A Year of Innovation: Highlights of UNCDF's Work in 2012

UNCDF Executive Secretary Marc Bichler reported today to the Executive Board on the results achieved by UNCDF in 2012 and on the Stakeholders Consultations on Scenarios for UNCDF’s Future.

At the same occasion the organization released its corporate illustrated Annual Report 2012 entitled A Year of Innovation. The Report showcases how UNCDF delivers results through Inclusive Finance programmes, to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses and to advise governments to establish an inclusive financial sector; and through Local Development Finance programmes, to strengthen public financial management systems and improve infrastructure investment and delivery of basic services by local governments. It highlights the reach of UNCDF’s diverse partnerships, and how UNCDF pursues efficiency and effectiveness through evaluation, transparency, and knowledge management initiatives.

“UNCDF has proven its ability to deliver true leverage on smaller and more risky investments and interventions within its sectorial practice areas of Inclusive Finance and Local Development Finance,” said UNCDF’s Executive Secretary in addressing to the Executive Board. “Our concept proven pilot projects and programs are replicated and brought to scale with the help and the add-on financing of other development partners with different and complementary mandates.”

As detailed in the report, a USD 55 million in donor contributions supported those goals. “But in order to have UNCDF fulfill its investment mandate and to guarantee its presence and operations in at least 40 LDCs, an increase of our investment capital through stepped-up core contributions remains the crucial element of the equation,” said Mr. Bichler to the Executive Board. “We are the United Nations Capital Development Fund and, with your help, we are proud to develop capital in order to promote and to bring about inclusive sustainable development in LDCs. We have a unique financial mandate to do so, allowing a level of risk-friendliness necessary to prepare the ground for others to come on board and help with scaling up.”

The report spotlights accomplishments from 37 least developed countries, where UNCDF promotes inclusive and sustainable growth by creating new opportunities for poor people, small businesses and local governments, and incorporates a number of graphs and visual maps.

As described in the report, in 2012:

  • 93% of UNCDF-supported local governments adopted consultative, participatory mechanisms that better engage local communities in decision-making processes, particularly planning and budgeting.
  • Over 92% of UNCDF-supported local governments adopted national procurement standards and/or conducted financial audits and published their expenditure reports, increasing accountability and transparency.
  • UNCDF reached 8 million active microfinance clients through the Financial Service Providers in whose capacities we invest. With an average household of five, this represents an impact on the lives of over 40 million people.
  • 65% of borrowers were women, demonstrating that the UNCDF policy requiring FSPs to serve at least 50% of women has improved performance.