Much of what surrounds us has been financed by the multilateral bank.  Behind the 4G roadways, the development of public policies, and megaprojects such as Hidroituango there is money from major banks, such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The multilateral bank is a stakeholder that sometimes seems invisible, but it plays a protagonist role in our region’s development. Not only in Colombia, but throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

To provide organized and meticulous tracking for projects financed by these kinds of banks, the organization Ambiente y Sociedad lauched a geoportal on Banks and Development Projects. Laura Montaño, a researcher with the organization, explain how the portal seeks to identify the main loans, donations, technical operations, megaprojects, and development policies that are financed by the World Bank for the public sector, and IDB, IDB Invest, and the International Financial Corporation for the private sector.


  • Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Financial Institutions and Markets
  • Energy
  • Environmental and Natural Disasters
  • Biodiversity and Protected Areas
  • Infrastructure and Transportation
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Governance and Modernizing the State
  • Sustainable Tourism 
  • Extractive Industry
  • Climate Change Financing
  • Private Companies and SME Development
  • Education 
  • Health 

The project identified 82 investments in Colombia. The objective is to update the information every three months. 

For each project or policy identified in Colombia, the portal not only indicates the investment amount, but also its primary objective, the executors, beneficiaries, and municipality where it is being executed. The information can also be classified by the name of the bank, province, and project sector. 

Additionally, one of the geoportal’s main objectives is to monitor the level of transparency in these processes, as well as their social-environmental impact. The initiative has another two tools. The first, comments Montaño, is a timeline for each project where you can find the main actions and published documents. This seeks to meticulously track the evolution of each investment. The second, has two indicators, one is transparency and the other is social-environmental risk, which is used to measure the caliber of each investment.

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Select a project: Support to Structure the Hidroituango Project

Here you will find information on the principal projects financed by the World Bank for the public sector, and for IDB Invest and the International Financial Corporation (part of the World Bank) for the private sector. These are the main international financial institutions that provide loans, donations, and technical cooperation in Colombia for the construction of megaprojects and to implement development policies. We provide you with this tool to identify the principal investment areas and projects financed by the different institutions, as well as the social-environmental risks that they generate. 


  • Transparency Matrix
  • Transparency and Social-Environmental Indicators
  • Index Value 
  • Support to Structure the Hidroituango Project
  • Transparency 
  • Social-environmental


Risk Assessment for investment “Support to Structure the Hidroituango Project.” 

Being able to identify transparency, participation, and guarantee human rights for these investments is not a simple task. Especially when these banks have a protagonist role in how Latin America and the Caribbean will be developed after the pandemic. This comment is from María José Romero, a doctoral candidate in Development Economics at the University of London and Policy and Advocacy Manager at Eurodad. “Beyond coronavirus, in the long term, the World Bank looks to rebuild even better, but accelerating and extending its support to the private sector. This is not an indepth review of its policies,” she comments.

David Cruz is a sociologist, with a post-graduate degree in Human Rights and Critical Law Studies. He explains that both the World Bank and IDB are in a crucial process to update their environmental and social policies. While the World Bank created a new framework in October 2018, IDB began last year. Meanwhile, IDB Invest, which invests in the private sector, already has its new policy ready. It will take effect in December 2020 and was published by IDB two weeks ago.

To go to the geo-portal click on this link.

To learn how to use the geoportal, click on this link.   

To watch a seminary where the platform was launched, click on this link.