Working with business to promote development

The development community is increasingly recognising the importance of working with the private sector. Donors and NGOs are looking for new ways to engage directly with business, leveraging public resources and capturing private-sector technical knowledge, in order to achieve development goals.

At the same time, the business community is increasingly interested in understanding, measuring, reporting and leveraging its development impact. Leading businesses want to know how best to invest in local communities and to ensure a more sustainable business model, in order to manage risks and secure a licence to operate in today’s increasingly competitive global environment.
Our research in this area brings together these two contrasting but complementary mindsets to explore:

  • How governments, donors and businesses can work together to promote development goals in particular sectors, such as agriculture, mining and vocational education.
  • The potential role of the private sector in a post-2015 development framework.
  • Innovative private-sector models for development, including social enterprise, impact investment, and inclusive business approaches.
  • The links between the corporate sustainability agenda and the potential for green growth and sustainable development.

ODI runs the Business and Development Exchange (BDX), a multi-year AusAID-funded programme undertaking research and building the evidence base on donor-business partnerships.