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Co-funded by the European Union

Support to Development Finance Institutions

Support to DFIs

The ICR Facility provides technical assistance to national and sub-regional development finance institutions (DFIs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to become stronger institutions and to identify, prepare and implement projects and investments with high development impact, especially related to women’s economic empowerment (WEE) and gender-lens investing (GLI). Since 2020, over 50 DFIs have benefitted from our support.

Tailored-made Technical Assistance for DFIs​

The ICR Facility periodically selects DFIs which then benefit from tailor-made technical assistance, capacity building and advisory services.
Each bank chooses the topics and forms of assistance based on its strategic priorities. Where possible, activities targeted towards a specific DFI are opened to other banks in order to facilitate knowledge sharing and peer exchange.
From 2020 to 2022, we worked in depth with six DFIs:

The topics of support are chosen directly by the banks. For example, we supported the Development Bank of Rwanda with their accreditation to the Green Climate Fund and their monitoring and evaluation. For the Development Bank of Samoa, we provided support in credit risk management, customer relations, innovative financing for MSMEs, and climate finance.

In 2022, the ICR Facility published a Call for Proposals with a special focus on providing support on women’s economic empowerment and gender-lens investing issues. Following this Call for Proposals, a new set of banks has been identified to receive support from 2023 to 2025 on gender mainstreaming activities such as carrying out institutional gender gap analyses, developing gender policies and strategies, and integrating agender-lens in internal and client-facing operations of the DFIs.

  • Agricultural Finance Corporation in Kenya (AFC)
  • Bahamas Development Bank (BDB)
  • Banque Nationale d’Investissement in the Ivory Coast (BNI)
  • Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF)
  • Federated States of Micronesia Development Bank (FSMDB)
  • Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation in Zimbabwe (SMEDCO)

Demand-based technical assistance on investment climate reform​

The ICR Facility also provides demand-based technical assistance on investment climate reform and policy dialogue to improve the business environment.

DFIs can apply for short-term technical assistance of up to 90 expert days from the ICR Facility on topics related to business environment and investment climate reform, advocacy with policymakers, public-private dialogue formats and improving the existing legal/ institutional frameworks and policies for public-private partnerships. Requests can include for instance:

  • Working with policymakers to establish a common understanding of gender issues in finance and alignment of DFIs with national gender strategies;
  • Promoting an inclusive and gender-sensitive investment climate e.g., through collaborative gender assessments in DFIs and their commercial bank partners;
  • Piloting and promoting new inclusive financing approaches vis-à-vis policymakers;
  • Engaging with financial regulators and authorities to discuss potential amendments in the regulations to facilitate financing for women-led SMEs;
  • Initiatives to improve sex-disaggregated data availability and define gender-related key performance indicators (KPIs), e.g. in collaboration with national statistics agencies.

As for all interventions of the ICR Facility, requests for support should include a strong gender focus.  

Find out more about our previous and ongoing interventions with DFIs!

Knowledge-sharing activities for DFIs

The ICR Facility disseminates good practices and lessons learned and promotes dialogue and knowledge-sharing between national and regional institutions as well as between geographical regions. We organise group trainings, peer-to-peer events and webinars. We publish reports and studies and share thematic resources which can be found on our Resources pages.

Frequently asked questions

1. Which DFIs are eligible to receive support from the ICR Facility?
2. How can DFIs receive technical assistance?
3. Does the ICR Facility offer financial support?
4. How do DFIs determine the topics of support they receive?
5. Can DFIs receive support on non gender-related topics?
6. Can the ICR Facility support the same beneficiary more than once?
7. Who selects and manages the experts deployed by the ICR Facility?
8. Is the delivery of technical expertise virtual or on-site?

Download our Factsheet