Donors are also looking to include their national firms in their private sector strategies. For example, Australia’s Mining for Development programme (AU$127m) partners with Australia’s mining giants on a range of projects in developing countries. Denmark’s Business Partnerships programme and the UK’s Food Industry Retail Challenge Fund are only open to national firms. This all seems dangerously like a veiled attempt to subsidise the foreign investment and CSR strategies of national companies – as long as some development story can come about. And isn’t this neo-tied-aid? In the report’s own words “Donors sometimes favour their own commercial interests to the detriment of developing countries’ domestic policies for development”. Without more transparency around decision-making and a clear results framework for private sector partnerships (the report finds this is sorely lacking), we are left to interpret decisions and priorities as cynically as we’d like (I bags the cynical view).
This is among the highlights of the report Investing in the Business of Development, as blogged by Duncan Green. The report, Duncan writes, is an “assessment of the rise and rise of private sector-focused aid, it also reminds us that aid is increasingly promoting a very specific economic model (thy name is neo-liberal capitalism) with some questionable assumptions that should attract serious scrutiny” and “…what comes flying off the page is the need to question fundamental assumptions about growth and aid”.
Read the rest of the article here.
** The image reminds me of the separate personality of ‘the corporation’ from the people who make up the corporation/business entity; that these people can actually be “gobbled up” by this “whole which is larger than the sum of its parts”, creating an emergent personality (i.e. different from both the corporation and its people).