Whether in agriculture or industry, in education or energy supply, modern operations, innovative solutions and up-to-date infrastructure can unleash enormous economic potential. This potential is important for employment and income, and thus for development and poverty reduction. These are also key factors in making climate change manageable. However, the world is still a long way from exploiting these opportunities to their full extent. Developing countries also have some catching up to do here.
Digitalisation in particular as a driver of innovation can pay a quick dividend in countries with undeveloped or inadequate infrastructure: Internet academies replace visits to universities, while digital currencies and mobile banking solutions replace the establishment of a bank branch network. Telemedicine brings health services to the most remote village. Corresponding measures, especially in the digital sector, allow economic and social development progress. Not only because knowledge can be tapped quickly on the Internet, but also because it reduces costs and time, eliminates physical distances and allows stages of technology to be skipped. New technologies also pave the way for a sustainable growth path. Climate change and the overuse of resources can only be counteracted if growth is kept from automatically resulting in environmental pollution.
On behalf of the German Federal Government, KfW is committed to improving the conditions for the implementation of innovation and digital technology in its partner countries.
KfW Development Bank helps its partners tap into this potential for sustainable development through technology and innovation in various sectors. At the same time, it pays attention to the responsible handling of the social consequences that can be associated with the use of state-of-the-art technologies and to risks in the areas of data privacy, cybersecurity and environmental protection.
Development cooperation itself is also increasingly using digital instruments to become more efficient and effective. With , KfW has developed software based on blockchain technology that enables partner countries to use promotional funds much more efficiently and transparently. The coronavirus pandemic triggered a surge in remote management, monitoring and verification (RMMV) of KfW projects. KfW has summarised its experience with this and the associated instruments in its . Geodata is playing an increasingly important role in FC projects, and not only when working remotely. For example, evidence-based statements on the can be made with the help of the of the KfW Evaluation Department.
Since digitalisation and innovation are cross-cutting issues, they are incorporated into projects in all sectors. New commitments for KfW Development Bank projects aiming to support SDG 9 amounted to around EUR 793 million in 2022. In total, the ongoing portfolio of the Financial Collaboration business area includes 408 projects that are focused on digital transformation or contain major digital components (reporting date 31.12.2023). Promoting sustainable development in partner countries through digital innovations remains a key concern for KfW Development Bank.