The private sector is increasingly recognised as playing a crucial role in international development. For example, in terms of financial influence, total Foreign Direct Investment flows from the private sector to developing countries stood at around four times total aid flows in 2010 ($514 billion of FDI, compared with $129 billion of aid).
Businesses have long received government contracts for providing services in developing countries, such as in education and health care, and public-private partnerships can be found across a range of sectors, such as agriculture.
At the same time, businesses are gradually becoming more interested in evaluating and reporting on the impact of their activities on the environment and on the lives of people in the global South.
IDS is exploring these issues through research and policy work. For example:
- Business impact on development – IDS Globalisation Team is exploring how businesses can have a positive impact on development, such as by going beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to incorporate sustainable business practice within core business strategies.
- Philanthropy – We are seeking to understand the growing role of private philanthropic trusts and foundations, including how to integrate the private sector into a post-2015 framework for replacing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
- Agri-food business – We are carrying out research to understand how businesses in the agricultural sector can tackle undernutrition. We use a value chain analysis, which focuses on the stages that connect crops on farms to the food that people eat.
- Innovation and branding – We are exploring the impact of businesses shifting their innovation capabilities from North America to rising powers such as the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and examining whether China can grow global brands.
Our Business and Development Seminar Series brings together experts from the private sector, civil society and academia to debate topical issues such as how businesses operate in conflict zones and how they are influenced by climate policy. Find out how you can attend upcoming events and listen to audio recordings of past seminars online.
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The Search for Stability through Stabilisation: Case Studies from Afghanistan and Nepal
28 May 2013 13:00 to 14:30
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11 June 2013 18:00 to 19:30
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