IEvD Organizes Successful Technical Session with Arab Coordination Group on Institutionalization of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning within Development Financiers

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 10 May 2023 – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Independent Evaluation Department (IEvD) organized a technical session with the Heads of Operations and representatives from the Arab Coordination Group (ACG) member institutions on the sidelines of the 2023 IsDB Group Annual Meetings.

During this event, the speakers stressed the need for the institutionalization of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) systems in their development interventions. Having strong MEL functions in place would provide the evidence needed to support decision-making during the implementation of projects, they argued.

Welcoming the participants, IsDB President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, stated: “Development organizations need to account for the use of resources and demonstrate both results and the added value of their work as they are operating in an environment that calls for impartial, valid and credible evidence on the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of their policies, programs, and activities”.

H.E. Dr. Al Jasser then assured that IsDB Group is committed to securing greater cooperation and synergy with its development partners and pooling more resources and smarter solutions to edge closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The opening remarks of this technical meeting were delivered by Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, Director General & CEO of the OPEC Fund for International Development, who said: “Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) are vital for effective development project implementation and resource utilization. Institutionalizing MEL functions into development financiers’ DNA is essential for accountability, transparency, and achieving positive impacts. At the OPEC Fund, we’re committed to implementing effective MEL practices, as demonstrated by our forthcoming Development Effectiveness Report.”

A keynote presentation was later delivered by Mr. Dugan Fraser, Head of the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI) of the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group, focusing on how to build M&E systems, the benefits of strong M&E systems at country level, and how the GEI can contribute to bridging the knowledge gaps and building capacity in the MENA region and beyond.

The panel members also included Honorable Abdoul Salam Bello, Executive Director of the Africa Group II at the World Bank Group Board, who shed light on balancing global and regional perspectives on evidence building, and Eng. Mohammad Jamal Alsaati, Special Advisor to the IsDB President, discussing IsDB’s perspective on utilization of evidence as a powerful compass to shape well-targeted public policies, correct course and ultimately deliver better outcomes and development results. Other key discussants included the Heads of Operations and prominent executive level representatives from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGPD), and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED).

IsDB Group Launches Arab Integration Report during 2023 Annual Meetings in Jeddah

The report shares recent figures and insights regarding the status of economic integration among countries within the Arab world

JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 10 May 2023 – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group has launched the “IsDB Group Integration Report for Arab Region” during the 2023 Annual Meetings taking place from 10- 13 May in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the patronage of The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  

The IsDB Group Integration Report for Arab Region comprehensively tracks the progress of enhancing economic integration within the Arab world.

The report has been developed to provide a framework for IsDB Group to achieve its core objectives which include boosting trade among Member Countries, promoting growth, increasing bilateral investment and improving the livelihoods of the people based on the principles of solidarity and common interest.

The report’s launch was preceded by a keynote speech from His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank Group.

“For almost half a century, IsDB Group has made great efforts to support intra-regional trade and investment in member countries,” stated Al-Jasser.
“Studies have indicated that the cost of conducting trade between the Middle East and North African countries is twice as high as those in the European Union which indicates the necessity of measuring and improving economic integration within the Arab Region. IsDB continues to work to strengthen cooperation among regional institutions, facilitate the activation of multilateral agreements, and provide financing facilities to support projects which connect countries,” the IsDB president added.

Following the screening of a video detailing the report and its findings, IsDB hosted a panel discussion sharing the status of economic integration amongst countries in the Arab region. Moderated by Ms. Maha Akeel, the panel discussion on “The Status and Prospects of Arab Economic Integration” saw participation from Dr. AbdulHakim Elwaer, Assistant Director General at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); Dr. Bahgat Abu El Nasr, Director of the Arab Economic Integration Department at the League of Arab States; Ms. Lilia Hachem Naas, Chief Office for Middle East and North Africa at the International, and Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General of the IsDB Institute & IsDB Group Chief Economist.

The high-level session detailed how multinational organizations in both the public and private sectors can activate the report’s recommendations, highlighting the position of IsDB Group as an advocate for regional cooperation and its role in helping mitigate global challenges.

The report’s findings have been prepared in line with the “IsDB Integration Index”, an extensive statistical index developed in 2022 sectioned into five distinct segments, namely, trade and investment integration, financial markets integration, production networks, connectivity and logistics and human mobility and institutional integration. Based on the 22 indicators outlined in the index, the first “IsDB Group Integration Report” was finalized and launched in November 2022.

