Our Objectives, Goals and Sector Priorities

In the Ninth General Capital Increase, the Board of Governors mandates the Bank to pursue two overarching objectives: reducing poverty and inequality and achieving sustainable growth. Alongside these objectives are two strategic goals: addressing the special needs of the less developed and smaller countries and fostering development through the private sector.

In March 2015, The Board of Governors approved the Update to the Institutional Strategy 2016-2019 (UIS) that provides strategic direction to the IDB Group (IDBG) over the next four years.

The UIS identifies three main development challenges:

  • Social exclusion and inequality
  • Low productivity and innovation
  • Lack of regional economic integration

The UIS also identifies three cross-cutting issues that need to be considered when addressing each of the three development challenges:

  • Gender equality and diversity
  • Climate change and environmental sustainability
  • Institutional capacity and the rule of law.


Social policy for equity and productivity


Sector priorities

Ongoing involvement

Development areas

Safety nets for the poor

Expansion and improvement of conditional cash transfer programs; temporary employment programs

Incentive-compatible design of social safety nets; articulation with labor markets

Labor markets

Training, labor intermediation services

Design and financing of social insurance systems; expansion of social security to informal workers; functioning of labor markets and informality


Expansion of coverage in preschool and secondary levels

Early childhood development; school to work transition; quality of primary and secondary education


Expansion of access to basic health and nutrition services

Preventive health protocols; tackling epidemiological transition

Gender and diversity

Expansion of basic services and social safety nets to Afro-descendents and indigenous communities

Labor market outcomes for women; narrowing gaps in indigenous women’s education and health outcomes; strengthening the legal framework against discrimination

Infrastructure for competitiveness and social welfare

Sector priorities

Ongoing involvement

Development areas

Basic services

Infrastructure investment to expand access to water and sanitation

Governance and efficiency of the water and sanitation sector; waste management

Productive infrastructure

Expansion of transport and energy infrastructure

Sustainable transport alternatives in urban areas; energy efficiency

Competitive regional and global international integration

Sector priorities

Ongoing involvement

Development areas

Trade and Integration

Negotiation and implementation of trade agreements; trade facilitation and customs procedures; administration and harmonization of trade regulations; export and foreign investment promotion; regional infrastructure corridors; regional public goods

Convergence mechanisms among multiple trade agreements; trade security and logistics; regulatory frameworks for capital and labor migration; trade in services; multi-country infrastructure projects; coordination of national sovereign operations featuring cross-border externalities; large-scale regional public goods

Protect the environment, respond to climate change and enhance food security

Sector priorities

Ongoing involvement

Development areas

Environment and climate change

Development of institutional and regulatory frameworks to allow investments in sustainable transport, alternative fuels, renewable energy and energy efficiency

Climate change adaptation in priority sectors such as water, agriculture and energy; development and use of sustainable (including renewable) energy sources, energy efficiency technologies and practices, and carbon finance; risk management for natural disasters

Food security

Agricultural development; land tenure

Increasing food security through agricultural productivity