Though the importance of its role in realizing a development agenda has been often emphasized, the private sector has not emerged as a full-fledged development partner. The transformation to fullfledged partnership is an imperative as the world prepares to launch on an ambitious new development thrust appropriate to the post-2015 period. Recognizing that, this paper discusses the ways in which the private sector can function as a development partner, the obstacles to its emerging as one, and the interventions needed on the part of different actors at the national and international level to catalyze and ensure this transformation. A first and inevitable step in the transition must be the willingness of the private sector to become part of a global compact to promote employment, ensure minimum labor and environmental standards, and respect human rights. But far more is required of the private sector.
Private agents, especially the corporate sector, must serve to be recognized as full-fledged development partners. This paper examines the way that they can do so, in particular the role that they can play in financing the post-2015 development agenda. Besides contributing by way of taxes that help finance the government’s development effort (and abjuring tax evasion and avoidance), the private sector is seen as an agency that can not only leverage its technical and managerial expertise to bring real resources into play when helping implement the agenda, but also mobilize resources and directly finance its costs in multiple ways. Such financing efforts would require institutional and financial innovations, the advantages and shortcomings of which are explored.
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