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‘Honest Brokers’ and ‘Moral Markets’? Exploring the changing roles of public and private sector in development finance

Private financial capital, institutions and actors are playing an increasingly important role in international development. The Development Studies Association’s Business and Development Study Group welcomes academics, practitioners, and policy makers interested in exploring recent developments to their one-day colloquium.

The study gorup welcomes academics, practitioners, and policy makers interested in exploring recent developments to their one-day colloquium.

The evolving and deepening role of private finance in activities previously the dominated by public sector aid agencies and development finance institutions has been noted and encouraged by key leaders within the sector. World Bank President Jim Kim, for example, called for a ‘different and difficult conversation’ about development finance in April this year. He asked development agencies to repurpose themselves as ‘honest brokers’ reducing the risk for would-be investors seeking higher returns in developing markets. Such investment, the Bank argues, would provide the resources needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, they argue, involvement of private finance could bring new expertise, efficiency and innovation to the design and implementation of development programmes.

The changes Kim advocates have been accelerating in recent years. This is partly facilitated by public policy. For example, the CDC, the UK government’s private-equity vehicle, has been given a massive increase in funding this year. Aid recipient countries facing large infrastructure gaps are increasingly turning to new forms of public-private partnership. The shift is also driven by private sector actors, with increasing attention to ‘impact investing’ as an extension of socially responsible investment.

Analysis has lagged behind the pace of change. Commentary concerning such developments has tended to be polemic, either lauding or condemning private sector involvement as a whole. The colloquium will create a space for dialogue, laying the foundations for a more nuanced and analytical conversation.

Title: ‘Honest Brokers’ and ‘Moral Markets’? Exploring the changing roles of public and private sector in development finance
Time: 10.00 – 16.00
Date: Monday 4th December 2017
Address: 83 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ES (University of Bath facility)

Find out more here: https://www.devstud.org.uk/study-groups/business-and-development