Development Policy and Finance

our goal
To harness the power of finance and economics to address poverty and inequality.
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Children playing in Maroua, Cameroon.

At a glance

  • Economic policy and financing decisions made at the global and national levels profoundly affect the pace of progress in advancing human development and alleviating extreme poverty.
  • The Development Policy and Finance team scans the horizon for emerging trends and issues in economics and finance and works with partners and grantees to gather economic and financial intelligence.
  • We work with economic policymakers and engage extensively with development finance institutions to understand the impact of economic policies and global financial flows on global health and development.
  • We pursue our goals by influencing global policy, advancing financial innovation, providing strategic advisory services, and engaging in high-impact partnerships at the global and country levels.
  • We provide independent analysis and recommendations to foundation leaders on critical economic policy and financing issues that are relevant to the foundation’s work.

Our strategy

The Development Policy and Finance team leads the foundation’s work in development economics and finance. We are accountable for ensuring that the foundation’s work in global policy and advocacy is informed by strong economic and financial analysis and insights, resonant with emerging trends, and connected to key decision-makers.

We are not a research team but an advisory group made up of economists and development finance experts who use economic analysis and perspectives to strengthen the foundation’s policy and advocacy strategies. Our expertise also contributes to developing new financial solutions and partnerships to mobilize resources and expanding the community of policymakers who engage in foundation issues, such as global health, human capital, and gender equity.

Our team works with donor governments, developing country governments, multilateral development banks, and other economic experts to develop evidence, ideas, and innovations to influence policymaking and ultimately improve lives.

Children in Moubéna, Niger.

Areas of focus

We are responsible for a mix of grantmaking, analytic and advisory services, and partnership development across three key areas.

We inform policymaking across a range of cross-cutting financial and economic issues to support the foundation’s overarching goals in areas ranging from COVID-19 response and economic recovery to global health, gender, inequality, and poverty.

We advise key stakeholders on country-level macroeconomic issues, nurture relationships with economic advisors and ministries of finance, and serve as technical advisors on initiatives that support domestic resource mobilization and public financial management, in partnership with the foundation’s country and regional offices.

We lead the foundation’s engagement with multilateral development banks—including the World Bank, regional development banks, and development finance institutions—to coordinate and align policy, mobilize resources, and improve collaboration among institutional leaders.


Why focus on development economics and finance?

For the first time in decades, global poverty is increasing—especially among women and girls. At the same time, financing for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is at risk of collapsing: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development projected a $700 billion decrease in external financing to developing countries in 2020 compared to 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governments of low-income countries are left to face a set of difficult tradeoffs that will have critical consequences for human welfare for years to come. Mitigating the worst of the economic crisis and improving the lives of the world’s poorest people requires considerable global financial commitments, smart economic policies, and institutions and partners that can navigate a difficult fiscal environment. We believe that this moment demands more than business as usual on the part of the major public, private, and nongovernmental entities that support the fight against extreme poverty and health inequities around the world.

A member of a young women's self-help group with her children in Uttar Pradesh, India.
A member of a young women's self-help group with her children in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Strategy leadership


Our partners

We do our work in collaboration with grantees and other partners, who join with us in taking risks, pushing for new solutions, advocating for policy changes, and mobilizing resources that advance our goals.
African Development Bank
Brookings Institution
Center for Global Development
Development Initiatives
European Network on Debt and Development
Lancet Commission on Investing in Health
Overseas Development Institute
Oxfam International
University of Washington – Evans School Policy Analysis & Research Group