The International Development Association's Sustainable Development Finance Policy

An Early-Stage Evaluation

This evaluation provides an early-stage assessment of IDA's Sustainable Development Finance Policy (SDFP), which went into effect July 1, 2020.

Abstract image showing painted red and black lines. Image credit: Shutterstock/ Gordan

A steep rise in debt vulnerabilities in IDA-eligible countries over the past decade highlighted weaknesses in the previous policy, the Non-Concessional Borrowing Policy (NCBP), and precipitated IDA deputies' request for adaptation in IDA's allocation and financial policies through the Sustainable Development Finance Policy (SDFP). The SDFP improves on the NCBP by broadening country coverage to include more countries at risk of debt distress, and it includes domestic debt, which has been an important factor in rising debt stress for IDA-eligible countries.

The SDFP is intended to enhance incentives to address country-specific drivers of debt stress. This evaluation assesses whether there is scope to improve the design and implementation of the SDFP and whether potentially vulnerable countries are excluded from performing necessary performance and policy actions (PPAs), given the speed at which some IDA-eligible countries have moved to higher levels of debt distress. The evaluation also assesses whether PPAs are systematically targeting the most important country-specific drivers of debt stress and offers principles that to guide future PPAs.