Do you wish to make an active contribution to creating public infrastructure in a DRIVE country by offering your solution for an infrastructural problem? Does your project proposal stimulate a good business climate and the development of that country's private sector?
Facilitating investments in infrastructural projects
With DRIVE the Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitates investments in infrastructural projects that contribute towards a good business climate and entrepreneurship in the area of water, climate, food security and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Projects must be supportive of, and built on the Dutch agenda for aid, trade and investment, for instance by joining initiatives that have already been developed as part of Dutch development policy.
Overall objective of DRIVE
The overall objective of DRIVE is to contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries. DRIVE supports investments in expansion and/or quality improvement of public infrastructure, which improve the development of the private sector by promoting entrepreneurship, productivity, employment opportunities, and lifting wages.
DRIVE is open for application from companies across the globe unless the country where the company is located and the sector in which it operates are subject to UN or EU sanctions. Entrepreneurs who wish to qualify for a public infrastructure construction contract in one of the DRIVE countries may submit applications for DRIVE.
DRIVE promotes investments in public infrastrucuture which contribute to private sector development in the following priority sectors: food security, water, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and climate. Public infrastructure with high development relevance in other sectors also can apply for DRIVE support.
To qualify for DRIVE, the project and your company should adhere to the following selection criteria:
- The project demonstrably contributes to private sector development. By improving the business climate, people are enabled to start up an entrepreneurship whereby employment and productivity increase. The project thereby enables people to better provide for themselves.
- You undertake to comply with the OECD Guidelines on International Corporate Social Responsibility (ICSR) for multinationals when implementing projects. These guidelines clearly set out what the Dutch government expects of businesses in their international activities.
- The project fits the policy objectives of the target country or region.
- The project meets the needs of the targeted end-users.
- Your company demonstrably has the expertise, is reliable, has financial standing and stability for carrying out the project.
Submitting a project proposal
The application procedure consists of three subsequent steps. We strongly advise you to first fill out a Quick Scan.
For the period 2017 a commitment budget of 150 million euros is available. The budget is fixed each year by means of publication in the Government Gazette. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) deals with applications in order of submission, based on the date of receipt of a complete application. Projects are sized between 5 million and 60 million euros (including financing costs).
Types of financial support
The financial DRIVE support can include:
- A grant up front together with a commercial loan (the total financing needs to be concessional)
- A 100% commercial loan made concessional by paying the cost of the loan (interest, premiums, insurance) with DRIVE subsidy
- The same as the previous one, but when not enough to reach the minimum level of concessionality, DRIVE can also contribute for a part of the loan itself
The subsidy is based on the DRIVE country's income category (OECD-DAC classification). The subsidy is expressed as a percentage of the nominal value of the loan for the financing of the DRIVE project. This percentage is at least 10% for Upper-Middle Income Countries (UMIC), 15% for Lower-Middle Income Countries (LMIC), and 45% for Least Developed Countries (LDC).
All financing costs (such as interest, premiums, insurance) have to be included in the project budget. DRIVE does not cover the operation and maintenance costs. However, DRIVE wants to ascertain that the projected infrastructure will be sustainable in the long run. For this reason, an O&M Plan needs to be submitted during the DRIVE intake procedure.
Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) commissions DRIVE on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
DRIVE and D2B
Both DRIVE and D2B are programmes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at promoting development related public infrastructure in countries a specified on a list of eligible countries. Whereas most countries on the D2B list are Least Developed Countries, the DRIVE list includes also Lower-Middle Income Countries and Upper-Middel Income Countries.
Other important differences are the target group, the project phase, and the financing. DRIVE is open to companies wanting to participate in a tender for the realisation of public infrastructure. It facilitates the financing of projects through subsidies, guarantees and loans, which can be awarded after an intake and assessment procedure, when both companies and projects fulfill all DRIVE requirements. On the other hand, D2B provides grants to local governments for the development of project plans for public infrastructure with high development relevance. D2B projects are identified by RVO in consultation with a.o. Dutch Embassies in the countries of the D2B list.
- Publication Gazette, Publication date June 16, 2015 (in Dutch)
- Unofficial translated policy rules DRIVE (publication date June 3, 2015)