European bilateral DFIs joint response to the DFI Transparency Index 2023 by Publish What You Fund
EDFI – the Association of European bilateral DFIs, welcomes the efforts of the DFI Transparency Initiative led by Publish What You Fund (PWYF) since 2019. PWYF has established a methodology to assess the transparency 30 multilateral and bilateral DFI portfolios, both sovereign and non-sovereign, including 10 EDFI member organisations. PWYF’s new report, launched on 25 January, includes the first DFI Transparency Index, which compares the relative transparency of DFIs and establishes a baseline against which future progress can be measured.
EDFI supports PWYF’s intent to promote systematic and timely disclosures of relevant information by DFIs, in line with shared values of accountability and transparency. Over the last decades, EDFI members have paved the way for improved transparency with regards to impact investing, notably by applying stringent investment criteria aimed at safeguarding financial sustainability, environmental and social accountability, as well as transparency.
PWYF has advanced its initiative in an open and constructive dialogue with DFIs about current transparency and disclosure practices and policies implemented. We see these exchanges as an opportunity to improve and harmonise transparency and disclosure practices further. From that perspective, EDFI members – as publicly-backed institutions – are keen to engage with PWYF and other stakeholders on relevant and ambitious transparency assessment methodologies, adapted to our mandate and operations, as well as with the specificities of the private sector financing activities.
The PWYF report points to some priority areas for improvement in DFIs’ current transparency practices, while we also see areas where the index methodology could become more relevant for our mandates as institutions to promote impact finance for the private sector in low- and middle-income countries. For example, EDFI believes that publishing certain types of detailed information in a specific format or portal is not relevant, as from our point of view it does not always contribute to making the information more accessible to our various stakeholders and would be both costly and time-consuming.
Furthermore, European bilateral DFIs are willing to deepen mutual understanding on topics such as clients privacy and confidentiality, corporate reporting tools, and information requirements of affected communities and stakeholders.
Looking forward, EDFI invites PWYF to complement its reporting activities with more concrete recommendations, and we welcome any opportunity for European bilateral DFIs to continue the dialogue with PWYF on strengthening the assessment methodology applied for future reports.
EDFI – the Association of European Development Finance Institutions – was established in 1992 to support and promote the work of bilateral Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). With a combined portfolio of €44 billion, and €9 billion in new investments in 2021, EDFI’s 15 member institutions share a vision of a world where the private sector offers people in low-and middle-income countries opportunities for decent work and improved lives, and where private investment flows are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. EDFI’s mission is to promote the joint interests of its members, inform policy, and drive innovation in industry standards. www.edfi.eu
EDFI’s membership includes BIO (Belgium), British International Investment (UK), Cofides (Spain), DEG (Germany), Finnfund (Finland), FMO (The Netherlands), IFU (Denmark), Norfund (Norway), OeEB (Austria), Proparco (France), SIFEM (Switzerland), Simest and CDP Development Finance (Italy), SOFID (Portugal), Swedfund (Sweden).
Mathilde Poncelet, EDFI: email@example.com
 EDFI Principles for Responsible Financing of Sustainable Development (2019): https://edfi-website-v1.s3.fr-par.scw.cloud/uploads/2017/09/EDFI-Responsible-Financing-SDG_Principles_final_190515-1.pdf