Development Co-operation Report 2016

The Sustainable Development Goals as Business Opportunities

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The face of development has changed, with diverse stakeholders involved – and implicated – in what are more and more seen as global and interlinked concerns. At the same time, there is an urgent need to mobilise unprecedented resources to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The private sector can be a powerful promotor of sustainable development. Companies provide jobs, infrastructure, innovation and social services, among others. Increasingly, investments in developing countries – even in the least developed countries – are seen as business opportunities, despite the risks involved. The public sector can leverage the private sector contribution, helping to manage risk and providing insights into effective policy and practice. Yet in order to set the right incentives, a better understanding is needed of the enabling factors, as well as the constraints, for businesses and investors interested in addressing sustainable development challenges.

The Development Co-operation Report 2016 explores the potential and challenges of investing in developing countries, in particular through social impact investment, blended finance and foreign direct investment. The report provides guidance on responsible business conduct and outlines the challenges in mobilising and measuring private finance to achieve the SDGs.  Throughout the report, practical examples illustrate how business is already promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth in developing countries. Part II of the report showcases the profiles and performance of development co-operation providers, and presents DAC statistics on official and private resource flows.  


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Overview: Putting sustainable development at the core of business models

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require funding and co-operation on an unprecedented scale, with the private sector holding a pivotal position. This chapter asks how international co-operation can help to put sustainable development at the core of business models. It looks at why these efforts must focus on the quality as well as the quantity of private sector contributions, responding to the challenges laid out at the beginning of the chapter: making sustainability business as usual; creating conditions for good investment; building global change from the bottom up; ensuring credibility, accountability and transparency; and creating new multi-stakeholder partnerships. The chapter concludes with a set of key recommendations.Challenge piece by Amina Mohammed, former Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning. Opinion pieces by Jim Balsillie, Centre for International Governance Innovation; Olivier De Schutter, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems; Louise Kantrow, International Chamber of Commerce.

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