​The NDB works towards building better future within BRICS and other emerging and developing economies

china.org.cn by Ashwani K. Muthoo, April 14, 2023
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The BRICS mechanism has gained a growing influence and appreciation due to the active contributions of its member countries to reform the global governance system. Moreover, with its major emerging economies, BRICS accounts for 41% of the world population, 24% of global GDP, and over 16% of world trade as of 2022. In 2014, the BRICS nations established a multilateral development bank called the New Development Bank (NDB), headquartered in Shanghai, to expand its impact and complement other financial institutions' global growth and development efforts. The NDB is a unique multilateral development bank, the only one created entirely by and for emerging and developing economies. The NDB finances infrastructure and sustainable development projects in its member countries, with its strong mandate and potential, positioning it to uniquely contribute to global growth and development.

Over the last seven years, the Bank's membership has grown, and its portfolio has diversified, with the approval of more than 90 development projects for a total funding of more than US$30 billion. These projects are expected to have significant outcomes, including the construction or upgrade of 17,000 km of roads and 820 bridges, 35,000 housing units, 1,390 km of water tunnel/ canal infrastructure; 290 km of urban rail transit network, and 28 schools; avoiding 13.2 million tonnes/ year of CO₂ emissions; installation of 2,800 MV of renewable and clean energy generation capacity; increasing drinking water supply capacity by 209,000 m³/day, sewage treatment capacity by 635,000 m³/day, amongst others.

The NDB has also responded effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic with a support package of around US$10 billion for its five founding member countries.

Currently, the Bank has 22 projects valued at US$8.39 billion in China. These projects cover various domains, such as transport infrastructure, clean energy and energy efficiency, water and sanitation, and environmental protection.

To enhance accountability and promote learning, the NDB established its Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) in April 2022. I have the privilege of serving as its first Director General and the responsibility of setting up the Office, its methodologies, activities and partnerships. As IEO marks its first anniversary in April 2023, we have already planned a tangible pipeline of evaluations, including the first project evaluation in China of the NDB-financed Luoyang Metro Project. This project, which endeavors to enhance commuting and mobility in Luoyang City, will culminate in establishing the city's first urban rail line, and the NDB has pledged its support via a US$300 million Sovereign loan. During the evaluation, IEO will assess the ability of the project to reduce traffic congestion. Additionally, the evaluation will gauge the performance of NDB, the borrower, and the project’s executing agency. The evaluation will be completed by the end of the year, including a stakeholders’ workshop in China to discuss the outcomes of the evaluation.

Another crucial evaluation that the IEO is conducting in China and other NDB members countries pertains to the NDB's COVID-related initiatives. The IEO will present the results of the COVID-19 pandemic response programme evaluation in September/October this year. This evaluation is of paramount importance, as it will allow us to evaluate and generate lessons about NDB's preparedness to support member countries during future emergencies.

Our independent evaluation efforts have garnered unwavering support from China's Ministry of Finance, which is represented at the highest level on the NDB Board of Directors. The latter in general plays a central role in the setting up of IEO, by providing significant guidance and oversight of activities on a continuous basis.

As a young office, IEO strives to develop a culture of evaluation within the NDB and all stakeholders, adhering to international good practices. In the current fiscal year and on another topic, the IEO is comprehensively evaluating the Bank's financial architecture. This evaluation aims to strengthen the Bank's capacity to mobilize resources and promote sustainable development in its member countries, focusing on resource allocation, utilization practices, funding sources, and financing instruments. The outcomes of this evaluation will be available by end 2023 and serve as a basis for future actions to ensure the Bank is appropriately resourced to realise its mandate.

Under the leadership of Her Excellency Madam Dilma Rousseff, the newly appointed President of the NDB, we eagerly look forward to working with her and benefitting from her extensive global experience and vision to elevate the Bank to unprecedented levels. Under her watch, we are confident that the Bank's independent evaluation function will receive the necessary levels of support and collaboration from NDB Management and staff to conduct relevant and timely evaluations, and that Management will ensure the full implementation of IEO recommendation to enhance the Bank's impact.

About the author: 

Ashwani K. Muthoo, Director General, Independent Evaluation Office of the New Development Bank

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn and Chinagate.cn.