Memorandum submitted by the UNDP
1. What can the private sector do to alleviate
1.1 Development is by nature multi-dimensional
and the development process is a holistic course of action that
requires strategic and integrated interventions to ensure that
the eventual solutions address the causes rather than recommend
ad hoc cures.
1.2 Economic growth and sound macroeconomic
policies are necessary but not sufficient conditions for sustainable
human development and meeting the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs). To make a real difference in the quality of the life of
the people at the base of the pyramid, the economic growth has
to be efficient, sustainable and most importantly, equitable.
Accordingly, quality of growth
is as important as the quantum and pace of growth. High quality
growth is grounded in human rights and justice (including for
future generations) and builds upon participation, transparency
and human empowerment.
1.3 There is a consensus in the development community
on the important role of the private sector in economic growth,
job creation and contribution to poor people's incomes. The Monterrey
Consensus highlights the necessity to engage the private sector
as a prerequisite for poverty alleviation. The UN Millennium
Project Report urges the private sector to play a central
role in reducing income poverty through inclusive and sustainable
economic growth, while encouraging governments to provide the
enabling environment for them to do so. In highlighting the need
for new partnerships to tackle global challenges and achieve globally
agreed priorities, the Report of the Panel of Eminent Persons
on United Nations-Civil Society relations, underscores the need
to connect the local with the Global and the critical role of
non state actors as partners in policy making and decision making.
Accordingly, the report points out the need for the UN to strengthen
its relationship with the private sector.
1.4 While a vibrant domestic private sector is
a sine qua non for achieving the MDGs and ensuring equitable
development, with increasing globalization, the traditional role
of the State is changing significantly. Since the poor interact
with the private sector both as consumers and as entrepreneurs,
private sector is progressively playing an important role in delivering
goods and services for development including in undertaking activities
for poverty alleviation. The UN's Commission on the Private Sector
and Development in its Report
asserts that the "savings, investment and innovation that
lead to development are undertaken largely by private individuals,
corporations and communities." Simultaneously, civil society
organizations are vital to bring about participatory and accountable
approaches to meet the MDGs and improve the quality of life of
the poor. Recognizing the critical role of governments in creating
foundations for a healthy and dynamic private sector, the Commission
advocates the need to develop innovative partnerships models (between
government, multinational companies, local companies and civil
society) to harness resources and capacity of the private sector
to benefit national development. Also emphasized is the need to
develop capacity and skills at local and national levels including
those for entrepreneurs working for the bottom of the pyramid.
1.5 An efficient private sector requires sound
domestic macro environment including trade policies and institutional
foundations and adequate capacity that maximize the benefits from
the macro global environment as well as distributional equity.
This is the basis for public private partnerships (PPP) as a preferred
instrument for domestic private sector development. The central
role of the private sector does not in any way diminish the role
of public governance. An enlightened and strong State is not only
a prerequisite for a vibrant domestic private sector but also
for harnessing its strength for equitable development.
1.6 An effective approach envisions a strategic
partnership of the government with the private sector as well
as the civil society with each sector actively participating in
delivering national priorities by bringing proportional resources
to the process and sharing relative responsibilities for equitable
and efficient development of the domestic private sector.
Also, partnership with the private sector is no longer simply
about mobilization of resources; it is also about learning from
its wealth of knowledge about entrepreneurship, management skills
and global networking.
1.7 The private sector is keen to harmonize private
interest with public interest. Increasingly, the private sector
is promoting new approaches to "convert the poverty into
an opportunity for all concerned," including the poor people
and the private sector companies. In partnership with "the
poor" the private sector can motivate win-win entrepreneurial
scenarios that while being profitable improve the conditions of
the people living at the margin.
It is the inclusive partnerships and a shared agenda between small
and large firms, governments at all levels, civil society and
the development agencies that will unlock such opportunities.
At the same time it is to be ensured that state and public policies
work, and that necessary regulation for creating greater equity
is in place and it works.
2. Constraints on the private sector in developing
countries - Removal of barriers to make domestic private sector
2.1 UNDP's experience
informs us that lack of adequate capacity and the absence of innovative
partnerships and business models, of a policy environment to facilitate
cooperation and partnerships between public and private actors
and access to financing, of safety net mechanisms and basic services
are barriers to private sector development. Also, while a high
internal rate of return is necessary, it is not a sufficient condition
for the success of domestic business. Non-economic barriers, consisting
of inadequate policies, institutions, legal frameworks, insufficient
knowledge among developers and lack of innovative and development
oriented financial institutions are major constraints to attracting
and sustaining private sector investment. Economic development
stalls when governments do not uphold the rule of law which provides
a solid foundation for a robust private sector.
