Since its founding in 1991, the EBRD has developed essential partnerships with many development agencies, both public and private, to help us deliver our mandate. These partnerships can be formal or informal, bilateral and multilateral, involving one sector or theme, or several.
We have often been at our best when working with others to respond to new opportunities – the Arab Awakening in 2011, the acceleration in reforms after the Ukrainian ‘Maidan’ in 2013-14 – as well as unexpected crises –the financial crisis in 2008/9, the Syrian refugee crisis affecting EBRD countries in 2016 and, most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic.
As we have seen over three decades, the transition to well-functioning and sustainable market-based economic systems is challenging and takes time. As with other aspects of development, the transition process involves a wide range of domestic and international actors, including governments, businesses, financial institutions, investors, international organisations, aid agencies, development banks, civil society organisations and of course citizens.
Thus, it is not the job of one group or agency; it is a collective effort. It requires teams and organisations working together. In other words, partnerships.
Working with other organisations and financial institutions has become a central feature of the EBRD’s delivery model. We use our unique skills, risk-taking capacity, financing and policy expertise and country knowledge to complement those of others in support of our countries’ and clients’ needs and development objectives.
The global development community and many of our key shareholders and stakeholders now regard such cooperation as essential if we are achieve our aims. For example, the UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015 include one goal, number 17, on Partnerships, stating that “a successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society.”
The development challenges our current and future recipient countries face – building strong and resilient market institutions, enhancing governance, combating climate change, addressing inequality, adjusting to the fast moving changes in the world of work and application of digital technologies, and many others – will require financing, policy advice and technical support that goes well beyond what EBRD can provide on its own.
For that reason, the EBRD aims to build robust and lasting partnerships with others to achieve sustainable impact and truly change lives.