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Philanthropy, i.e., voluntary activity by foundations, private citizens and other non-state actors, has also significantly expanded in its scope, scale and sophistication. It has provided significant resources for global health funds in particular (see section IV.C). In addition to financial resources, philanthropy provides intellectual capital, technical capacity and extensive experience. Better data on philanthropic flows could help better assess their impact, improve coordination and help to streamline financing, reduce overlap, and maximize their sustainable development impact.
E. Blended finance Policymakers have recently shown considerable interest in a class of development financing opportunities called “blended finance” that pool public and private resources and expertise. Blended finance encompasses a large portfolio of potential instruments, including instruments provided by DFIs to leverage private finance (e.g., loans, equity investments, guarantees, etc.), as well as traditional public private partnerships (PPPs) (see table 1 below). But it goes beyond these structures to encompass structured public-private funds and innovative “impleRalph Chami and Connel Fullenkamp, “Beyond the Household”, Finance and Development, vol. 50, No. 3 (September 2013).
Migration and Remittances Team, Development Prospects Group, “Migration and 64 Remittances: Recent Developments and Outlook”, Migration and Development Brief No. 22 (Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2014).
Michael Corkery, “Banks Curtailing Cash Transfers”, New York Times, 7 July 2014.
65 34 Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing menting partnerships” between a wide range of stakeholders — including Governments, civil society, philanthropic institutions, development banks and private for-profit institutions. When well designed, blended finance allows Governments to leverage official funds with private capital, sharing risks and returns, while still pursuing national social, environmental and economic goals in areas of public concern.
It is important to note, however, that poorly designed PPPs and other blended structures can lead to high returns for the private partner, while the public partner retains all the risks. Careful consideration needs to be given to the appropriate use and structure of blended finance instruments, as discussed below.
Strategically assess the use of blended financing and innovative partnerships Blended finance can be a useful financing tool when the overall benefit of a project or investment is sufficiently large that an attractive benefit is still available to the public sector after the private partner is compensated. It can be used in a range of areas, such as infrastructure projects and innovation. There is a strong case for blended financing to facilitate investments that are just below the margin of real or perceived commercial viability, and cannot be unlocked by an enabling policy and institutional environment alone, but also serve public interest. On the other hand, blended finance between the public and for-profit private sector is less well suited to contribute to the provision of basic development needs that do not offer an economic return.
Blended finance projects should be transparent and accountable. Participation in projects should be selected in a fair and open process. To further improve their sustainable developmental impact, poverty, environment and gender aspects should be addressed in the project design phase.
In undertaking blended finance projects, project costs need to be carefully assessed. Private investors often demand upward of 20-25 per cent annual returns on “bankable projects” in developing countries. These costs need to be offset by efficiency gains or other benefits to make their use attractive. Furthermore, projects often struggle to deliver as planned, in both developed and developing countries, with a 25-35 per cent failure rate of PPPs in developed countries owing to delays, cost overruns and other factors,66 and even higher failures in developing countries. It is therefore important for policymakers to engage in blended finance structures with careful planning, design and management in order to strike a balance between economic and non-economic returns, and to ensure fair returns to citizens. Significant capacity is needed to design workable structures that share the risks and rewards fairly. ODA and other forms of assistance can play a role in capacity-building of developing countries in this regard.
Engagement in isolated PPPs, managed in silos, should be avoided. The investing public entity should carry out a number of projects simultaneously and thereby take a portfolio approach for pooling funds for multiple projects, similar to risk diversification carried out by Development Finance Institutions and the
private sector. In such an approach, mechanisms with equity “upside” would allow for gains from successful investments to compensate for losses on failed projects. This would be particularly appropriate for investments in innovation, where both risks and returns are extremely high.
In addition, innovative partnerships have been developed to finance sustainable development, and particularly global public goods. For example, the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, pools philanthropy, traditional public sector and innovative financing and has further used innovative governing structures and allocation mechanisms to provide targeted assistance.
Explore the potential contributions of Development Finance Institutions in support of blended finance Development Finance Institutions, both multilateral and bilateral, can play an important role in blended finance. They should continue to make efforts to optimize their balance sheets and make full use of their risk bearing ability, including by the use of all instruments, such as concessional/blended loans, equity, guarantees as well as non-concessional financing and innovative instruments. If these instruments are used to overcome existing financial barriers, they can have a considerable impact on the mobilization and use of private funds for sustainable development.
As discussed in section IV.D on private international finance, in areas where impediments to direct investment exist, including infrastructure, innovation and SMSEs, there is a need for new financing structures that can better pool and share investment risks, along with increased public financing. Such platforms can be national or global. At the national level, the United Kingdom recently developed a Pensions Infrastructure Platform that will facilitate investment from British pension funds in public infrastructure projects backed by the United Kingdom Treasury. Similarly, the French Caisse des dépôts et consignations has been converting households’ savings deposited in a specific savings account (Livret A) to fund social housing projects as well as local government infrastructure projects.
