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IDB working group proposes performance review of Bank objectives and practices to face new challenges to region

A working group of the Inter-American Development Bank has proposed a general performance review as part of a strategy to strengthen the institution’s programs and operations to promote the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The proposed review would examine the mandates and objectives of the institution and assess the adequacy of the Bank’s resources in relation to increasing commitments, changing world and regional conditions, and new challenges of the next century, especially the increasing importance of programs to reduce poverty and inequality and modernize the state.

The Working Group for Institutional Strategy, composed of senior IDB officials and members of the Board of Executive Directors, also recommended that Bank management prepare an action plan to carry out the proposed strategy to improve the bank’s effectiveness. The action plan would include a "prioritized set of initiatives, objectives, and anticipated results that would guide the Bank over the next few years."

The strategy report of the working group, which has been approved by the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, will be presented to the Board of Governors, the highest authority of the Bank composed of finance ministers, economy ministers, and central bank presidents of the institution’s 46 member countries.

Among other proposals, the working group recommended that the IDB improve its evaluation and oversight, mobilize and consolidate greater resources for technical cooperation, both for national and regional projects, and prepare a human resources strategy.

Anticipating increased demands on the IDB in the future and the growing challenges posed by globalization, the working group said that "the environment within which the IDB will function in the next few years will be characterized by increased public attention to the problems of poverty and inequality, a stronger role of private capital in financing investment in the region, a diversification of its client base, a broader and deeper institutional scrutiny and pressing social needs that will not be satisfied by pure market processes or private funding."

The report noted the growing importance of the involvement of civil society and local government in Bank activities.

Among the recent world and regional trends that require changes and strengthening at the IDB, the working group said, are "increased volatility in the availability of private capital as a source of external finance to the region; acceleration of the pace of technological change" and "emergent demands for highly complex work in the areas of social sector reform and state modernization."

The IDB, the world’s oldest and largest regional development Bank, has mobilized financing for projects and programs representing total investments of more than $240 billion since the institution began operations in 1961.

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