Sub-principle 1.A

Define national PSE goals through an inclusive process


Why is it important?


A national strategy for working with the private sector in development co-operation – as either a stand-alone policy or as a component of a broader national development strategy – can help countries strengthen planning processes and overcome impediments to financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such a strategy is most effective when it comprises clear guidance on the full range of how to deliver on national and sectoral priorities and identifies roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders. Moreover, a well-designed national strategy for working with the private sector in development co-operation establishes an approach for designing, realising and measuring development results when working with the private sector. Ensuring that such strategies are developed through inclusive processes is critical to translate them into broad buy-in from a range of social actors and will result in policies that are more likely to be successful in their implementation.

Self-reflection questions
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Policy Level Project Level
  • Does your government have a national strategy to engage the private sector in development co-operation or can elements of one be clearly identified within the broader national development co-operation strategy? If so, is such a strategy – or elements thereof – publicly available and open to public feedback and scrutiny? 
  • If your government does not have a national PSE strategy, what steps can you take to help develop one and what kind of support would you need from development partners and others to do so? 
  • If a national strategy exists, does it identify national development objectives that are results-oriented, time-bound and aligned with the SDGs? 
  • If a national strategy exists, has it been informed by a political economy and situational analysis that identifies gaps, priority sectors and geographical areas for intervention that could be addressed by involving the private sector in development efforts?
  • If a national strategy exists, does it identify clear roles and responsibilities across the central government for implementing, monitoring and overseeing PSE objectives? Is the strategy clear about the role expected from other stakeholders in supporting national and sectoral development priorities, including the private sector, civil society and subnational governments? 
  • What other strategic opportunities exist for you to design and manage your relationship with private sector actors through development co-operation?
  • Which non-governmental stakeholders (from civil society and the private sector itself) has your government involved in the elaboration and final validation of your national PSE strategy?
  • Do your projects with the private sector build on and refer to a coherent PSE strategy and identify clear objectives related to the specificities of the sector and market it operates in? 
  • Are all your project partners well informed about national and sectoral development priorities and those enshrined in a PSE strategy?
  • Do your project interventions and objectives enjoy political engagement from a broad range of stakeholders?
  • Have your projects been set up following an inclusive and equitable process in line with those processes at the national level?
  • Do your projects establish specific roles for different stakeholders?

Actions to consider
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Policy Level Project Level
  • Undertake systematic consultations with all relevant stakeholders both inside and outside government to develop your PSE strategy (e.g. in the form of roundtables or online consultations). Continue to consult them throughout the implementation.
  • Designate a focal point for a PSE strategy within the government and ensure co-ordination between the relevant ministries.  
  • Invest in long-term approaches for mobilising private finance for sustainable development as part of your national PSE strategy, including Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFFs) when appropriate.
  • Review and update your national PSE strategy regularly to address emerging needs and realities.
  • Make the final version of your national PSE strategy easily accessible to all stakeholders.
  • Incorporate time-bound objectives in your national PSE strategy with clear results indicators at the outcome level (that is, changes in behaviour or clear progress towards your desired goals).
  • Let lessons learnt in your projects inform the development and advancement of your national PSE policy. 
  • Use project findings to trigger dialogue within government and with other development actors on the implementation of your national PSE strategy. 
  • Ensure project staff and stakeholders are well informed about national PSE priorities. 
  • Consult strategies or national guidance from other relevant ministries or departments in your government in the design phase of your PSE projects.
  • Communicate the national PSE strategy to the private sector and other stakeholders involved in the project. 
  • Build project-level indicators that reflect and can be easily translated into your national PSE strategy’s results indicators. 

Pitfalls to avoid
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Policy Level Project Level


  • Define objectives of a national PSE strategy that are not in line with national development priorities.
  • Let a single group of stakeholders dictate your national PSE priorities according to their preferences.
  • Provide an undue emphasis on output results (that is, the number of events or engagements) when defining targets for a national PSE strategy. 
  • Outline objectives that are unrealistic, unachievable or vague.


  • Consult only a limited, non-representative pool of stakeholders that does not involve key representatives from and stakeholders across public, civil society and private sectors. 
  • Omit to link a project’s objectives to national priorities and the SDGs. 


Uganda has formulated its private sector engagement strategy in accordance with the country’s overall development plans. The National Strategy for Private Sector Development highlights the crucial role of the private sector in the country’s development efforts, which also includes a sectoral analysis and time-bound macro-, meso- and micro-objectives.

Peru is in the process of approving the new National Policy for International Technical Cooperation, a policy document updated in line with international and national trends, which proposes and highlights the participation of the private sector in international co-operation through multi-stakeholder partnerships. In addition, for international co-operation in the country, in 2017, the Peruvian Agency for International Cooperation (APCI) published a working document entitled Multi-stakeholder Partnerships for Sustainable Development Cooperation, which conceptually defines the APCI-driven scheme and defines various development actors according to their motivation, benefit, responsibility and risk.

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