Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Private Sector in Development: For Profit or for Rights?

The Slovenian NGDO platform – SLOGA is currently analysing the role of the private sector in Slovenia as part of a project led by the Center for Economic Development (CED) - a think tank based in Bulgaria. The project is being implemented in 10 different newer EU-Member States. By June 2013, an overview about the role of the private sector in development (PSD), based on the description of experiences, is planned for each country.

The private sector is not a new actor in development cooperation policies or in partner country societies. It has been around for decades as a local societal actor, as a procurer of goods or services or as an external player - having a positive or negative impact on the lives of people living in development countries.

The change now is that the EU’s new development policy – the Agenda for Change - places a high focus on economic growth as means to deliver development. This Agenda pushes the private sector even more to the center of the development debate, yet struggles to ensure sustainability and tackle increasing inequality. EU governments are also looking more and more at the private sector to leverage the limited development funds available and bridge the increasing finance and investment gap.

In December 2012, CONCORD organised a conference on the topic of PSD (more information here). At this event, participants who were predominantly representatives from EU15 (EU-Member States before the enlargement in 2004 and 2007) and EU-wide networks, pointed out that due to the austerity measures and gradual reduction of ODA the role of the private sector in development assistance might become more and more important, but would also need strong supervision not to destroy highly developed ODA standards.

Information provided by Marjan Huc, SLOGA; Source: CONCORD 

No comments: