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Financing and operations of multilateral development banks: a clients’ perspective

May 18, 2022

Multilateral development banks’ (MDBs) offer for low- and middle-income countries is unique among development agencies. MDBs disburse grants and loans at conditions that are often far more convenient than what financial markets could offer to many governments. Financing is often supported by research, policy advice and technical assistance to accompany project and program implementation. Many MDBs also have strong convening power. However, in recent years shareholders of global and regional MDBs have increasingly scrutinized the purpose, reach, effectiveness and the demand for the offer of these institutions.

The future of MDB financing and operations is ultimately reliant on the sustained demand from client countries for grants and loans in priority sectors, technical support and policy advice. However, the reality is that we know little about the preferences and views of client countries about the relevance and effectiveness of MDBs.

Building on an ODI publication, Country perspectives on multilateral development banks: a survey analysis, that tries to shed some light on these questions, this seminar provided insight into what client countries and opinion leaders think about the financing and operations of MDBs emerging from large-scale surveys. Speakers debated what these findings mean for the future strategies and operations of MDBs. Samantha Custer, AidData's Director of Policy Analysis, served as a discussant.

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