In addition to pooling funds, these types of platforms pool expertise and knowledge between investors and the government, and help to overcome some of the informational constraints that impede direct investment. Other countries could consider creating similar platforms within existing Development Finance Institutions and/or stand-alone platforms or country funds. In addition, entities with high credit ratings can also issue long-term (e.g., 20-30 year) bond financing to leverage these structures, which can facilitate investment by long-term funds that are unable to invest directly. Similarly, the World Bank is developing a Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) which will seek to mobilize additional resources and leverage these in support of infrastructure investments, including through complementary measures to strengthen the policy and regulatory environments and improve project quality. The African Development Bank has launched the Africa50 Infrastructure Fund.
36 Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing Strengthen capacity development efforts Blended finance valuations and contracts are typically complex and require significant public sector capacity for design, negotiation and implementation. Public institutions need to build and cultivate expertise and capacity accordingly, and here ODA can make a critical contribution. Project preparation funds would also need to be commensurately increased. The preparation of robust feasibility studies, which multilateral and bilateral DFIs could support, is critical to the successful costing, structuring and delivery of these mechanisms. Capacity-building efforts should focus on feasibility studies, negotiation of complex contracts, and the professional management of partnership activities. Efforts should, however, aim to develop local skills and capacity, rather than exclusively focusing on specific projects. Appropriate enabling environments need to be created as well.
International development actors and governments could establish policy dialogues to build a knowledge base and “skills bank”, and to share information and lessons learned about blended finance at the national, regional and/or global level. Increased cooperation and dialogue with investors, bankers and companies would also be needed.
Table I Blended Finance Instruments
To mobilize the financing detailed in the preceding section and to facilitate its effective use according to national priorities, it is necessary to have an adequate enabling international environment and policy architecture that provides the policy space necessary to implement effective national sustainable development strategies. This entails open and dynamic world trading and investment systems that are deemed fair to all, support sustainable development and poverty reduction and that respect social and environmental standards. An enabling international environment that reduces fragmentation and complexity of international public finance (including environmental finance) would ensure adequate capitalization of exiting funds and simplification and harmonization of rules for international public funds (see section IV.C). It could expand international cooperation on innovative financing, particularly with regard to global public goods. An enabling international environment includes active global cooperation to remove the sources of international financial volatility, while striving to reduce global financial fragility. Other actions include completing ongoing reform processes of development banks and the IMF, deepening international cooperation on taxes and illicit flows, regulating banks and shadow banking systems and strengthening the means for cooperatively resolving sovereign debt difficulties.
In short, it entails a strengthened global partnership for sustainable development.
Strengthen systemic coherence and global economic governance The global economic environment is overseen by separate and sometimes uncoordinated international bodies. Reflecting its existing mandate, the United Nations has the ability to serve as the global forum to bring the specialized international institutions and authorities together without challenging their respective mandates and governance processes. There is also a need within the United Nations system to reinforce the coherence of financing frameworks that developed out of two major strands of development debate — the post-Monterrey and the postRio+20 means of implementation. More broadly, there is a need to strengthen the integration and harmonization of existing international mechanisms, frameworks and instruments, including through the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination, while avoiding the proliferation of new support vehicles as much as possible.
The effectiveness and legitimacy of international organizations also needs to be further strengthened. The IFIs, including the World Bank and the other international development banks, and specialized mechanisms such as the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund, have the potential to increase 40 Report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing the mobilization and deployment of finance for sustainable development, and to facilitate learning and knowledge sharing within their respective mandates.
They would also be well placed to significantly expand the use of risk sharing instruments. It is important for IFIs to continue to take steps to align their own business practices with sustainable development objectives. Other proposed initiatives, such as reserve pooling and trade facilitation mechanisms, also have roles to play. The international community will benefit from such experimentation and innovation.
In addition, a further review of the governance regimes of the IFIs is necessary to update their decision-making processes, modus operandi and priorities, and to make them more democratic and representative. IMF and the World Bank have been making efforts to further integrate the voices of emerging market and developing countries, to reflect their growing importance in the global finance and development arena. These efforts should be brought to fruition.
The normative, analytical and operational activities of the United Nations should also be better coordinated at the global, regional and national levels.
Stronger efforts should be made by the United Nations system to implement fully the provisions of General Assembly resolution 67/226 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review and to achieve further progress towards “Delivering as one”. On the whole, it is important to encourage flexibility, effectiveness, transparency, accountability and innovation within existing institutional frameworks to promote more effective cooperation and partnership approaches, especially to implement the post-2015 development agenda.
Adopt trade and investment rules that are fair and conducive to sustainable development In a globalized world, economies seek to benefit from dynamic trade and investment opportunities. International trade is overseen by a multilaterally agreed system that seeks to be universal, rule-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable. At the same time, there are numerous bilateral and regional agreements setting additional rules for trade and international investment.