On engaging the private sector for development and the Kampala principles: Page 2 of 2

Posted on 13 July 2019

and “incentivise” private sector contributions.

The global drive for risk mitigation for investment must be tempered. For instance, official development assistance (ODA), as one means of development cooperation, must fulfil its supposed social objectives, instead of having already scarce financing diverted for facilitating business environments. In addition, mitigating commercial risks today occurs within a context of uneven conditions for the diverse private sector, with prevailing liberalised, deregulated economies favourable to MNCs while challenging to Southern MSMEs whose operations cannot compete. Risk mitigation in such a policy environment in the South threatens to primarily entrench corporate power of MNCs.

For IBON International, PSE in different forms of development cooperation—from ODA, to South-South cooperation, climate finance, and different linkages among development partners—must support MSMEs. These include both government-registered and those in the informal sector, which have significant roles in the development of Southern economies and which are closest to communities’ daily economic and social life and needs.

On the other hand, people’s organisations and civil society need to continue asserting that governments fulfil their regulatory roles especially for MNCs, taking them to task in cases of rights violations. Purpose-driven MNCs that have proven histories in upholding people’s rights must commit to technology transfers and other means to stimulate productive capacities and internal dynamism in Southern economies.

As the GPEDC embarks on developing operationalised, sector-specific guidelines for application of the Kampala principles, we look forward to concretising democratic country ownership, focus on results, inclusive partnerships and leaving no one behind for the benefit of small producers and MSMEs, and for developing productive capacities and widening the room for strategic industrial policy in the global South.

The uneven playing fields for other development actors must be addressed, as civil society see many governments constrict democratic spaces amid expanding spaces for big business. This requires a greater push in national and international levels to reverse the trend of shrinking spaces for civil society and people’s organisations. The urgency of worsening inequalities and obstacles to the rights of workers, farmers and other small producers, indigenous peoples and the urban poor, requires sustainable development with people’s rights rather than business prerogatives at the centre.

A vision of people-centred, sustainable development features the support for small private sector as complementary to creating conditions for peoples and their organisations to exercise their sovereignty over processes of development and governance, such as the different forms of development cooperation, and to assert their rights as working sectors, including the right to shape development and enjoy its outcomes. #

[iv]     Principle 4, Kampala Principles

[v]      Principle 2, Kampala Principles