Reaching the furthest behind: Is blending fit for purpose?

April 16, 2019


Tuesday, 16 April, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Conference Room 8




There are two narratives which have firmly taken root since the adoption of the SDGs:The Billions to Trillions mantra assumes that vast increases in the level of financing are needed to deliver the Agenda 2030, while the Leave No One Behind principle asserts that the SDGs will not be met unless they reach everyone.


For civil society, there is an inherent contradiction between these two ideas, where the Billions to Trillions narrative risks undermining the Leave No One Behind ambition because it is driving policy makers to promote and consider forms of development finance that are not well equipped to reach the furthest behind. Most notably is the push towards private sector instruments, in particular blended finance.


There are real questions about whether this type of financing instrument is suitable to the needs of Least Developed Countries and the commitment to ramp up resources to LDCs.  The event will consider whether these resource flows actually support the eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequalities, including gender inequality, and Leave No One Behind objectives.


Panel moderated by Ms. Amy Dodd, Lead Financing for Development, Development Initiatives


H.E. Mr. Lazarous Kapambwe, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Zambia to the UN

Mr. Laurent Sarazin, Head of Unit Development Financing and Effectiveness, European Commission

Mr. Navid Hanif, Director, Financing for Sustainable Development Office, UN DESA

Mr. Haje Schutte, Senior Counsellor and Head of Financing for Sustainable Development, OECD

Mr. Vitalice Meja, Executive Director, Reality of Aid Africa, a member of the CPDE




Mr. Xavier Michon, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Capital Development Fund

Mr. Leo Baunach, Head of Washington Office, International Trade Union Confederation

Ms. Samantha Attridge, Senior Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute

Ms. Michelle Strucke, Senior Policy Manager Aid and Development Finance, Oxfam


Questions for discussion


Blended finance is being promoted to fill perceived gaps in development financing needed to deliver on the SDGs--potentially diverting limited public resources away from more direct interventions.  What measures can be taken to ensure that blended finance is directly contributing to the SDGs in a more effective or impactful way than public finance alone--and essentially reaching the furthest behind?    


Understanding the quality and impact of blended finance remains a challenge in part because it is difficult to effectively track these financial flows and produce quality data.  What is being done to better monitor the impact of blended finance?


Some institutions have developed principles on how blended finance should be used and assessed.  How can these principles be put into practice so that blended finance is equally as accountable as public finance?


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