European Bank for Reconstruction and Development: an MDB looking to do more

 

Alan Rousso

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), founded in 1991 with headquarters in London, is the only Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) based in the U.K.

Our mandate makes us a little different from other MDB counterparts. The EBRD was established to help build a new, post-Cold War era in Central and Eastern Europe as these countries emerged from communism and centrally planned economies. Our founding document commits us to foster a transition towards open market economies and to promote private and entrepreneurial initiatives in countries committed to and applying the principles of multiparty democracy, pluralism and market economics. No other MDB combines a focus on transition, emphasising private-sector led growth and market creation, combined with a political aspect targeting democratic development.

We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, which allows us to reflect on our successful expansion into new countries of operations – now stretching across three continents and numbering 38 in total – and our unique business model that combines investment, policy dialogue, and technical assistance to achieve transformational change. The Bank has also moved further in the direction of supporting climate resilience and environmental sustainability, inclusive growth and acceleration of the digital transition. In legacy countries in central, southern and eastern Europe as well as in new countries like Egypt, Morocco and Turkey, we are working to be more conscious in how we strengthen impact to create healthy and vibrant societies through partnerships, particularly in the philanthropic space.

In dealing with the economic and social impact of the pandemic and ensuring that countries build back greener, more inclusive and more digital in the post-pandemic recovery period, there is a greater sense of urgency to work together, harnessing the power of collaborative partnerships and focusing on achieving a common goal and greater impact.

One of the major changes we’ve seen in recent years has been the greater emphasis on the role of the private sector and foundations as development actors to help tackle the most pressing global and regional challenges countries around the world face today.

For the past three years, the Bank’s Private Sector Partnerships team, has stepped up its active engagement with the philanthropic community, finding ways to develop partnerships to scale up impact, enhancing governance, combating climate change, addressing inequality, adjusting to the fast moving changes in the world of work and application of digital technologies, and many others.

Working with others has become a central feature of the EBRD’s delivery model. We use our unique skills, risk-taking capacity, financing and policy expertise and country knowledge to complement those of others in support of our countries’ and clients’ needs and development objectives. But we would like to do more, and expand our partnerships.

This year, the theme of the EBRD’s Annual Meeting is Building Back Better Economies. We know that moving from crisis response to recovery will require close collaboration with partners. In dealing with the economic and social impact of the pandemic and ensuring that countries build back greener, more inclusive and more digital in the post-pandemic recovery period, there is a greater sense of urgency to work together, harnessing the power of collaborative partnerships and focusing on achieving a common goal and greater impact.

The session I will be leading on 29 June, Building Resilience Through Private Sector Partnerships, will discuss how the private sector is helping build resilience in communities, as well as how to develop and scale successful partnerships. It will look into how deeper coordination and alignment between multiple players could foster new opportunities for growth and deliver a bigger impact in the civic space on the ground.

We welcome your participation to our session and invite you to connect with us to get to know each other better.

Alan Rousso is the Managing Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


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