2015 Economic Development, Public Administration Review

Now Open for Business: Joint Development Initiatives between the Private and Public Sectors in Development Cooperation

Ari Kokko, Hanna Norberg, Sara Johansson da Silva

Private investment to developing countries has surged since the 1990s with notable impacts on local economies and living standards. This increase the pressure to form new partnerships between private and public actors, so called “Joint Development Initiatives” (JDIs).

Against this background, this report provides a mapping of existing initiatives in Sweden, reviews their relevance with respect to the different objectives of aid set out by Sweden, and discusses whether, where, and how the associated risks can be mitigated in order to ensure effective aid delivery.

The findings were presented during the seminar Collaboration with the Private Sector in Sweden’s Development Cooperation.

Main findings

  • Sweden’s private sector collaborations are modest both as a share of development cooperation and with respect to other countries.
  • The instruments available for JDIs have the potential to address some of the thematic areas that are highlighted in Swedish development cooperation.
  • Whether they will actually do so in each specific case hinges both on good project planning and execution, and on whether they can mitigate the risks and maximize the opportunities related to different forms of collaborations.


  • Better documentation, reporting, and use of information of programs is needed, and more discernible disclosure of information.
  • New forms of public-private partnership forms should be introduced with caution (as has been the case so far).
  • JDIs should not primarily be seen as a substitute for more traditional aid instruments, but rather as a complement.
  • New programs should be designed to reach beyond the largest Swedish multinationals.

Report authors
Ari Kokko, Professor, Copenhagen Business School
Dr. Hanna Norberg, Independent Consultant
Dr. Sara Johansson de Silva, Independent Consultant