TEPSA has recently coordinated a study for the European Parliament’s Committee on Development (DEVE), authored by Dr Kate BAYLISS (Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Economics at the SOAS – University of London); Dr Elisa VAN WAEYENBERGE (Senior Lecturer in Development Economics and Head of the Economics Department at SOAS University of London); Dr Ourania DIMAKOU (Lecturer in Economics at SOAS University of London); Ms Christina LASKARIDIS (Doctoral researcher in Economics at SOAS University of Londonon); Dr Bruno BONIZZI (Senior Lecturer in Finance at Hertfordshire Business School); and Dr Farwa SIAL (Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Manchester); on “The use of development funds for de-risking private investment: how effective is it in delivering development results?”.
The study tackles the use of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to mobilise private finance and how it is increasingly seen as essential to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Numerous development agencies have set up diverse de-risking initiatives to attract private investment to development projects and the EU is planning to scale up blending support in the near future. Such measures have reportedly been successful in raising private finance and in improving development outcomes, but there are concerns with this approach. Private shareholders may receive funds at the expense of sectors and regions where they are most needed. Funds remain insufficient to plug the SDG funding gap. Blending can create longer-term risks for development agencies and costs for recipient governments. Traditional evaluations often do not capture the full impact of such policies. Furthermore, there is an opportunity cost to using ODA in this way and blending may promote the perspective of financial investors over development outcomes.