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What do we know about the private sectors contribution to development?


  • Margaret Callan

    () (Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)


Business is increasingly seen by international aid agencies as a partner in development. Recommendation 21 of the recent Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness for the Australian Government reflects this: ‘The power of business should be harnessed and business innovation should be encouraged, including through an annual consultative forum.’ The Review also suggested that the aid program consider ‘establishing a mechanism to assist businesses seeking corporate social responsibility and/or inclusive business opportunities in developing countries’. This paper considers what information the private sector currently provides on its development contributions. The key finding is unsurprising: private sector reporting is oriented to serve the needs of business, not that of the development community. The paper suggests ways in which corporate reporting could be strengthened to better reflect the private sector’s role in development. The framework proposed here will be tested in a case study in Papua New Guinea, an outline of which is provided at the conclusion of this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret Callan, 2012. "What do we know about the private sectors contribution to development?," Development Policy Centre Discussion Papers 1211, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:devpol:1211

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee & Alice H. Amsden & Robert H. Bates & Jagdish Bhagwati & Angus Deaton & Nicholas Stern, 2007. "Making Aid Work," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262026155, January.
    2. Andrew Rogerson, 2005. "Aid Harmonisation and Alignment: Bridging the Gaps between Reality and the Paris Reform Agenda," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 23(5), pages 531-552, September.
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    More about this item


    development; private sector;

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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