The IDB is a multilateral development bank that finances projects for the social and economic development of Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank is the main source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean and finances projects in 26 member countries. In recent years, the IDB has approved an average of US$10 billion annually to finance projects in key sectors such as infrastructure, energy, water, education, and health. The Bank’s projects cover the entire spectrum of economic and social development in the region, with an emphasis on programs that benefit low-income populations. The Bank can fund both public and private sector projects. Besides offering financial resources, the IDB promotes knowledge creation on topics relevant to the region’s development.
The Bank’s technical cooperation activities are intended to transfer technical know-how and expertise for the purpose of supplementing and strengthening the technical capacity of institutions in member countries. The financing available is determined largely on the basis of the field of activity into which a project falls and the relative development status of the region, country, or countries involved. Programs can cover institutional strengthening, transfer of knowledge and research studies - including diagnostic, pre-investment and sector studies that support project design and preparation. The programs can be aimed at projects specific to a single country or for trade, integration or regional initiatives.
The IDB has a formal process for defining its strategies and programming, its lending, technical cooperation and other financing activities at the country and subregional level. This involves a continuing structured dialogue with its borrowing member countries and subregional agencies on key issues for economic and social development. This in turn allows a ‘pipeline’ of activities to be built up that are consistent with the socioeconomic development needs and priorities of the individual countries concerned, available funding and the Bank’s overall medium-term operational targets, guidelines and general strategies.
Working hand in hand with its borrowing member countries, the IDB develops and supports programs and projects in a variety of sectors that are critical for achieving sustainable and equitable development. The IDB focuses its efforts in the following areas, considered priorities by its clients: infrastructure, sustainable energy and climate change, water and sanitation, and education.
The IDB headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. with country offices in 26 borrowing countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean plus a regional office in Tokyo and another one in Paris. A list of the contact details for these can be found at: http://www.iadb.org/contact.cfm.
The IDB is an active participant in building statistical capacity in the region. From 1996 to April of 2010 it has approved 309 projects for a total amount of US$286 million. Most of the projects have supported the production of basic statistics, emphasizing surveys, information systems, censuses, and the strengthening of National Statistical Systems (NSS), among others. Also, the Bank has supported the production of derived statistics, such as social, economic and environmental indicators.
The Bank’s strategy in the area of statistics is to strengthen the National Statistical Systems of the region, emphasizing the improvement of the quality of basic statistics, in order to increase the credibility of the produced statistics, to increase the importance of statistics in the national agenda, and to inform and to facilitate the process of decision making that is needed for sustainable development in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Given the importance that statistics have in development, the Bank’s experience and lessons learned, the following areas of activity have been defined to improve the production of basic statistics, and therefore the strengthening of NSS in Latin America and the Caribbean: a) strengthening of the National Statistics Offices to facilitate their technical-normative roles in the NSS and the production of basic statistics; b) modernization of the NSS; c) technical and financial coordination with other donors to support statistical production; and, d) inter-sectoral coordination within the Bank to optimize support to statistics in the region.
Recent projects have included modernization of the statistical system in Barbados; support to the population and housing census in Paraguay; the creation of a regional framework for business directories, and institutional strengthening of the national statistical systems in the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
Received September 2010