Office Evaluation
Evaluation of the IDB´s
support for gender and diversity

Between 2011-2016, the IDB approved more than
500 operations with elements of
gender or diversity. Our evaluation
analyzes the scope of this effort and the
factors that influence it.

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Executive Summary

Gender and ethnicity, main factors of inequality in LAC

Despite progress in reducing poverty, Latin America and the Caribbean remains the most unequal region in the world, with gender and ethnicity being important factors of inequality.

The IDB has recognized that increasing equality of opportunity provides social and economic benefits, and therefore has increased its efforts to address these challenges. The degree of integration of the gender and diversity perspective in Bank´s operations, as well as in sectors and country strategies, presents a positive evolution, more in the case of gender that in that of diversity.

Share of gender and diversity loans approved

The share of operations with gender elements doubled between 2011 and 2016. Besides, an increasing number of country strategies have included gender perspective and the Bank has produced a significant number of knowledge products. In relation to relevance, Bank operations were aligned with regional and country challenges, specially efforts to improve women´s economic empowerment and health outcomes.



The share of Bank´s approvals that included some diversity element grew considerably between 2011 and 2016. However, compared to gender, the IDB has focused relatively less on generating knowledge products, policy dialogues or strategic partnership. Bank operations in diversity were relevant to local challenges, though there was relatively greater focus on indigenous peoples than on African descendants.

What factors affect the degree of gender and diversity mainstreaming?

The degree of IDB support for gender and diversity depends, in part, on how much borrowing countries prioritize these issues and, unfortunately, they tend to be ranked relatively low. Nevertheless, some internal factors have had a positively influence:

  • Administration leadership and political commitment.
  • Improvement of staff members´ technical capacity.
  • Embedding gender and diversity in business practices.
  • Greater resource allocation in some sector divisions.

Despite these positive factors, the Bank´s systems for accountability do not adequately monitor and measure the effectiveness of the portfolio. 


Recommendations of the evaluation: How to be more effective


What works

Increase the evidence base on the effectiveness of support for gender and diversity, particularly at the operational level, by ensuring there are adequate incentives for team leaders to monitor implementation and evaluate results.

Dialogue with countries

Deepen the dialogue with borrowing countries in these priority areas, drawing on the knowledge accumulated in the Bank and other development institutions.

Review the approach to diversity

Together with the Board, take a fresh look at how and to what extent the Bank should continue to support diversity in its operations.