Paving the Way for Post-2015: Unlocking Public and Private Finance Solutions
2014 was a transitional year for development. As countries make a final push toward the Millennium Development Goals while negotiating a new development framework, UNCDF has been an active participant on both fronts.
The negotiations around the new development agenda are showing us that countries are becoming more targeted and ambitious in their aspirations. Countries want to ensure that growth is not only robust and sustainable, but also inclusive, leaving no one behind. They want their citizens to not only benefit from overall upward trends in growth and human development, but also to enjoy greater capacity to access and deploy those gains at the local level – through ways ranging from better delivery of public services to the more effective use of the capital that lies untapped in their communities. And they want to take maximum advantage of the promise of digital technology to create pathways to empower those previously excluded from the formal sphere.
2014 has shown us that progress towards achieving the goals of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is mixed. There have been some positive movements, such as in increasing access to the Internet and mobile telephone networks, expanding the stock of transport infrastructure and improving the regulatory environment for the private sector. Many LDCs have recorded improvements in human and social development – in particular in education, health and youth development – but these strides have not been sufficient to lift the them entirely out of poverty and social deprivation. Access to modern, sustainable and affordable sources of energy is still very limited, as is the ability to generate, use, service and maintain technology and innovation. Much needs to be done to build the LDCs’ productive capacity in agriculture, manufacturing and services.
In this context, UNCDF has – and will continue to – advocate for the need to act locally, not just nationally. It is at the local level that empowerment happens, that economic acceleration happens, that participation happens, and where stepped-up capital investment in financial inclusion, local infrastructure, and entrepreneurship can drive real and lasting change.
2014, the first year of implementation of the UNCDF Strategic Framework 2014-2017, saw UNCDF building on its capital mandate to support the LDCs in their pursuit of inclusive growth.