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Installation of 1000 solar-powered mobile base phone stations to extend telecommunication services to rural communities in Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon

The EIB is partnering with the Global Development Network to study the impact of projects in sub-Saharan African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, under a new training and mentorship programme for local researchers. After training at EIB headquarters in Luxembourg the researchers will spend a year evaluating projects financed under the Bank’s Impact Financing Envelope. This will build skills and capacity in impact assessment in the regions and refine the understanding of EIB’s impact.

Addressing a gap, understanding our impact

For project financiers, addressing social and environmental challenges often means having to manage higher operating and macroeconomic risks. As a result, many high impact projects cannot find the financing they need to become reality, even when they have the potential to be financially sustainable and to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. The EIB created the IFE to help address this gap, as a special window of the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Investment Facility.

The fund targets projects in sectors, or using particular business models that deliver superior impacts for targeted populations, particularly at the “bottom of the pyramid”. Since 2014, 15 IFE projects have been approved.

The EIB’s new partnership with the Global Development Network (GDN), a public international organisation dedicated to supporting high-quality, policy-oriented research in the social sciences, will deepen our understanding of the development impact of IFE operations and strengthen the Bank’s ability to target such impacts.

Training and mentorship

This ambitious new Programme in Applied Development Finance will provide training in impact assessment methodologies and relevant aspects of EIB operations to selected ACP researchers from leading universities at the EIB headquarters in Luxembourg. They will go on to spend a year evaluating selected IFE projects, under the mentorship of international evaluation experts and in cooperation with local universities and institutions in GDN’s network.

The EIB-GDN engagement will cover projects ranging across the sectors targeted by the IFE, such as telecommunications, financial inclusion, innovation and agri-business. The research is also expected to shed light on cross-cutting issues such as gender, climate change and migration.