This Study provides a brief overview on five key MDBs and their efforts to strengthen their development impact and to respond to the needs of partner countries across the globe by aligning with the 2030 Agenda. With a view to supporting global discussions currently taking place on the need to rethink the role of MDBs, it intends to provide MDBs’ shareholders, development banks’ staff, and development and finance experts with a baseline assessment of MDBs efforts to align with the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs at three levels of analysis: strategic, institutional, and operational. This assessment is intended to support a follow-up collective discussion to identify concrete means to advance development impact and alignment on the 2030 Agenda.

Key Messages

  • The current scale of speed and progress by MDBs on past commitments remains insufficient to date. Despite a globally positive strategic alignment at the top level, alignment on the SDGs appears to lose traction when translating them into organisational framework and operations on the ground.
  • Beyond urgent needs, MDBs also have a role to play to anticipate the transformational changes needed to deliver on sustainable development.
  • MDBs have a key role in raising awareness and building capacity, while also providing essential financing on the basis of countries’ development plans, through which aligning with SDGs responds to shared responsibilities, by MDBs, countries of operations and stakeholders involved. MDBs’ potential could be further unleashed if better mobilised around a holistic and longer-term approach, steering their operations towards the goals defined under the 2030 Agenda and the needs identified at country level.
  • Some PDBs have already started to work on such alignment, with innovative practices and principles. MDBs can join the dynamic and help design the way forward to create a “whole-of-development- banks” approach.
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