'An immense evolution' for the private sector and aid

“Economic development has to be homegrown like democracies have to be homegrown,” Vidar Helgesen tells Devex associate editor Richard Jones.

Development aid has seen a massive shift in the past two decades, with remittances, trade, investment and a growing role for the private sector, said Vidar Helgesen, minister and chief of staff at the Office of the Prime Minister of Norway in this #DemocracyMatters interview.

“We’ve seen how corporate social responsibility 10 years ago was a do-gooder side show in most businesses. Today, human rights compliance is a boardroom matter,” he said.

Norway has given priority to private sector development, Helgesen said. “We have to realize that while development aid is important, it will never create economic development. … [It] has to be homegrown like democracies have to be homegrown.”

Watch the above clip to learn more about cultural obstacles in global development and ways to bring citizens on board in accountability efforts.

Democracy Matters is a global conversation hosted by Devex, in partnership with International IDEA, to discuss accountability as a central element of deepening democracy. Visit the campaign site and join the conversation using #DemocracyMatters.

About the author

  • Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a former copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

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