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Stepping up the ladder: how business can help achieve the MDGs

Written by Simon Maxwell

Business and development is the topic to watch and work on in 2008, as businesses respond to sustained pressure to contribute to the MDGs. This Opinion outlines the three -- possibly four -- steps to effective engagement of the private sector in efforts to reach the MDGs. First: business engagement int he community. Second: taking corporate social responsibility into the heart of companies. Third: businesses working through every aspect of their activity to see whether development impact can be improved. An emerging fourth step is involving business in global public policy. Business interests do not always coincide with social interests. But interests do not have to be perfectly aligned for a productive partnership to develop. Opportunities must be seized to build new kinds of relationships with the private sector.