Editor’s Note: John Podesta and John Norris’s policy brief on the role of U.S. leadership and resources in promoting development is the subject of this sixth post in this blog series, from Laurence Chandy and George Ingram, previewing the 2013 Brookings Blum Roundtable.
The U.S. government perceives its promotion of and partnership with the private sector as a hallmark of its approach to development cooperation. Through its recent engagement with the private sector—both domestically and abroad—the U.S. government has focused on reducing risks for companies doing business in developing countries, integrating small-scale farmers with sustainable value chains, expanding credit to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and enacting reforms to foster the creation of more market-oriented economies around the world.
Our sixth and final session at this year’s Brookings Blum Roundtable will scrutinize the U.S. government’s engagement of the private sector in support of global development. The discussion will draw on a policy brief written by John Norris and John Podesta from the Center of American Progress. They argue that the context for U.S. development policy has radically changed in the past decade and that a new mindset is required in which U.S. assistance is concentrated where it can uniquely add value and complement larger private flows.
Two focus areas emerge from their analysis. First, the U.S. government should help foster an ecosystem in developing countries that is attractive to private flows by strengthening physical infrastructure, developing markets for new products and strengthening developing countries institutions. Second, the U.S. government should seek to impart development know-how and best practices to private sector partners in areas such as evaluation and civil society consultation.