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At the IDB, we believe that together we can go farther. Our partnership network is making positive differences in Latin America and the Caribbean every day, and this blog is our channel for telling that story. Stay tuned for literature on partnership perspectives, stories from the field, changing trends, outlooks for development and the region, information on ways and opportunities to partner, and more. Thanks for stopping by.

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Dollars for Development: A Bang-for-Your-Buck Approach?

By - Jan 14 2016


Is official development assistance (ODA) a bang-for-your-buck approach to financing growth and poverty reduction? Numbers might indicate that it is, with net ODA flows from member countries of the OECD’s Development Assistance in 2014 totaling a tantamount US$135.2 billion. Yet a report released in late 2015 suggests that the answer to this question calls for more nuance, and a hard look at how to make impactful contributions to developing economies everywhere.

A research and innovation lab committed to making data more accessible and actionable, AidData teamed up with the University of William & Mary, Brigham Young University, and Development Gateway to go right to the source, interviewing key individuals in recipient nations for a closer look at the true impact of aid. The survey consulted 6,750 policymakers and practitioners in 126 countries about their experiences with development assistance between 2004 and 2013, and contrasted these results with the ODA committed in that same period. Using these two information sets, AidData generated an index reflecting the “bang for your buck” of aid dollars spent, specifically analyzing the influence achieved by donors in their target areas.

The result? That channeling funds through multilateral organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) can be more impactful than bilateral ODA, and a surefire way of ensuring aid dollars go the distance. On a list including the International Monetary Fund, the CAF, UNICEF, and the World Bank (who was a partner of the report), AidData cited the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as the #1 multilateral institution and #2 overall organization in terms of “agenda-setting influence.”

After some reflection, AidData’s findings bring us to conclude that we are better positioned to make impact not simply because of our status as a multilateral organization, but also because of the diverse partnership network that brings value to our financing and to our development efforts more broadly. Thanks to the collaboration of governments, we are able to achieve scale and integrate sound development solutions into public policy. Thanks to the collaboration of private sector partners, foundations, and universities, we are able to infuse our efforts with knowledge and innovation, while NGO partners lay the grassroots foundation necessary for these partnerships to achieve true impact and results.

As an honest broker with a deep knowledge of LAC and its development challenges, our close relationships with actors from across sectors puts us in a unique position to channel external funds towards projects with the potential for greater impact. With the ultimate objective of deploying creative solutions to the region’s persisting development challenges in all corners of Latin America and the Caribbean, collaborating with us in the region stands to generate greater returns on investment for our partners, and greater results for recipient nations as well. Bringing to the table decades of experience in the region, a broad portfolio of trusted executing agencies, and a track record of generating and closely measuring development results, we are open for business, welcoming new and recurring partners who share our commitment to innovation and lasting impact in Latin America and the Caribbean. Join us.

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