The Agreement Establishing the IDB and the IDB’s Board of Governors have given the Bank a series of mandates that govern its activities and operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The main mandate emanating from the charter of the Bank is to foster the economic and social development of the IDB's borrowing member countries, both individually and collectively.

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. To reach these objectives, the Board of Governors endorsed the Institutional Strategy (IS) that would serve as the Bank’s “core strategic guidance” to fulfill its mission in the following years.

The Governors also stipulated in 2010 that the Bank’s IS and the Corporate Results Framework (CRF) would be reviewed every four years and updated in the context of emerging challenges in the Region. The Update to the Institutional Strategy 2016-2019 (UIS) would serve to hone the strategic direction of the IDB Group (IDBG) for 2016-2019.