Overview of the Private Sector Engagement Working Group

Objectives of the Group

Many donors aspire to have more equal, longer-term and strategic relationships with business in achieving results for the poor, complementing their traditional focus on bilateral work with governments.

The aim of the Private Sector Engagement Working Group is to support donor agencies in the institutional changes needed to engage business this way – including by enhancing risk management, programming and funding frameworks; creating appropriate staff roles and team structures; and promoting the necessary staff skills and cultural changes to facilitate PSE.

The Working Group, established in 2017, is chaired by Katie Sell Garcia of USAID.

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). In practice, the DCED’s Working Group notes that ‘developing an operational framework … necessarily implies a need to narrow down the most relevant PSE categories … and to draw pragmatic boundaries’ (DCED PSE WG, 2019).

For more information on different PSE strategies and modalities, and how these relate to other approaches for working with and through the private sector, see the Working Group’s operational framework (working document).

Key achievements of the Group

In addition to the recent products listed below, the Working Group has also organised several webinars and peer-learning workshops.

Current activities of the Group

The current focus of the Group is on peer learning and publications around themes of interest to members, including the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for PSE, demonstrating additionality, and Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). Organisational changes and systems to enable PSE are also being discussed in WG meetings.

More information