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Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development

Private Sector Engagement through South-South Cooperation for the Sustainable Development Goals

The role of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) in sustainable development is increasing substantially. In like manner, the private sector’s engagement in sustainable development is growingly contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SSTC is enriching and diversifying development efforts and means through a variety of flexible cooperation modalities, such as knowledge exchanges, technology transfers, mutual learning, peer-to-peer support and innovative financing. The private sector’s engagement can further expand and enhance the outreach of the SSTC.

IICPSD supports companies in tailoring their business models to respond to sustainable development needs by identifying and promoting best practices within the framework of South-South Cooperation to achieve the SDGs.

IICPSD works on harnessing the role of the private sector in SSTC with an aim at enriching and diversifying development efforts through a variety of flexible cooperation modalities, such as knowledge exchanges, technology transfers, mutual learning, peer-to-peer support.

Kevin Ouma / UNDP Kenya

Private sector engagement in development and economic cooperation provides significant impact through its agility, innovative spirit, and efficiency.

Bernardino Soares / UNMIT

When companies engage with low-income communities they can achieve greater financial and social impact.

Inger Haugsgjerd / UNDP Kenya

Inclusive business models engage low-income communities in their value chain as suppliers, distributors, employees, retailers or customers

Mónica Suarez Galindo / UNDP Peru

IICPSD provides evidence-based research to identify private sector led good practices to be replicated and scaled-up in LDCs and emerging markets through utilizing the South-South and Triangular Cooperation with an aim at enriching and diversifying development efforts through a variety of flexible cooperation modalities, such as knowledge exchanges, technology transfers, mutual learning, peer-to-peer support.

Our Work

Under this thematic area, IICPSD focuses on three main sub-themes:

      I.         Promotion of Best Practices in Private Sector

The SDGs acknowledge that private sector has a major role to play in the pursuit of Agenda 2030, due to its strengths in terms of growth, job creation, innovative capacity in addition to its financial and technical resources. Private sector engagement in development and economic cooperation provides significant impact through its agility, innovative spirit, and efficiency. The increased cooperation between the countries of the Global South is reflected on the FDI levels, as the outflows of FDI between the developing countries has increased in the recent years, becoming an important contributor to development in the emerging markets.[1] 

Recognizing the high capacity of countries like Turkey, Singapore, Korea, IICPSD will work with the other UNDP Global Centers including the UNDP Seoul Policy Center, the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development and other key stakeholders including the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation to promote the private sector led good practices through identifying and replicating successful models that address development challenges in regions where they are needed the most.

     II.         Inclusive Business

Inclusive business models engage low-income communities in their value chain as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers while providing solutions to global challenges. Companies benefit from providing access to new markets, generating new profit areas, and fueling innovations and productivity. Many companies collaborate with non-traditional partners, including non-profits and governmental organizations to engage with low-income communities, for greater financial and social impact.

IICPSD supports companies in tailoring their business models to respond to development needs by raising private sector awareness around development challenges. Realizing the mutual benefit of inclusive business for both the disadvantaged and the private sector, IICPSD conducts research, advances regional value chains and supports governments in creating better policies that foster an enabling environment for inclusive business practices.

UNDP IICPSD and the World Bank developed an Inclusive Business Framework under the leadership of G20 Turkish Presidency, to promote government support and creation of business activities that help low-income communities, following the endorsement by the G20 countries in 2015, which represented 80 percent of the world economy. A global platform has been launched to support national policies and policy makers. IICPSD continues to provide support to G20 Presidencies to consolidate Inclusive Business as a key modality. Most importantly, the Center provides ‘Operational Guidance’ to governments, business companies and investors to identify Inclusive Businesses more effectively and consistently.

IICPSD hosts a global initiative on inclusive business – Business Call to Action (BCtA), which challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that engage the BoP as consumers, producers, suppliers, distributors of goods and services and employees. A total of 257 member companies, ranging from multinationals to social enterprises, and working 73 countries have responded to the BCtA by committing to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions in developing countries through access to markets, financial services, affordable healthcare, water and sanitation, education and other critical services.

IICPSD also carries out Business+ studies on inclusive business models in focus countries. Previous studies include the Business+ study in Turkey, Brazil, and the Philippines. This Business+ methodology aims to analyse the state of inclusive business in countries and provides specific recommendations which could be useful for policymakers, business leaders and development practitioners in their efforts to advance inclusive business practices and the role of the private sector in development.

  III.         Harnessing the Role of Private Sector for Inclusive Urbanization

The UNDP Urban Strategy highlights sustainable urbanization as setting the right policies to ensure that no one is left behind, every person enjoys the benefits of urban growth and has access to infrastructure and social services. This strategy focuses on the needs of the urban poor and other vulnerable groups for safe environments, housing, decent work and education Local governments and municipalities are crucial institutions for the urbanization process.  They can benefit from engaging the private sector to develop capacities in procurement, contract management, professional and often unionized labor management and finance and operating budgets to provide better services .The collaboration of the actors both public and private sector, can help tackling with urbanization challenges to provide inclusion in cities This engagement can take place in a wide variety of ways and operate at different levels. The business models to engage the private sector can be Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) at the national level and Municipal Enterprises (MEs) at the local level. To respond to the challenges, IICPSD, under its Harnessing the Role of Private Sector for Inclusive Urbanization portfolio, provides evidence-based research to identify good practices to be replicated and scaled-up in LDCs and emerging markets through South- South and Triangular Cooperation. The Center also offers technical assistance and capacity building activities and builds multi-stakeholder partnerships to engage and harness private sector in leveraging sustainable, inclusive and resilient cities.

IICPSD’s MELA Training Program, structured as a rigorous technical modular seminar, aims to help Local Authorities to encourage and support the development of municipal enterprises to create and leverage the capacity while creating an ecosystem for attracting other private sector to provide sustainability, resilience and inclusion in basic municipal service delivery. The training program is tailor made for the hosting country with fundamental training modules for inclusive urbanization. MELA was first launched online  for local authorities in Turkey and then after conducted  for local authorities of  Palestine, Azerbaijan, Albania and Ecuador.

With an aim at leveraging the SSTC and maximize its impact on sustainable development. IICPSD will continue its effort to raise awareness on the role of private sector for inclusive urbanization by conducting its MELA training program for the local authorities in the global south.