Private Sector Engagement (PSE) refers to the interest of donors and others to work more strategically and systematically with business. The OECD has proposed a very broad definition of PSE as ‘an activity that aims to engage the private sector for development results, and involves the active participation of the private sector’ (OECD, 2016). Putting it into practice, however, “implies a need to narrow down the most relevant PSE categories … and to draw pragmatic boundaries” (DCED PSE WG, 2017).
For example, PSE strategies tend to focus in practice on working with international business (ECDPM, 2012) whereas other approaches may focus more on local business (e.g. MSD) or on government agencies (e.g. BER). PSE strategies are a means to reach many development goals, the private sector being an equal partner with finance, ideas and capacity. Private Sector Development focuses on stimulating the private sector to generate more economic opportunities for the poor.
Enhancing staff skills in engaging the private sector more effectively is a priority for many donors. To assist in this effort, this dedicated DCED web page lists training offers on private sector engagement and partnerships.