Partners in Development - How Donors Can Better Engage the Private Sector for Development in LDCs

Published on 31 May 2011 68 pages

Report Summary

This report, prepared by United Nations Global Compact, UNDP and Bertelsmann Stiftung, provides concrete advice how donors and development partners can better engage the private sector for development in the least developed countries.


Donor agencies and the private sector can play an important role in supporting the LDCs to tackle their development challenges. The private sector can be a crucial driver of development and wealth creation by providing employment, income, products, and services. Donors can help improve the business environment by creating enabling conditions and incentives for the private sector to achieve sustained growth. For their part, companies engage with donors in LDCs in order to secure core business goals, improve enabling environments for investments, or maximize reputations through philanthropic activities.


Partnerships between public and private sector allow combining the unique competencies in order to address the special challenges of LDCs. Public-private collaboration holds great promise to advance development in LDCs. Without the involvement of companies, economic and human development cannot be sustainable. However, the approach has yet to prove its potential in LDCs. Difficult market and governance conditions pose significant challenges to companies that seek to invest and thrive in these environments. Donors should intensify their efforts to attract companies willing to engage in development activities within LDCs. Funding is just one factor leading to success. At least as important are improving coordination, planning interventions more strategically, and systematically applying lessons learned from past experience. Where the power of the private and the public sector join forces behind a common goal, development will take place.

UNDP Around the world