The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) commissioned this background paper to help distill for our membership CSO analyses and perspectives on aid and the private sector, provide a framework on donor approaches to engaging the private sector, and identify key concerns relating to development effectiveness. This backgrounder provides an overview of recent civil society papers on
donor engagement with the private sector as a partner in development and draws from scholarly papers where appropriate. As a desk review, it does not draw on explicit evidence from the field.
It draws on the overview of trends, issues and analyses presented in the literature to frame a range of policy recommendations proposed by civil society on this issue. From these, CPDE as a platform can establish its own nuanced position.
The paper begins with an overview of which private sector are we talking about and the emerging international consensus on the role of the private sector in development (sections 1.0 and 2.0) and the motivations behind donors’ preoccupation with partnerships (section 3.0). It discusses the approaches and partnership modalities pursued by donors and looks at the types of private sector actors they seek to engage (section 4.0). The paper finishes by raising key issues regarding donors’ engagement with the private sector (section 5.0).