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Assessing IFC's Poverty Focus and Results - Independent Evaluation Group (World Bank)

Posted By Saurabh Lall, Aspen Institute - ANDE, Monday, November 14, 2011

The International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) mission is to create opportunities for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. It pursues this mission by promoting growth through support for private sector development. Attention to the type of growth that the institution supports is therefore critical for the fulfillment of its mission. IFC’s approach in this respect has evolved over the years: from support to private sector-led growth in general, to promoting environmentally and socially sustainable growth, to—more recently—beginning to pay explicit attention to inclusive growth. There have been different perspectives of how IFC’s support for private
sector development is helping to tackle poverty. Yet, there is not enough clarity about what poverty means within the IFC context and how its interventions reach and affect the poor. 

In the context of IFC’s business model, IEG defined poverty focus as support for private sector development that contributes not only to growth but equally to patterns of growth that enhance opportunities for the poor. This type of growth is often referred to as inclusive, pro-poor, or broad-based growth. IFC is on the right track in its poverty focus, including making development impact a key driver of strategy, testing development goals in operational activities, and participating in funding the International Development Association (IDA). But it can more fully exploit the vast potential for poverty orientation in its growth supporting activities. This evaluation covering fiscal year (FY) 2000 to 2010, aims to contribute to the enhancement of IFC’s poverty focus and its effectiveness for a greater poverty impact. Poverty focus is assessed in terms of how its strategies, projects, and results measurement framework contribute to growth and to distributional patterns of growth that create opportunities for the poor.

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Tags:  impact evaluation  poverty  private sector development  sector publication  SME 

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