How is the IDB Serving Higher-Middle-Income Countries?: Borrowers' Perspective

Feb 2013
This evaluation assesses how well IDB's current mode of engagement meets the needs and expectations of countries that have relatively higher income levels and increasing access to diverse funding sources.For the purpose of this evaluation OVE selected 10 countries as case study countries using three objective indicators: (a) income level, (b) level of access to international financial markets, and (c) the weight of the country in IDB's lending portfolio. The countries, labeled higher middle income countries (HMICs) in this evaluation, are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The evaluation finds that IDB remains a valued and trusted development partner in the vast majority of the HMIC case study countries. It is still financially competitive, even in countries with investment-grade sovereign risk ratings, and is particularly so during times of international turbulence. IDB's counterparts particularly value the following aspects of their cooperation with the Bank: the discipline IDB helps impart to project design and execution, along with capacity building related to project management; the opportunity that IDB provides to learn from other experiences in the Region; the seal of approval that IDB's project financing can help provide through its social, environmental, and fiduciary safeguards; and IDB's ability to facilitate medium-to long-term project continuity across political cycles.
However, the evaluation also finds that several aspects require further consideration as IDB moves forward, regarding the usefulness of country strategies; engagement with subnational governments; streamlining of IDB's different private sector windows; fine-tuning of some lending instruments; speed of project preparation and implementation; knowledge creation and sharing; and the introduction of fee-based services. The evaluation provides five recommendations to help IDB strengthen its engagement with High-Middle Income Countries.