Banking on development

Ethical Coportation, PDF Version

The environment for sustainable public-private partnerships has never been better, according to Miguel Aldaz, a lead partnerships officer in the Inter-American Development Bank’s office of outreach and partnerships. Aldaz says his unit, charged with being a facilitator among governments, civil society and the private sector, often acts as the “glue” that brings all the parties together.

One good example, says Alda, is a deal his office structured, negotiated and co-financed – together with PepsiCo Foundation, Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, Give to Colombia (an NGO executing partner), and others – for a pilot project in access to water and sanitation that enlisted the government of Colombia as an active learning partner. The pilot aims to test and tune up the methodologies and procedures that the government will then apply in a much larger scale through a $60m sovereign guarantee IDB loan.

“In other words,,” says Aldaz, “while civil society and philanthropic partners provide the resources to test pilot projects, IDB knowhow and linkages with governments aim to scale up the results.”

This is the approach IDB is also using in partnership with Microsoft, Caterpillar, Wal-Mart, Cemex and Arcos Dorados. The bank’s private and public sector operations are working together in expanding effective job training and placement models, reaching one million young people in Latin America and the Caribbean over the next decade.

As for large infrastructure projects, an emerging duster of countries have improved their capacity and readiness for PPP investments. The top reformer group is led by Colombia, Uruguay, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador, all of which have accelerated regulatory change and capacity building, according to Carrie McKellogg, chief of the IDB’s multilateral investment fund’s access to basic services and green growth unit.

Ultimately, says Aldaz, the bank wants to create inclusive, standalone industries so that Latin American countries can begin to diversify beyond commodities. Inclusive recyding, which integrates informal waste collectors into the recycling market, is one such project. It has the potential to reach an estimated four million people and is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Avina and Coca-Cola, A total of six pilot efforts are envisaged in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil, where technical assistance will support regulatory reform and outreach to both municipal representatives and waste-picker cooperatives.