Adopted in 2014, the sustainable development analysis and opinion mechanism is integral to AFD’s corporate social responsibility approach. From its inception, this innovative mechanism was designed to be scalable within a continuous improvement process, in line with evolving global challenges (adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, rising inequalities, rapid deterioration of biodiversity) and the strategic framework of AFD Group. Since its adoption, the mechanism has undergone two methodological revisions, in 2018 and 2022.
The sustainable development mechanism is a useful dialogue tool for AFD’s financing appraisal process. The aim is to serve as a basis for questions and encourage consideration of each project’s impact on sustainable development at as early a stage as possible. In this way, it promotes dialogue with AFD’s partners on the anticipated effects of the projects with which they are involved.
All projects financed by AFD are subject to a sustainable development analysis. Comprising six cross-cutting dimensions (biodiversity, climate, social ties, gender, governance and economy), the analysis covers all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The mechanism includes:
- The performance of an analysis of the anticipated project impacts on each of the six dimensions of sustainable development by the teams responsible for financing appraisal. The questions are designed to guide strategic thinking about the potential impacts of the project and how to improve in these areas by systematically asking this question: to what extent does the project, in its particular context, best meet the challenges of sustainable development?
- The provision of a “sustainable development opinion”, given by an organization independent to the operational departments and used to inform the decision-making of AFD’s governing bodies. The “sustainable development opinion” team is present at key stages in the appraisal process to ask questions from the identification committee stage and provide formal independent advice when the financing decision is made. This advisory opinion, which may be favorable, favorable with recommendations, reserved or negative, is given for all AFD operations with the exception of global budgetary aid, small-scale operations (less than €1.5 million in grants and €5 million in loans), guarantees and projects financed via AFD’s NGO (FISONG) and local authority (FICOL) windows.