2.2 The conditions vary -- depending on the
composition of the existing private sector, annual economic growth
and institutional capacities. Accordingly, while the conceptual
approach for developing the domestic private sector to contribute
towards meeting the MDGs is common, specific interventions have
to be tailored to the needs of individual countries. In addition,
the private sector needs significant substantive support from
the development community to define win-win interventions. Public
investments are crucial for "private based economy"
to allow the private sector to create employment and sustain long
term economic growth. In the absence of adequate infrastructure,
health services, education, market forces alone can accomplish
2.3 An absence of efficient, transparent and
participatory policies, mechanisms, and institutions in the developing
countries can increase transaction costs and present major barriers
to the implementation of public private partnerships. Furthermore,
access to finance and skills and knowledge is an imperative for
entrepreneurship and the private sector to flourish in an economy.
In addition to having strong financial institutions, adequate
skills and capacity - with an emphasis on women and youth - are
critical for sustained economic growth, and central to the start-up,
growth and productivity of firms. The policy environment therefore
must permit access to finance, risk management tools, and knowledge
base, and provide opportunities for capacity development and strengthening
2.4 Micro, small and medium enterprises
define the local private sector in poorer communities. These enterprises
employ a large portion of the labor force, often as "survivalist"
employment and in the informal economy. In several of these countries
40% of the economy is informal. And women constitute the majority
of micro-entrepreneurs in these informal economies.
These enterprises operate outside the legal system with weak capacity
and limited market information that not only contributes to their
low productivity but also act as barriers to growth. Also, they
lack access to financing and long-term capital leading to uncertainty
and lack of sustainability.
A combination of heavy regulation and weak property rights further
constrains the poor from doing business in their countries. In
order to create business opportunities for the people at the bottom
of the pyramid and to "do greater business with the poor",
governments have to create enabling conditions and reforms for
the formal economy and to level the playing field to reduce informality
in the economy.
Also, the poor people have to be empowered to take advantage of
their currently "dead capital".
2.5 The policy reforms and capacity
development issues relating to informal economies cover a broad
set of issues ranging from land titling and property rights, common
property resources and management, labor markets, social safety
net mechanisms and security, access to credits and women's legal
rights. Critical to addressing the issue of informality is defining
innovative approaches that would lead to creation of entrepreneurs
while generating long term assets and institutions to enforce
2.6 However, reducing informality
in the private sector should be managed with caution and diligence.
In the absence of a well developed rule of law, mechanisms that
ensure accountability, transparent enforcement institutions and
other enabling conditions that are able to translate the benefits
to the private entrepreneurs of being in the formal sector, the
transition process should be handled incrementally, creatively
and strategically to mitigate the risks and harm to the livelihoods
of the new entrepreneurs it set out to help.
2.7 Policy reforms accompanied by
capacity and skills building can lead to significant benefits.
The payoffs from reform in these areas are significant. Macroeconomic
reforms can also assist in providing greater market access to
the people who require it. A hypothetical improvement to the top
quartile of countries on the ease of doing business can provide
up to 2% points more annual economic growth.
3. Donor Interventions that leverage
changing the business climate towards PSD: Strategy for PSD and
3.1 A significant amount of work
is required to be undertaken at the country level and by the private
sector to ensure that partnership efforts are translated efficiently
in to livelihoods creation, fulfilling the MDGs and sustaining
development beyond. The challenge of domestic private sector development
has to be addressed from the perspective of capacity development
(human, institutional and system-wide), enabling environment and
good governance. Additionally, the interventions should address
issues relating to reducing informality, access to financing and
risk management (viz., microfinance, micro-insurance,
etc.), providing access to skills and training for facilitating
roles for the contribution of the international and domestic private
sectors in helping countries to realize the MDGs,
catalyzing and brokering public private partnerships (PPPs) for
delivery of basic services,
and mobilizing PPPs for creation of micro-entrepreneurs,
including in post disaster recovery and rehabilitation processes.
3.2 Private sector development through
public private partnerships should catalyze access to basic goods
and services by the poor people and communities and strengthen
livelihoods while promoting gender equity. There is a compelling
need for reforms aimed at the smaller scale indigenous enterprises,
viz., micro and small enterprises that in most developing countries
are the primary engine of job creation and domestic commerce.
These demand based participatory interventions should be grounded
in partnerships with the private sector and civil society, aim
to facilitate economic and governance reforms, and develop capacity,
skills and knowledge to provide policy analysis and networking
3.3 Based on the Outcome Document of the 2005
Summit in September, the governments have committed to develop
comprehensive frameworks to achieve the MDGs before the end of
2006. It provides an outstanding opportunity to build the necessary
links between private sector development and the PRS process and
ensure that PSD is an integral component of the national planning
and critical to overall effectiveness of development policies
and aid resources. Based on a forward looking analysis of global
development trend and a preliminary assessment of the main lessons
learned and results of UNDP's ongoing activities and demand from
the developing countries, the activities can be classified as
3.A. Improving the environment for private sector
development and private investment
3.A.1 Interventions under this category could encompass
the state of governance, macroeconomic and microeconomic policies,
public finances, financial systems including social security and
other basic elements of the policy environment that are largely
determined by the domestic decision makers. It is anticipated
that good governance structure, enabling environment, and directed
capacity development with and emphasis on women and youth, achieved
in a participatory manner will lead to reforms that bring about
institutional strengthening and frameworks to unleash and foster
the private sector.
