Thursday, 14 July 2011

It's a private matter

By Neil McCulloch

It’s no secret, nor is it surprising that business is at the top of the agenda for most development policymakers, practitioners and researchers.  The fact is that the private sector is the driving force for most economies and this is as true of developing countries as for rich ones. Because of this business has to go beyond the superficial elements of Corporate Social Responsibility, and incorporate development objectives into their core business plans. But, how to do so?  There are lots of things on inclusive business, but it isn’t at all clear how to measure it (notwithstanding attempts by INSEAD’s Kapstein and Coca-Cola, Oxfam and Unilever).  And, let’s be honest – there are tradeoffs.  Not all things that are developmentally desirable are profitable – but they still need to be done.  And not all things that are profitable are good for development.  Although there are lots of win-wins to exploit and the emphasis has been on these, we have to remember that sometimes there are conflicting interests. 

Here are some links that have caught my eye on this issue – hope you enjoy them!

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