Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations


Private sector, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Poverty


"The Group of Twenty countries has recently adopted its first development plan called the “Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth” with an unprecedented focus on inclusive development and increased participation from the private sector. The statement from the heads of state of the G-20 group calls for ""financial inclusion"", ""private investment and job creation"" and trade, among other required steps toward economic development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The traditional approach to development has been through development assistance and aid flowing from developed to developing nations. This approach has had some successes, but with the large numbers of people still living in poverty and with vast income inequalities, current development criteria leave a lot to be desired of. Several development agencies and non-governmental organizations have been adopting a private sector development approach as part of their broader development agenda. This translates into enabling small and medium sized enterprises to flourish in developing countries in the interest of poverty eradication. It also calls for forming linkages with larger multinational corporations, tapping into their earning potential, financial resources and technical expertise to benefit the poor in a country. Has this approach been successful, and is incorporating the private sector in development strategies promising? I will evaluate this question using the experience of one of the largest multilateral development agency in the world, the United Nations Development Programme. What could the Group of Twenty as an increasingly important player in International Relations learn from existing actors in the field? With the Seoul Consensus now emerging, it is clear that the major economic players of the world attach some importance to inclusive development, and also to a greater role of the private sector in development. I will look at these issues during the course of this paper, drawing from my experience interning at UNDP’s Private Sector Division, with a focus on answering the main question, is private sector development a viable strategy?"



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