IsDB Board Approves Financing for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure Projects Worth More than US$ 558 Million

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 10 May 2023 –  The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Board of Executive Directors, on Wednesday, 10 May 2023, held its 351st meeting, in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The meeting came as part of the 2023 Annual Meetings of IsDB Group which opened today at The Ritz-Carlton Jeddah.

Chaired by IsDB President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, the meeting approved new financing valued at more than US$ 558 million for six projects that focus on sustainable and inclusive growth and infrastructure development in the Bank’s member countries.

As per the decision of the Board Members, IsDB will extend a contribution of EUR 270.57 million (US$ 296.37 million) to Phase 2 of the Rural and Peri-Urban Housing Finance Project in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

The project aims to construct 1,989 sustainable multi-storied housings with improved quality and necessary basic facilities. It will benefit a total of 70,632 lower and middle-income people dwelling in rural and peri-urban areas in the country. Being implemented by the Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation, the project will ensure the optimum use of land and save cultivable land, while addressing the climate change issue by introducing 55 climate-resilient housing for climatically vulnerable segments and 39 eco-friendly housing for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The key approvals of the IsDB Board of Executive Directors also include a financing contribution of US$ 100 million inclusive of a US$ 35 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to the Polio Eradication Phase IV Project in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination. Under the Project, IsDB will finance the acquisition of most of the required oral polio vaccines through the provision of a total of 930,006,578 doses of WHO pre-qualified vaccines, which will be deployed for the 231.4 million people in Pakistan by UNICEF. The project’s objective is to permanently contain the spread of all polioviruses, including wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), by the end of 2026, and maintain the country’s ‘polio-free’ status for the subsequent three years.

The Board also approved a US$ 100 million facility  for PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur, a special mission vehicle for PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI) to accelerate infrastructure development in the Republic of Indonesia. The facility will cover the financing of several infrastructure projects located across various regions in the country. It is aimed at mobilizing private sector financing for infrastructure and improving the overall quality and sustainability of infrastructure development in Indonesia. As a result, the facility will contribute to boosting investment in infrastructure, which will support the country’s economic growth, reduce poverty and provide better access to basic services for its people by facilitating better access to energy, transportation, water, information and communication technology, urban, agriculture, education, healthcare, waste management, and public housing.

Furthermore, IsDB will provide a financing contribution of EUR 40 million (US$ 43.81 million) to the Electrification and Development of Electrical Connection Project in the People’s Republic of Burkina Faso. Once operational, the project, being implemented by Société Nationale d’Electricité du Burkina Faso, will improve the living conditions of the populations in the targeted areas by providing reliable and affordable electricity through the extension and reinforcement of the electricity distribution and connection networks. It entails the construction of 113 km of MV lines, 971 km of LV lines, setting up 132 MV/LV substations, the provision of a connection to 38,240 households, and installing 590 solar public lightings in the targeted areas. The project is projected to increase national access to electricity by 25%.

The Board also approved a financing facility of US$ 15.31 million toward the Widening of the Bertil – Harding Highway Phase II Project in the Republic of The Gambia. The project aims to help address the increasing annual traffic growth of more than 3% on the Bertil – Harding highway by widening the road. It is expected that the traffic on the highway will increase to 28,000 vehicles a day by 2040, as compared to 16,000 vehicles per day in 2021. Under implementation by the National Roads Authority/Ministry of Transport, the project will also enhance the resilience of the highway infrastructure by improving the quality of the asphalt, maximizing connectivity and traffic fluidity, and reinforcing user safety. It will support the country in directly achieving SDG 9: resilient infrastructure, SDG 11: making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, while indirectly promoting SDG 7: energy efficiency by reducing fuel consumption for cars as a result of more fluid traffic flows.

In addition, the Board approved an additional financing of EUR 2.32 million (US$ 2.54 million) for the Construction of the Guiba-Garango Road Project being implemented in Burkina Faso by the country’s Directorate General of Roads. The Bank had originally approved EUR 45.03 million (US$ 49.30 million) of financing for this project, which aims to improve connectivity between the major transport corridors, while also facilitating local commercial activities within the project area to sustain economic growth. The objectives of the project include reducing journey time and vehicle operating costs. The 72 km long road is a section of the national road No. 17 from the Guiba – Garango – Tenkodogo – Ouargaye Sangha – Togo Border. The project is estimated to impact a population of 700,000 people.