Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) have a key role to play in promoting gender responsive finance and women’s economic empowerment (WEE). While the initiatives of multilateral banks are well-documented and communicated via events and publications, such as 2021’s “Public Development Banks Driving Gender Equality: an Overview of Practices and Measurement Frameworks” by UNWOMEN and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), visibility of the efforts of national and sub-regional DFIs on this topic is low. Gender finance is not commonly highlighted on their websites or in annual reports, and their efforts to promote gender finance are rarely covered in research articles or other publications.
As a result, national DFIs experience successes and challenges in their efforts to promote gender equality without the benefit of broader recognition and the chance to inspire their peers to action, or supportive networks that can help identify solutions to difficulties faced. The purpose of this study is to identify those DFIs in the member countries of the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) with active gender finance or WEE initiatives. Among them, the study aims to showcase good practices and highlight challenges to spark dialogue within and across the ACP region about approaches to gender finance and WEE. This includes activities relating to the DFIs’ internal policies and processes, such as those related to gender policy and human resources management, and client-oriented activities, such as financial products or technical assistance.