By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen
As world leaders in government, business, and development gather this week at the United Nations General Assembly, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is launching a new report, Setting Goals for Sustainable Progress, which outlines our development targets and shows how they align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Several years of impact data and experience have enabled us to establish priority sectors and set impact targets that align with the SDGs.
When discussing global development issues, it is easy to talk in general terms about what success looks like but much harder to determine when that outcome has been achieved. We know we want to reduce poverty, but how will we know that poverty has been reduced enough to meaningfully improve people’s lives?
This new report provides the data to show we are on track to outpace the rate of change needed to realize the SDGs most aligned to DFC’s core sector priorities, including agriculture and food security, energy, healthcare, infrastructure and critical minerals, and small business support.
This means accelerating the availability of reliable physical infrastructure, expanding access to critical healthcare services, advancing the availability of financing for small businesses, and more. By exceeding the rate of change needed in each area, we can help move the needle and unlock further global development progress.
Since DFC was launched almost four years ago as a modern development institution, we have committed to accelerating progress on the most pressing global challenges, such as poverty, and tracking our impact in specific and quantifiable ways.
Today, DFC’s $36 billion portfolio spans more than 110 countries, and in fiscal 2022 alone, we committed $7.4 billion across 183 transactions, 70 percent of which were focused primarily in low- and lower-middle-income countries where investment is most needed.
I’m happy to report that DFC now has solid data on the impact these investments are achieving. Our financing is supporting projects that are advancing 16 of the 17 SDGs, and some of our greatest impact is around reduced inequalities (SDG 10), no poverty (SDG 1), innovative infrastructure (SDG 9), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), and gender equality (SDG 5).
The United Nations General Assembly serves as a reminder that many development institutions are committed to the same core goals around poverty reduction, food security, and other global challenges. It is important that we align our work with our peers and translate vague concepts of success into measurable quantities so that we can demonstrate the impact we are achieving.
Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen is Vice President of the Office of Development Policy at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).