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Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals: What role for business?

Research reports

Written by Paula Lucci

Research reports

There appears to be increasing consensus that the private sector has to be more involved than last time in the design and/or implementation of any new development goals, particularly as economic growth, trade and jobs are high on the agenda. Yet discussions on a new post-2015 framework have to date mostly included development practitioners, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and have largely excluded the private sector.

This paper seeks to start filling this gap. How (if at all) can private sector organisations usefully be involved in global and national dialogues on a post-2015 global development framework? What (if any) private sector behaviours and partnerships can be encouraged/discouraged through an MDG global agreement that effectively promotes development? In what ways (if any) can these behaviours be incentivised through a post-2015 agreement?

The paper does not aim to provide the final answers to these questions, but rather seeks to steer debate on these issues. It starts by defining the private sector and describing drivers of business engagement in development, going on to provide examples of recent trends and initiatives. It then concludes by setting out three hypothetical scenarios for private sector engagement in a renewed MDG agreement post-2015, based on ongoing consultations with relevant stakeholders.

Agreeing on a new development framework that reflects shifting global politics, new global challenges and poverty dynamics is undoubtedly a complex challenge, but one that is more likely to be achieved if resources and expertise from different actors are combined and used strategically. Throughout the year, ODI will be convening business and other stakeholders to take this discussion forward and refine the scenarios set out in this paper. For further information, contact [email protected].

Paula Lucci