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A significant effort at national and international level has been devoted to developing and refining mechanisms to scale up private investment in development. The OECD, multilateral development banks and the private sector have separately and together proposed policy frameworks to advance the agenda of blended finance.
Blended finance is an instrument that uses official public funds to mobilise capital from private sources for development projects. But this venture carries within it a recalibration of who takes risks and gains reward, and a re-balancing of public and private interests. These issues raise questions about how blended finance should be governed to ensure transparency, democratic accountability, and that nobody is ‘left behind’.
Questions of impact, transparency, and accountability have long dogged debates on the governance of ODA (official development assistance), and continue to be valid for ODA-funded blended finance projects. In this seminar, Siobhán Airey will discuss how current proposals to use ODA to catalyse private investment risk exacerbating these weaknesses, and the way forward.
Siobhán Airey is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions CAROLINE post-doctoral Research Fellow at University College Dublin, Ireland, and an Irish Research Council Research Fellow. She is a member of the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, and a former Visiting Fellow to ANU Centre for Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). Her current research examines the international governance of development finance, focusing in particular on ODA and public-private development finance.