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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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Why Are Partnerships Critical to the SDGs? Find Out in Our 2015 Partnership Report

By - May 10 2016

P Report

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established last year mark a new chapter in international development, a new path forward in the global effort to end poverty, fight inequality, confront climate change, and ensure that no one gets left behind. Among them Goal 17, which encourages the establishment of partnerships for the goals, stands apart as a reminder of the critical role of collaboration in advancing and accelerating development around the world. That’s why today I’d like to share our newly released 2015 Partnership Report with you, and emphasize three ways in which the partnership examples it contains prove that Goal 17 is essential to the SDGs.

  1. Partnerships can help turn the Goals into concrete initiatives. As a multilateral development bank, the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) role is to help countries translate the SDGs into country-level targets, policies, and programs. Here our partnerships with governments come into play, allowing us to collaboratively identify solutions and transform them into country-specific programs. Page 61 of our report, which highlights the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative and its health-focused partnership with the governments of Central America and the state of Chiapas, Mexico, paints a clear picture of this. By expanding coverage and increasing the quality and use of the basic public health services, our close coordination with Mesoamerican governments has directly benefited 1.8 million women of reproductive age and children less than five years of age to date, helping to reduce health equity gaps among some of the region’s most vulnerable communities. Moreover, this effort to turn the Goals into concrete country-specific initiatives is further enhanced by the partnership of other organizations, including companies, foundations, and NGOs. In this same example, the participation of key partners like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Health Institute, and the Government of Spain has infused these efforts with more knowledge, innovation, and financing than otherwise possible. Originally launched to advance the health Millennium Development Goals, today the partners continue working to ensure good health and well-being is in everyone’s grasp.
  2. Partnerships can help fill the massive financing gap needed to achieve the Goals by facilitating public investment. It’s not a secret—Official Development Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean has declined over the past decade as economic indicators improve across the region. To find out how the IDB is working to adapt to this new reality, look to page 8 of our report, which contains an explanation of just how we’ve looked to partner with global governments through instruments that facilitate public sector financing. With reimbursable financing increasingly preferred by governments around the world as a means to address development challenges, new co-financing facilities with such partner countries as China, Japan, and Korea are helping channel needed funds that can make a big dent in the region’s challenges, and to advance the implementation of programs and policies that will help to achieve the SDGs.
  3. Partnerships can help channel needed private financing toward the Goals. At the IDB, we operate with the knowledge that private investment underpins growth. That’s why we work diligently to identify novel ways to channel private funding to the region, drawing private investors’ attention to the region’s development challenges and helping them to perceive these challenges as opportunities for investment instead. For evidence look to our partnership with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), featured on page 13 of the report, and our joint creation of a $450 million facility that will mobilize funds from institutional investors for energy efficiency projects. Among the first eight projects announced by the GCF at the Paris climate talks in November 2015, the facility provides an alternative mechanism for financing energy efficiency projects through the issuance of green asset-backed securities, and strives to develop capital markets in the region. Initially implemented in Mexico, the program will later expand to Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, channeling private funds to advance the provision of affordable and clean energy for all.

When the Office of Outreach and Partnerships was born eight years ago, we at the IDB knew that both great challenges and great rewards lay ahead. As pioneers behind one of the first partnership infrastructures of its kind we had to start from scratch, learning by doing as we built a team and established processes conducive to collaboration. Eight years later, we’re glad we did. We now have nearly a decade’s worth of hard work and trial and error under our belt, and have cultivated partnership expertise that remains largely unrivaled. As we join governments, businesses, and fellow development organizations in tackling the SDGs, this partnership experience will be more valuable than ever, and we are eager and willing to put it to work.

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