Feb 05, 2015

SIWI part of private sector effort to re-think development finance

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) estimates that USD 1-3 trillion is needed in infrastructure investments in developing countries in order to meet intergenerational development needs.

Three very important global summits will take place this year, including Financing for Development in Ethiopia, the UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda in New York and the Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. In order to implement the outcomes of the summits, a new global financing framework is needed – specifically in regards to infrastructure, climate change financing and developing social partnerships.

Earlier this week, SIWI Director Dr Therese Sjömander Magnusson attended an SDSN forum in London alongside a select group of representatives from predominantly private sector organizations and institutions, to discuss financing for development. High-level representatives from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) were also in attendance, reflecting the importance of development finance for Swedish development cooperation.

While it was widely agreed at the forum that there is more capital available than assets and bankable infrastructure projects, a number of concerns were raised by investors. Availability of host government finance and human resources, political instability in developing countries, institutional capacity for partnerships and project implementation, regulatory standards, and pricing structures and subsidies (e.g. water and fossil fuels) all pose challenges.

The forum was arranged by SDSN, whose Director is Jeffrey Sachs, and Investec Investment Institute within Investec Asset Management. Presentations were given by, among others, the former Deputy Secretary General of the UN and representatives from the Institute of International Finance, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the London School of Economics.

According to SDSN, the Government of Ethiopia has asked the network to serve as an official advisor to the process leading to the Financing for Development Conference.

SIWI will continue to follow the financing for development process very closely.
“We have here a unique opportunity to support sustainable development investments by leveraging our different partnerships, networks and entry points among governments, donors, UN institutions, IFIs and NGOs”, says Dr Sjömander Magnusson.