The early sponsors of the associations were in agreement that they would reduce their support of the associations as more and more support was received from their members and they reached the point where their membership fees would become sufficient to support their operations. There was the need for institution building and capacity building in terms of publications, training, research, studies and advisory services. The membership grew in the 1970’s and the funding reached a point where it was expected to fully support the need for institution and capacity building. Steps were taken to cut the umbilical cord to the main sponsors, but it was hard to relinquish this dependence and support. While the associations had operational autonomy, they only became fully independent when their offices moved out of their original offices in the buildings of their sponsors. This happened first with ALIDE when it constructed its own headquarters building in 1979. ADFIMI relocated from Jeddah to Istanbul in 1987. It then was the case for ADFIAP when it occupied new quarters in 1989. AADFI moved out of the ADB building to a building in 1993.
The external debt crisis of 1982 had a strong negative effect on the finances of the member institutions of the associations. Membership dues remained outstanding and it became difficult to maintain previously achieved operational levels.
Members also sent fewer of their staff to training activities, which increased the costs per participant. Particularly in the case of AADFI, a large number of members failed to pay dues and AADFI became again more dependent on the support from the African Development Bank, UNDP, EDI and other sponsors. Even ALIDE and ADFIAP, the larger associations in terms of staff, had to restructure and downsize their operations. In the process they had to trim their publications, training and research activities. This paralleled restructuring and diversification trends in their member institutions.
With the external debt crisis of 1982, the justification for development banks was called into question. They have substantially changed during the intervening eighteen years, from 1982 to 2000. They have reaffirmed their importance as agents of development financing and shown, particularly during the Asian financial crisis, that they can be relied upon to provide sounder development financing than their competitors in the banking sector. In this new world of finance, with an new financial architecture emerging, the services to be provided by the associations have also changed.