Private Sector Engagement for Sustainable Development

Lessons from the DAC

image of Private Sector Engagement for Sustainable Development

Members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) are increasingly working with the private sector in development co-operation to realise sustainable development outcomes. To learn from this experience, the DAC introduced a peer learning review on working with and through the private sector in development co-operation. Private Sector Engagement for Sustainable Development: Lessons from the DAC examines the politics, policies and institutions behind private sector engagement, the focus and delivery of private sector engagements, private sector engagement portfolios, effective partnership and thematic issues including risk, leverage and ensuring results. Drawing on the practical experiences of DAC members, the report highlights good practice, provides a typology of private sector engagement and outlines key lessons. It highlights the importance of aligning private sector engagements to overall development co-operation strategies and aid effectiveness principles. It also looks at investing in institutional capacities, developing a suite of flexible mechanisms for private sector engagement, and adopting appropriate systems to monitor, evaluate and report on the results of partnerships with the private sector.

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Partnering for sustainable development

This chapter provides lessons for partnering with different stakeholders in private sector engagements and identifies factors that contribute to successful partnerships. An important overarching message is that the selection of partners in development co-operation should be determined by development objectives and desired results. Depending on goals, partner country governments, CSOs, multilateral organisations, the private sector or a combination of stakeholders may be best placed to realise results. It is helpful to use diverse approaches to private sector engagement that offer opportunities to a range of different types of private sector actors in line with the goals of development co-operation. The chapter also provides lessons on the inclusion of traditional development partners, such as knowledge institutions, CSOs and multilateral organisations, in private sector engagements. The final section of the chapter focuses on lessons for successful partnership. It highlights the need to develop effective mechanisms to attract the right partners, include provisions for scaling success into the initial design of partnerships, ensure alignment of interests, and be inclusive in multi-stakeholder partnerships.


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