20 June 2023

Public Development Banks and the SDGs: A global architecture for global good


As the international community looks to mobilize the resources needed to address the SDGs, including the trillions needed that need to be allocated for climate mitigation and adaptation, there has been a revival of interest in the role that public development banks (PDBs). 

The paper examines how the global PDB architecture can be strengthened to advance the SDGs and climate agenda, by addressing the following questions: 

(i) What are the defining features of development banks and how do those features make them suitable as instruments to advance sustainable development and climate action?

(ii) How was the inherited legacy in the form of a global development financing architecture shaped, in terms of its components and dominant objectives, and how was that influenced by the changing economic and developmental context?

(iii) How if at all, have the dominant objectives of these institutions changed as a result of this evolution and, if so, how was this a result of the changing context in which the DFIs functioned? What policy implications does this have for the effort to utilise them as instruments to promote sustainable development

(iv) What are the financial and non financial relationships and interlinkages between different segments and institutions within those segments, and do they facilitate operationalizing a globally integrated development financing system in pursuit of common goals and the global good?