Partnerships in development: Breaking down myths

The International Organization for Migration partners with individuals and the private sector to provide power to communities that are off the grid by providing innovative solar lanterns. Private sector participation in development has grown, but many aid agencies and NGOs still seem to view corporates with mistrust. Photo by: IOM / CC BY-NC-ND

A decade ago, international development insiders suggested that the private sector would play an increasingly pivotal role in the industry in the following 10 years.

Over the past few years, private sector participation in development has indeed grown, not just in scale but also in scope. According to the latest available data from the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity, private giving — which covers philanthropy, remittances and investments — from donor countries to developing nations jumped from $92 billion in 1991 to $680 billion in 2011.

And nearly three-quarters of respondents to a recent Devex Impact survey believe development partnerships will grow even more dramatically in the next decade. This will especially be true if corporates, aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations are able to successfully correct common misperceptions and align their expectations of and goals for cross-sector partnerships.

While 91 percent of survey respondents said business has a positive role to play in development, partnerships between corporates and development organizations are marred with misconceptions that could limit the sustainability and impact of such collaborations.

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About the author

  • Aimee ocampo 400x400

    Aimee Rae Ocampo

    In her role as editor for business insight, Aimee creates and manages multimedia content and cutting-edge analysis for executives in international development. As the manager of Development Insider, Devex's flagship publication for executive members, she is constantly on the lookout for the latest news, trends and policies that influence the business of development.