In addition to updating ESRD and running contextual risk and IBAT screenings, I also supported E&S team members in the completion of other ad hoc assignments. For example, to assist the climate specialist in the development of MIGA’s approach to financing adaptation, I researched barriers to private sector investment in climate adaptation projects. I reviewed documents published by other international institutions, and compiled the findings into a summary report, which included lessons learned and possible solutions. I enjoyed this assignment because it allowed me to learn about the interactions between the economy and efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It also allowed me to explore what MIGA and other international institutions can do to facilitate investment in this area.
I also had the opportunity to get a better understanding of MIGA’s Financial Intermediary (FI) portfolio. I reviewed all FI projects in the portfolio and created a table indicating the types of business activities undertaken by each FI. Through the information that I compiled, the E&S team was able to quickly identify and summarize the range of business activities supported through their FI clients.
Another responsibility I was given involved completing a Back to Office Report (BTOR) for an E&S specialist who had just returned from conducting a site visit to a potential project. With the notes the specialist took on her mission and extensive documents provided by the client, I created a project description and wrote a summary of the project’s progress in meeting the Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Contributing to this BTOR gave me more insight into how the E&S specialists review projects and how integral site visits are to their work. Assisting with these ad hoc tasks has greatly strengthened my writing and research skills as well as my knowledge of development and climate finance.
This summer, I am interning with the Economics and Sustainability Department at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group (https://www.miga.org/). MIGA promotes foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries by providing guarantees (political risk insurance and credit enhancement) to private sector investors and lenders. MIGA’s guarantees protect against non-commercial risks (e.g. civil unrest or government expropriation) and can help investors obtain access to funding sources with improved financial terms and conditions.
As a multilateral development agency, sustainability of the guaranteed project is important, and MIGA can only support investments that meet the Agency’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (https://www.miga.org/Documents/MIGA_Performance_Standards_October_2013.pdf). MIGA’s Environment, Social, and Integrity (MIGEI) unit is responsible for conducting environmental, social, climate change and integrity due diligence of potential projects and monitoring the compliance of projects supported by MIGA guarantees.
As an Environmental and Social (E&S) Intern, I support the E&S specialists to evaluate potential projects. My work primarily consists of performing background research to support early screening of investments that have applied for a MIGA guarantee. To screen investments, I use online tools and databases to identify potential biodiversity issues related to a project’s location. I also conduct contextual risk research, which involves assessing the risks associated with specific sectors in different countries. Understanding a project’s physical, social, and political environment allows members of the E&S team to better assist investors and lenders with creating and maintaining sustainable practices.
This internship is a great opportunity for me, as I am particularly interested in sustainable development and development economics. Working at MIGA will allow me to improve my writing and communication skills and to further my knowledge of developing countries. By the end of my internship with MIGA, I hope to be able to apply what I am learning to my international relations coursework. I am excited to spend the rest of my summer interning at MIGA, familiarizing myself with its work and development impact.