Development Markets

Every year, development agencies provide tens of billions of dollars in loans and grants to dozens of countries for a wide variety of development programs and projects. The borrowing countries use these funds to procure the goods, equipment and services they need to design and carry out their development plans.

Most development funding is provided by three major types of agencies:

  • International Financial Institutions (IFIs): Also known as Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), are those entities such as the World Bank and other regionally-focused multilateral development banks (e.g. Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank) who utilize pooled contributions from national governments and additional resources (such as interest collected from loans) to provide grants or loans to borrwing member (developing) countries for the purpose of executing development projects. The IFIs seldom execute the projects or programs themselves but rather, lend or grant funds to executing agencies (most of the time a department or a public entity) in the borrowing member countries to carry out the project or program - albeit in accordance with procurement guidelines and regulations determined by the IFI.

  • Bilateral Agencies: Bilateral development agencies are institutions set up by individual countries to provide development funding to national governments. They work closely with IFIs to advance development priorities and programs. Increasingly, the world's bilateal aid agencies are 'untying' their aid, which means that eligibility retrictions based on a company's nationality are being eliminated and, additional contract opportunities are, therefore opening up for Canadian companies.

  • UN Development Agencies: In addition to the IFIs and the bilateral aid agencies, the international aid market also encompasses opportunities presented by projects and programs that are financed by United Nations Agencies, as well as other private or non-governmental aid market actors. The UN system includes a dedicated development agency in the United Nations Development Programme and, a number of specialized agencies that undertake developmental work in their sectors of expertise.