The new international strategy for Communities Outreach Division was developed to expand the scope of the programme from education, health and capacity building to entrepreneurship, innovation and Islamic finance. The areas of focus are also anchored in the P5P and the Bank’s 10YR strategy. 

Over the years, the Communities Outreach Division for NMCs (previously known as Special Assistance Division) played a key role in promoting socio-economic development of Muslim Communities and building IsDB’s image to the outside world, especially in Non-member countries (NMCs). 

To achieve the P5P and fulfil the IsDB’s ambition in this rapidly technologically changing world, it is important to find innovative solutions to enhance the IsDB’s support to Muslim minority communities in NMCs and to build collaboration with global partners in a number of NMCs. This requires coherent and sustained approaches which can enable Muslim minority communities to contribute meaningful progress towards sustainable human development and inclusion in their countries. 

Against that backdrop, it became imperative to formulate international strategy for Communities Outreach Division which can tap into and unleash the potentials of Muslim minority communities in NMCs to actively contribute to inclusive growth in their countries, in line with the IsDB’s new vision and priorities: Partnerships, Value Chains and Islamic Finance. 

The following reasons outline why it is important to drive IsDB’s activity in non-member countries: 

  • Support the people of the Ummah across the world 
  • Show IsDB is playing leadership role in the global community 
  • Build new innovative, collaborative partnerships with globally recognized institutions 
  • Leverage capital from private sector to plug the funding gap 
  • Contribute to the strength and cohesion of multi-faith communities 
  • Showcase Islamic finance as a tool for development globally 
  • Ensure transparency over the projects and IsDB finances 

The international strategy fits in the context of current major global debates. 

  • Growing youth populations 
  • Hostility to refugees and rise of right-wing groups 
  • Fear or ignorance of Islam 
  • Migration crisis 
  • Push for women’s rights 


The objective of the Strategy is to enhance the socio-economic development of the Muslim minority communities in non-member countries in a way that helps them to be productive citizens in their countries and pave the way for inclusive development. 

The strategy will embark on two twin tracks to achieve the objective. 

Twin Track Approach

Boost visibility with decision makers and stakeholders at senior level.

Boost impact and soft skills with community at a grassroots level.

The Islamic Development Bank is multilateral development bank (MDB), working to improve the lives of those we serve by promoting social and economic development in Member Countries and Muslim communities worldwide, delivering impact at scale. We provide the infrastructure to enable people to lead better lives and achieve their full potential.

Target Audiences

Our target audiences are quite large and diverse: 

Peer Groups

  • MDBs
  • Global Institutions
  • NGOs
  • Global Foundations


  • Heads of State
  • Finance Ministers
  • Development Ministers
  • Think Tanks

Private Sector

  • Capital Markets
  • Purpose led Businesses
  • Impact Funds
  • Ethical Investors


  • Refugees
  • Women
  • Youth

Recognizing the most vulnerable Muslim communities are Women, Youth and Refugees, the following framework displays the importance of reaching them with innovative solutions to ensure that the community is well equipped with the tools they need to play an active role in their countries. 

Areas of Focus

  • Education
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Islamic Finance

High Level

  • Global Summits: UNGA, DAVOS, WEF, World Bank Meetings
  • IsDB Owned Events: SUKUK Summit, PPP Forum, Transformers Summit
  • Workshop and Training Classes
  • Publish Data Insight Reports
  • Partnerships with private sector and NGOs


  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Training centres
  • Community Charities
  • Tech Networks
  • Science Courses
  • Science Clubs
  • IsDB Scholarship Alumni
  • Business Groups
  • Support Networks
  • Vocational Training
  • Charities

Above: Transformers Summit 2018, Cambridge UK

The above provides the sense of direction that the Bank needs to go from the traditional model of Special Operations/Communities Outreach, focusing on schools building to empowering communities through education, innovation, entrepreneurship and Islamic Finance, i.e, enabling people to fulfil their potential for their society and their economy and focusing on young people, women and refugees. 

One of the features of international strategy is to have IsDB Embassies (satellite offices) in NMCs. The reasons are among others: 

  • Create an embassy network to enable the programme to grow its footprint and impact in NMCs. 
  • Having a base in the country helps demonstrate the IsDB’s commitment as a globally operating organization. ▪ Work with local governments 
  • Offer IsDB staff placements 
  • Host events and workshops 
  • Cultivate network 
  • Activate your SDG Scholars students 

The Plan

The following map shows the plan for the IsDB Embassies in five years’ time (Years 1-5): 

Areas of Focus


Provide access to and improve quality of education facilities and learning contents for Muslim minority communities in non-member countries.


Provide access to and improve quality and service delivery of health facilities/centers.


Support the next generation of business leaders to develop their ideas and skills into business and become economic agents for change.

Capacity Development

Empower community through Capacity Building Initiatives (e.g., women empowerment, teacher training and leadership training).


Linking Education to Science and Technology, and supporting science programmes.

Islamic Finance

Enhance the development of the community through Islamic Finance (e.g., provision of experts, training and tools).