions” in investments of all kinds: public and private, national and global, in capital and capacity.
This blog will follow that transformation, exploring how MDBs plus the IMF can work with partners on such issues as ending poverty, promoting growth and good jobs, lowering inequality and reducing poverty, creating better cities and more viable infrastructure, improving domestic resource mobilization, and ensuring healthy lives and opportunity for all.
Explaining how we are starting to solve big global as well as domestic challenges is ambitious, but we think it can be done and that it will make for intriguing, provocative content. Watch this space for more!
Merrell Tuck-Primdahl, Editor of Fin4Dev and Senior Communications Officer at the World Bank, has worked in the institution’s corporate communications, development economics and Europe and Central Asia departments for many years. Prior to that, she was a public relations professional and journalist. Follow her on @MTprimdahl.