Effectiveness for Improving Lives

The economic outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean has changed radically over the past few years. In 2014 the region posted its lowest growth rate in four years. By some estimates, the impressive gains our countries made against poverty have reached a plateau. We may see a slight recovery in 2015, but we will still perform below our potential.

Under this new scenario, if our countries want to boost growth, they will have to turn to their own engines. Latin America and the Caribbean has a long agenda of pending reforms that starts with raising productivity. The Inter-American Development Bank stands ready to support the region in taking on this challenge.

But in order to serve as the premier development institution our partners expect us to be, the IDB must maximize its efficiency and effectiveness. This new edition of our Development Effectiveness Overview (DEO) offers a detailed account of the efforts we carried out to that end over the past year.

The premise is simple: in order to improve, we need to meticulously measure and evaluate how we perform. For a development institution, it is just as important to discern what works as what does not work. That is why we have kept honing the Development Effectiveness Framework—our toolkit for designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating projects—since its inception in 2008.

The information and the insights obtained through this methodical process have allowed us to build up our base of practical knowledge, which in turn aids us in preparing better projects and correcting those that require adjustments. Lessons learned are regularly shared with our development partners and other practitioners through the print and online versions of the DEO.

Besides helping us to improve our operational performance, our development effectiveness tools also permit us to monitor our progress towards meeting our institutional commitments. Using the Corporate Results Framework, we can gauge our contributions to the region’s development as well as whether we are achieving specific targets agreed under the Ninth General Capital Increase.

This report shows we are on track to reach the majority of our targets. For example, in our contribution of outputs for regional goals 14 targets have already been met. In the case of our lending targets three of the four lending priorities met their goals in 2014 and 23 of the 30 indicators in operational effectiveness and efficiency are on track to be met in 2015.

However, just as countries must make additional efforts to return to higher growth, so must the IDB go the extra mile. Given the growing demands our governments face, we cannot rely simply on what has worked in the past.

We have to come up with innovations to help the region address its most pressing development problems more effectively. Last year we started exploring new approaches, working more collaboratively, both internally and with external partners, seeking to leverage our collective knowledge and experiences.

The IDB is devoted to being the best development partner for Latin America and the Caribbean and fulfilling its mission of improving lives. This report is a testament to those commitments.

Luis Alberto Moreno
Inter-American Development Bank
Washington, D.C., March 2015