More than ‘business-as-usual’ needed to deliver key goals, Sir Suma Chakrabarti tells ODI
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti has called on multilateral development banks (MDBs) to raise their game if they are to be equal to the challenges of the future.
While heartily praising the MDBs for their role in past development funding, Sir Suma appealed for an approach beyond ‘business-as-usual’ to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved by global leaders this autumn.
“Success in delivering (the SDGs) will require much more ambition and creative thinking in the way we respond to countries’ and clients’ needs,” Sir Suma said in a speech to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London.
“We MDBs need to be more responsive and more country-driven.
“We have to work more closely with the private sector and collaborate more amongst ourselves - both by building on our respective strengths and by integrating new players.”
The emergence of new MDBs, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which Sir Suma warmly welcomed, was at the same time a symptom of the dissatisfaction with the status quo, he said.
In his speech Sir Suma listed three main ways today’s MDBs could better adapt to the scale of the challenges the world faces and maximise their own impact:
- They should be much more nimble and flexible in the way they respond to demand, in the shape of their clients.
- They should do a better job of leveraging their expertise across the system by differentiating what they do and enhancing cooperation amongst themselves.
- And they need to improve their performance at leveraging private sector finance, which will be key to closing the development funding gap.
The world’s MDBs include the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, as well as the EBRD.
The EBRD was set up in 1991 to develop open and sustainable market economies in countries in central and eastern Europe and the former USSR committed to, and applying, democratic principles.
It invests primarily in the private sector and has, since its founding, expanded into new regions such as the southern and eastern Mediterranean as well as Mongolia, Turkey, Cyprus and Greece.
Newly established MDBs include the AIIB and the New Development Bank, formerly known as the BRICS Bank.