3.A.2 Accordingly, the interventions would build
upon knowledge base and experience in areas relating to democratic
governance, enhancing equity, decentralization and local governance
including transparency, accountability, access to justice, and
public administration and civil service reform. The efforts would
focus on strengthening the enabling environment including transformation
of the informal sector, supported by transparent rules and legislation,
incentives, accountability mechanisms and simplified access to
financial and other resources.
3.A.3 The experience of the Special Unit for
South-South Partnerships (SUSSP) of UNDP indicates that access
to financial services is the key for the development of small
and medium enterprises (SMEs). The strategies and approaches are
country based as well as region specific; for instance, while
different strategies have been used in Africa and Asia to make
financial resources and services available for the development
of SMEs, there is significant opportunity for the countries in
the regions to learn from each other.
3.B. Innovative PPP models for
supporting entrepreneurs and small enterprise development
3.B.1 Domestic private sector development
is based on unleashing the potential of the private sector and
entrepreneurship in developing countries as well as engaging the
existing private sector nationally and internationally in meeting
that challenge. It is through PPP that the developing countries
can create employment and income growth as well as improve the
quality of life for the poor. The PPP is based on sharing of resources,
and rewards for potential delivery of the service and/or facility.
It is therefore critical to look far beyond the contributions
of the private sector that take the form of Corporate Social Responsibility
(CSR) alone however important and welcome that always
will be. In fact the CSR contributions must lead to outcomes that
provide tangible and sustainable basis for strengthening the domestic
3.B.2 Development partnerships,
like PPPs represent a new model in development cooperation.
There is growing evidence from the developed countries, where
PPP mechanisms have been used for government procurement and finance,
that they actually do deliver better value. However, the scope
of what can be done in PPP in developing countries is much wider
and it is expected that such partnerships will be an enduring
feature of domestic private sector development as well as government
procurement. Given the diverse interpretations and definitions
of PPP it is important to develop a coherent demand based framework
for meeting the MDGs while complying with the recommendations
of UN Reforms exercise.
3.B.3 However the importance of
this kind of development partnerships is not yet matched by capacity
at the national levels to develop and successfully manage them.
In part, this is because such partnerships will be determined
after assessment of the types of partnerships that will work best
in different circumstances.
Also, such development partnerships will work best if the national
planning processes are interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral. Interventions
under this component could therefore seek to build upon successful
models that can be replicated and/or taken to scale, validate
new models and explore out-of-the-box opportunities that will
provide business opportunities in bottom-of-the-pyramid markets.
It is anticipated that the activities will lead to sustainable
delivery of basic services, facilitate access to broader financing
and market based safety net options, and assist in building skills
and knowledge development. Such interventions could lead to creation
of demand based PPP Development Facilities (PDF) at national and/or
local levels and ensure equitable, viable and sustainable partnerships
for PSD at the bottom of the pyramid.
3.C. Creation of knowledge products and Networking
3.C.1 There is a critical need for
a coherent structure and provision of real time information and
knowledge for private sector development. Knowledge sharing and
networking including learning are intrinsic to an effective and
credible private sector development strategy. Interventions could
aim to provide a knowledge sharing and networking platform to
regularly provide global inventory of lessons, good practices,
new information, and cutting edge knowledge, and guidance to advance
private sector development as an integrated planning strategy
for national planning priorities. Information could be shared
through mail-groups, workshops and other initiatives to promote
peer interaction and mutual support as well as build upon, complement
and partner ongoing activities and actors.
3.C.2 It would also include guidance manuals,
diagnostic tools and user-friendly implementation toolkits that
can catalyze, at the national level, public private partnerships
for pursuing business opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid
markets as well as for sustainable delivery of basic services.
The toolkits would provide concrete demand driven program frameworks
for PPP and private sector development.
3.C.3 While promoting advocacy and communication
strategies to engage diverse stakeholders in the partnerships
would be an important component, the knowledge management platform
would also promote peer to peer learning and facilitate South-South
transfer of knowledge, skills and relevant resources for PSD and
PPPs. South-South Cooperation has taken on a special importance
over the last few years, especially within the context of the
increasing weight many developing countries are gaining in the
global economy and the benefits accrued by the sharing of experiences
and peer review.
