Broadening Your Horizons: Opportunities at IFI and other Non-Canadian Development Organizations

Session Synopsis:

The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) have received unprecedented budget increases in the last few years - in large part to respond to the global financial crisis. Annual lending by the World Bank has doubled since 2008, and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) lending is up 50%. These increases have translated into a significant increase in IFI-funded consulting opportunities for Canadian international development consultants.

The IFI/donor market now surpasses $200 billion annually and represents huge opportunities for Canadian consultants to diversify their sources of new business. As with CIDA however, securing IFI and other donor-funded contracts requires a solid understanding of the IFIs and the key success factors required to pursue and win the business.

On May 12th, as part of the CAIDC 2011 Annual Conference, join experts from the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC (Office of Liaison with International Financial Institutions), the Inter-American Development Bank, DEVEX and Coral Hill LLC to learn more about:

  • Opportunities with and through the IFIs (i.e., WB/IDB/ADB-as-client vs. country-as-client)
  • The World Bank’s new E-Consultant2 – how, when and why you should register
  • How the IFIs are changing….new trends and implications for consultants
  • The Inter-American Development Bank: How to pursue consulting opportunities
  • Key success factors involved in positioning, pursuing and winning IFI-funded contracts
  • Other development agency opportunities (i.e., UN agencies, DFID, MCC).
  • Support mechanisms available for Canadian consultants pursuing IFI-financed business


There will also be an opportunity to hold one-on-one meetings with the speakers to discuss your individual goals and strategies for expanding your horizons in international development.



Hugh Wilkinson - Speaker: Principal of Coral Hill LLC

Hugh Wilkinson, has been providing specialized consulting and advisory services since 1995 to private and public sector clients for a broad range of international development projects and initiatives. Hugh Wilkinson has worked on assignments in over 25 countries spanning Latin America and the Caribbean, Russia, India, Eastern Europe and Africa. He has also delivered more than 50 IFI procurement training workshops worldwide.  

With 20 years experience in the private and public sectors, Hugh Wilkinson is a specialist in strategic business development, IFI procurement, and the planning, funding and management of international development projects. A former Sr. Commercial Officer at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C (Office for Liaison with International Financial Institutions), he also spent four years as Senior Counsellor in the Office of the Canadian Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Hugh Wilkinson has also been recognized for his work in designing innovative approaches to legal and judicial reform projects. He was the Project Coordinator and lead institutional specialist for a World Bank-funded Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) project in Albania; was a senior consultant on a team designing a Judicial Reform project in India; was Chief of Party for the preparation of a Commercial Court and ADR project in Guyana, and was lead consultant to the IDB for the preparation of a $35 million Justice Administration Reform loan project in Guyana. He has also been involved in several pioneering projects advising private firms on 'Corporate Social Responsibility' (CSR) policy, strategies and related sustainable development programs. He was instrumental in the winning of two 'World Bank Development Marketplace' awards by an international mining group for a broad-reaching CSR project in Southern Africa focused on HIV/AIDS.

A Canadian citizen, Toronto native and a graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business Administration (HBA, 1980), University of Western Ontario, Hugh Wilkinson is a leading global expert in ‘IFI Procurement’ and the strategic pursuit of IFI-funded business. Having worked for the IFIs themselves, for IFI client governments, and for suppliers to the IFI market, he has a unique and multi-faceted perspective on the realities of IFI marketing, project execution, competitive bidding, and procurement.


Amber Germain - Speaker: Trade Commissioner, Office of Liason with International Financial Institutions (OLIFI) 

As the Trade Commissioner for International Financial Institutions (IFIs) based in Washington, DC, Amber Germain provides strategic advice and assistance to Canadian businesses in the pursuit of market opportunities financed by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. In addition to supporting Canadian clients with IFI business development and monitoring trends and program activity at the International Financial Institutions, she also monitors US Government development funds such as the Millenium Challenge Corporation and supports Canadian businesses in pursuing market opportunities emanating from these funds. In her role as OLIFI Trade Commissioner, Ms. Germain works closely with the Canadian Private Sector Liaison Officer (PSLO) Network and coordinates the worldwide OLIFI network of Trade Commissioners in Tunis, Manila and Bridgetown.

Prior to her role with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ms. Germain served as the Director of International Projects for EduNova Co-operative in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she established an international projects office that is actively pursuing and winning IFI-financed contracts.

Ms. Germain has a Masters Degree in International Affairs (Carleton University), a BA Honors in Spanish and Psychology (Queen’s University) and a Masters Certificate in Project Management (Saint Mary’s University).

Amber has worked in fifteen countries on a range of international projects and continues to contribute actively to international development organizations at the board and advisory levels.

Maria Teresa Soto-Aguilar - Speaker: Procurement Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank

M. Teresa Soto-Aguilar is a Procurement Specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Project Procurement, Financial Management and Portfolio Monitoring Division. She has extensive experience advising project teams in the procurement planning and their execution for different sectors development investment projects financed by the IDB in accordance with its Procurement, Policies and Procedures.

A Chilean native and a graduate of American University’s School of Public Affairs in Washington, DC and a Master’s Degree in Maritime Transportation and Management from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers of London, London, UK, her career includes 10 years in the field of procurement for development projects.

For several years she held the position of Secretary of the IDB Project Procurement Committee screening a wide array of procurement requests submitted by Borrowers and protests submitted by firms regarding bidding processes carried out by project executing agencies in IDB borrowing countries. She has represented the IDB for many years by giving public lectures to foreign consulting associations and commercial delegations to guide them in the interpretation of IDB Procurement policies and procedures to participate in competitive bidding opportunities offered by IDB borrowers and beneficiaries.

As part of her work, Ms. Soto-Aguilar is well-informed in the current procurement capacities of the Bank’s borrowers and grant beneficiaries, public and private, in Latin-American; particularly, the Caribbean countries. She has extensive experience participating in drafting guidelines on procurement procedures and processes for the guidance of borrowers, beneficiaries, and IDB staff, and carrying out training in IDB Procurement Policies and procedures.


Alan Robbins - Speaker: Partner, Devex

Devex Partner Alan Robbins is responsible for expanding Devex membership and other services around the world. He works closely with donor agencies, NGOs and companies to ensure Devex is effectively aiding in their own international development missions.

Prior to helping start Devex, Alan was with International Business-Government Counsellors (IBC), where he was Deputy Director of the Washington International Business Council. In that position, he provided information and advisory services for major multi-national corporations designed to assist them in their international business. He was also Deputy Director of the Executive Council on Diplomacy, a non-profit organization designed to foster understanding between the US government and civil society and the foreign diplomatic community in Washington.

Alan holds an master's in International Affairs (International Economics) from The George Washington University and a bachelor's in Political Science and History from Rutgers University. He serves on the Board of Directors as Vice President, Grants and Contributions of the International Consortium of Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM).