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On the margins of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, companies and development partners exchanged on their experiences in implementing the Kampala Principles for Effective Private Sector Engagement in Development Co-operation in Uganda, Bangladesh, Colombia and the Philippines. The discussion took place at a dedicated session at the UNDP’s Business Call to Action Forum ‘Inclusive Business at the Nexus for Recovery’.

The five Kampala Principles [inclusive country ownership, results and targeted impact, inclusive partnership, transparency and accountability, and leaving no one behind] provide a framework for more effective partnerships in projects supported by development co-operation. 

“To get back on track and achieve the SDGs by 2030, we need effective partnerships among all. The private sector is especially important for its resources, ingenuity and reach” said the moderator, Mr. Kim Bettcher (Director of Policy & Program Learning, CIPE).

Explaining the necessity for a set of overarching standards to guide partnerships with the private sector in development co-operation, Mr. Jorge Moreira da Silva (Director, OECD-Development Co-operation Directorate) presented analysis on the challenges related to the impact of private sector engagement which found, for example, that only 5 percent of analysed projects involving the private sector served rural, remote or undeserved locations, or had a special focus on women or poor communities. Developed through an inclusive process bringing the development co-operation community together with the private sector, the Kampala Principles directly address such challenges and offer concrete avenues to change course. 

Ms. Uta Böllhoff (Deputy Director-General, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany) stressed the importance of international partners as “thought leaders, bridge makers and matchmakers for the private sector” in ensuring all development co-operation partners work efficiently together.

During the session, two partnership cases illustrated how using the Kampala Principles can help deliver effective and inclusive solutions to today’s challenges: Digital Healthcare Solutions in Bangladesh and SAP in Uganda. 

Ms. Sharmin Zahan (Head of Business Development, Digital Healthcare Solutions) highlighted how different partners, including local private sector actors, parliaments, healthcare providers, sample collectors and scientists came together to provide an innovative COVID testing and triage booth during the pandemic crisis in Bangladesh. While Mr. Michael Pilletkow (General Manager – Public Services Africa, SAP) stressed the unique “triple P”, public-provider-producer partnership, that made it possible to provide accessible technology that empowered smallholder farmers in Uganda.

Partners shared key lessons learned during the private sector engagement process including, building trust and recognizing mutual interests between partners, innovating by involving new actors for more inclusive partnerships, enhancing transparency through clear communications and results sharing, and showing leadership and ownership at all levels, going beyond business as usual. In essence, the principles have shown a way forward on how to partner up for development solutions that recognizes the different interests and risks for all parties involved.

A recording of this session can be found here.

This session is also part of the GPEDC’s Global Webinar Series. Please find more webinars around effective development co-operation here.

Please click here for the GPEDC Kampala Principles case studies and here for more information on GPEDC’s work around private sector engagement.