4. How is the Private Sector engaging in development?
As a follow up to the "Unleashing Entrepreneurship",
nearly fifty UNDP country offices are engaged in activities relating
to private sector development. Selected Examples from UNDP's
of new Products and Markets: UNDP, Allianz and GTZ partnership
for creation of demand based micro-insurance products;
of goods and services for creation of micro-entrepreneurship as
a part of the recovery process following a natural disaster: UNDP,
UNF and The Coca Cola Company partnership to provides community
based sustainable water and sanitation services to selected Tsunami
with business to help address entrepreneurial solutions to poverty
by addressing challenges at relevant points in the investment
cycle to reduce the risks and associated investment costs: UNDP's
Growing Sustainable Business Initiative
poverty through public-private partnerships in poor cities throughout
the developing world by enhancing access of the urban poor to
basic services such as water, sanitation, solid waste management
and energy through inclusive partnerships between local government,
business and communities. UNDP's initiative on Public-Private
Partnerships for the Urban Environment (PPPUE).
the creation of a "Private Sector Advisory Board" under
the aegis of the High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of
the Poor. The private sector representatives from the developed
and developing countries and spanning the spectrum of private
sector constituents will assist in translating the Commission's
recommendations in to field based activities. UNDP and UNECE.
of entrepreneurship, assistance and linkages between businesses
(micro, small , medium and large firms) and both, domestic and
international markets through business development services and
access to finance, viz., Enterprises Africa, African Management
Services Company (AMSCO), Mongolia Enterprise, Business Incubator
Initiative (Bulgaria). UNDP Regional Bureaux, UNDP Country Offices
and local private sector in respective regions and countries.
- CSR Related:
Working with Global Compact and its members to set up national
platforms for public policy dialogue and partnerships building.
UNDP HQ and UNDP Country offices.
155 The use of equity compared to pro poor endorses
lack of dichotomy between pro poor and pro rich growth. Sustainable
growth by definition must be equitable and therefore "pro
poor." Please also refer to UNDP Policy Note: The Role
of Economic Policies in Poverty Reduction. 2002. Back
For instance, redirecting resources to the sectors in which the
poor work, the areas in which they live and/or the factors of
production that they possess, the emphasis being on raising the
productivity of the poor. Back
"Unleashing Entrepreneurship- Making Business Work for
the Poor" Back
For the developing countries, the PPP model must address the needs
of the poor and the disadvantaged, reduce their vulnerabilities
and generate equitable economic growth and development. The Millennium
Project's analysis has found that small amounts of money well
targeted to improve basics like water access; infrastructure education,
etc. can help to reduce the extreme poverty. Back
The world's fastest growing market now, it argues, is at the "bottom
of the pyramid." With nearly four billion people living
on less than US$1500/year, the opportunities for the private sector
are sizeable. Back
UNDP PSD Tool Kit (Draft, First Phase); also refer to www.results.undp.org Back
Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor,
UNDP, 2004, pp10-12 Back
In the Philippines, women own 44% of the micro enterprises, more
than 80% in rural areas. In Zimbabwe women run the majority (67%)
of enterprises and small enterprises. Unleashing Entrepreneurship.
Richer countries see far less informal and much more small and
medium enterprise activity. Back
The policy reforms and capacity development issues relating to
informal economies cover a broad set of issues ranging from land
titling and property rights, common property resources and management,
labor markets, social safety net mechanisms and security, access
to credits and women's legal rights. Concept Note. High Level
Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor. Launched by Nordic
Countries. Olav Kjorven Back
It refers to informal assets that even though being significant,
cannot be used as collateral to obtain loans. De Soto, Hernando.
The Mystery of Capital. Black Swan. 2000. UK Back
Doing Business in 2005: Removing Obstacles to Growth. The World
Bank. 2004 Back
UNDP, Allianz and GTZ. Terms of Reference. Microinsurance: Demand
& Market Prospects: India, Indonesia, and Laos. January 2005 Back
UNDP. Remittances Roundtable Summary: next Steps. January 2006. Back
Public Private Partnerships for Urban Environment (PPPUE); http://pppue.undp.org/ Back
Empowering the Poor Through Markets: UNDP Experiences. BRSP and
BDP. 2004. New York Back
UNDP: Empowering communities to meet water & sanitation needs
sustainably in the recovery of selected Tsunami affected countries.
Partnership with UNF and the Coca Cola Company. 2006 Back
Launching the Millennium Project Report & priorities for 2005.
Mark Malloch brown. 17 January 2005. Back
PPP Spectrum of Options, Annex I Back
175 As Dani
Rodrik points out, open economies and "best practice institutions
are seldom key factors at the outset in promoting economic growth
in developing countries. Each successful country's domestic investors
are motivated by very country-specific and government led strategies
"requiring local knowledge and experimentation for successful