The poorest population groups often lack the resources needed to participate in value chains.
Photo: Michael Brüntrup
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Some people extol collaboration between the private sector and public development co-operation as the royal road to efficient implementation of development measures; others see it as putting the most vulnerable groups at risk. There have been very few robust studies of the extent and impacts of these co-operative projects. The German Institute for Development Evaluation has set out to change this. It has put the spotlight on German technical co-operation in the agricultural sector.

Since the mid-1990s, the importance of the private sector as a partner in development co-operation has been growing. This is reflected in, inter alia, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda notes that promotion of sustainable development cannot be handled by governments alone; the private sector – comprising organisations of all sizes from micro enterprises to multinationals – also has a key part to play in enabling the Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved. The opportunity to leverage private funds is not the only reason for involving the private sector. It is also assumed that private-sector companies can provide some services and technologies better and more efficiently than the state.

In German development co-operation, too, collaboration with German, international and local companies is becoming increasingly important. This is apparent, for example, in recent strategy papers of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), such as the “Marshall Plan with Africa”.

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