Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Op-Ed: CIDA should work with the private sector

As the Canadian government becomes increasingly business minded and business friendly, the public has responded by questioning the role and motive of a private sector that might prioritize money over people. As a result, public-private partnerships, especially in sectors like international development, have been called into question. But is working with the private sector when it comes to development really that terrible? Empirical evidence shows that if done right, the answer is no. 

“If done right.”  Personally, I’m not a fan of PPPs because I think that, generally, the private sector brings the money while the public sector carries the risk – then again, I always like to be proven wrong.

Nevertheless, an interesting Op-Ed.


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One thought on “Op-Ed: CIDA should work with the private sector

  1. This isn’t really a new idea, but it’s one that can be both positive and negative for developing countries. CIDA has already started forging relationships with the private sector, as demonstrated by its recent partnerships with mining companies. These relationships are particularly problematic because the mining industry has an appalling record in the developing world, and it is difficult to understand how these partnerships will contribute to achieving CIDA’s primary goals.

    More at:

    That being said, there are certainly many great ways that CIDA and the government can utilize the private sector. There is evidence that this route can be productive, and books like Dead Aid give us ideas for the way forward.

    Unfortunately, CIDA’s recent policy shifts suggest that partnerships with the private sector are more than likely designed to achieve Canadians interests instead of prioritizing poverty reduction.

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