Private Sector Engagement (PSE) refers to the interest of donors and others to work more strategically and systematically with business to meet the SDGs. 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). The DCED PSE Working Group in its Operational Framework (2019) has focused on two specific PSE strategies:
- Engaging with, primarily large/ international, companies on equal terms to enhance the impact of their core business on the SDGs, e.g. through the joint development and financing of SDG-oriented business models or dialogue platforms on responsible business practices. In contrast, other approaches involving active private sector participation focus more on local business (e.g. MSD) or local business associations and government agencies (e.g. BER), primarily to generate inclusive and sustainable economic opportunities (SDG 8).
- Engaging with the financial sector, to mobilise private finance for development, e.g. through blended finance instruments.
For more specific resources on adjusting PSE programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the DCED knowledge page on Adjusting PSD interventions in the short term. For practical examples of integrating COVID-19 recovery objectives into PSE programming, please refer to the DCED knowledge page on Promoting economic recovery and resilience in the context of COVID-19.