Giving Compass' Take:

• Jenny Lei Ravelo, Devex reporter discusses how business development and the private sector have been part of global health/ development work in recent years and bring the expertise and financial capital to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

• How are partnerships between private sector corporations and public sector development agencies beneficial? What difficulties arise in these partnerships? How closely are these missions aligned?

• Read about Brookings' examination of factors that limit private sector investment in global health research. 


In the past few years, there has been a significant injection of business engagement in the global development sector. The launch of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 — and the multi-trillion-dollar financing gap — ignited a spark under efforts to link business with development outcomes.

A few years on, it’s time to take the pulse of exactly how business is transforming development.“In global health, the private sector often brings with it financial capital, but also logistics, infrastructure, technical know-how, and data mining expertise, among others,” said Jenny Lei Ravelo, Devex senior reporter. “If we want to attain universal health coverage under the SDGs, you cannot keep the private sector out of the picture. It just won’t work.”

Ahead of this month’s event, Ravelo explains why she’ll be probing organizations and businesses about the balance between profit and patient focus.

What is the current state of play in terms of the role of business in development, particularly in improving global health?

The private sector has always played a key role in development. It’s the perception about the private sector that has changed in recent years, and their visibility in engaging more in development-focused efforts. Increasingly, you’ll find businesses at the same table as international organizations and governments discussing issues such as immunization or addressing neglected diseases.

How are new business models and new initiatives around health creating real business opportunities and lasting change?

There are vast partnerships taking place across sectors. In health, there’s the example of governments, donors, and philanthropic organizations tapping into the supply-chain infrastructure and logistics expertise of a global company to deliver vaccines, medicines, and other medical supplies in hard-to-reach places or improve the medicine distribution system in countries.

Read the full article about business development at Devex International Development