An important study of the first fifty years of development banking (Kapur/Lewis/Webb) concludes that the aspect in which development banks have least fulfilled their functions was to build their profile with the public and to make the importance of their role generally known and understood. That profile had been defined by their governments for them when there was still development planning and every developing country had a five-year plan. Development banks have now stepped out from under their governments’ umbrellas and they had to create and project their image themselves to the public and stand in the open during good weather and bad.
Today this open environment requires an effective use of the media and of the internet. Publications, videos, compact disks and websites are needed to project the image, mission and functions of development banks. The regional development bank associations can fill the new needs and where they need to collaborate under the umbrella of the World Federation of Development Financing Institutions (WFDFI) to achieve this objective. To have a strong voice at the regional level, but also to have a clear voice at the international level, is becoming vital for surviving in the Twenty-First Century. This is the different role they have to assume for assuring the success of private and public development banks in the financing of development in the future.