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How can the private sector have a positive impact on sustainable development?

16 July 2015
Photo: Money. Creative Commons - epSos.de
Private finance and business activities are playing an increasing role, but little is known of their impact on sustainable development. With a wider role comes a need for greater accountability and impact assessments; without adequate regulation, private finance and business activities can lead to increased inequality, adverse impact on the poorest, especially women.

PSI, together with other trade unions and civil society partners, is taking an active part in the Post-2015 Development Agenda including participating in the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13-16 July.

The Addis Ababa CSO Coordinating Group and the Women Working Group on FfD, in partnership with PSI and other CSOs, organised a side event called  "Can Private Sector Really Deliver Financing for Sustainable Development?" . This session raised awareness of the implications of the increasing role of private finance and business activities in development financing, and provided inputs and strengthening of initiatives of like-minded governments as follow up of the Addis Ababa Conference on Financing for Development.

“Defending public services is a matter of social justice and democracy in the first place. We know that PPPs in water are more expensive and do not deliver. It is high time we turn this debate towards policy instruments that can deliver the funds to support real development: tax justice and public finance,” says Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary.

Private finance and business activities are playing an increasing role, but little is known of their impact on sustainable development. With a wider role comes a need for greater accountability and impact assessments; without adequate regulation, private finance and business activities can lead to increased inequality, adverse impact on the poorest, especially women. Additionally, private sector companies are also increasingly benefiting from development cooperation funds, but assessments have shown important challenges in delivering sustainable development outcomes. We encourage the holding of inclusive and transparent discussions on principles and regulation for private finance

For more information on PSI's activities at the FFD3 see:

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