Partner Country Governments

Sub-principle 2.A

Focus on maximising sustainable development results

Why is this important? 


The overarching aim of partnerships with the private sector is to support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. Deliberately focusing PSE activities on results and maximising impact is an important mechanism to direct project partners’ attention to more careful targeting and tailored interventions. Partner country governments play a crucial role to ensure that groups, markets and sectors that are most in need of private investments and entrepreneurial activity are being reached through PSE programmes. Leveraging private sector partnerships and projects to target those who might benefit from them the most (such as youth, women or populations particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change) – and focusing on areas where there might be positive spillovers – helps to maximise sustainable development outcomes, including environmental and climate action and progress towards national and international development goals.

Self-reflection questions
Discover Tool
Policy Level Project Level
  • Has your government identified which groups and sectors of the economy would benefit most from private investment and engagement? That is, which groups and sectors are most in need of employment, private goods and services?
  • Have you consulted with a broad range of national and subnational non-state actors, i.e. civil society groups and MSMEs, to identify which groups and sectors are most in need of private investment?
  • Have you examined where there might be the greatest potential for positive (and negative) spillover effects and prioritised these accordingly?
  • Does your PSE strategy provide an overarching long-term goal (theory of change) for working with the private sector in priority sectors and areas?
  • Have you developed a broad outcome framework that is linked to your national priorities and the SDGs? 
  • Does your outcome framework incorporate specific indicators at output and outcome levels related to your target population group or priority sectors? 
  • How will results data at the project level inform public-private dialogue at the national level?
  • Have you identified which sectors, groups, contexts or SDG targets should be prioritised in your PSE projects? 
  • Are there feedback loops or systems in place to halt or adjust project implementation in case desired development outcomes are compromised?  
  • Have you established inclusive, results-based management processes to monitor the implementation of PSE projects to ensure that each project is on track to reach those furthest behind? 
  • Have you sought to balance expectations among project partners about the development outcomes that can be achieved vis-à-vis the need for financial or private returns?
  • Have you and your development partner(s) agreed on a long-term goal (theory of change) for the project? Does this show how development outcomes can be achieved and how implementation will affect those furthest behind?
  • Are your defined output and outcome indicators project- and context-specific?
  • Have you fed results data from the project into national public-private dialogues and available databases? 

Actions to consider
Discover Tool
Policy Level Project Level
  • Identify priority sectors, regions and populations where PSE projects can deliver better development outcomes in your country.
  • Use the latest development data when identifying which groups and sectors are most in need.
  • Establish clear policies on the use of standardised metrics (e.g. the SDGs) for documenting results and identifying needs at the policy level. 
  • Establish monitoring mechanisms and maintain databases on what has worked and what has not and share these with the development community (see also KP4B).
  • If a proposed project does not include attempts to explicitly target disadvantaged groups, seek clarification or propose an adjustment to the project’s parameters for a more targeted impact. 
  • Ensure that your project regularly draws upon agreed long-term goals (theory of change) that detail key responsibilities for each actor and how you will collaboratively attain development results. 
  • Include results measurement both at the output as well as at the outcome level that draws from the standard metrics agreed on at the policy level.
  • Establish safeguards to enable course correction or project termination if a project has negative impacts on vulnerable target sectors and groups

Pitfalls to avoid
Discover Tool
Policy Level Project Level


  • Identify too many target regions, groups or sectors of the economy, instead of prioritising those most in need.
  • Decide priority sectors, regions and groups without consulting local stakeholders or relevant databases.
  • Prioritise commercial outcomes over development results. 
  • Set goals only at output rather than outcome level.


  • Build results frameworks or evaluation tools for your project that are too complex or incomparable and which do not use common indicators such as the SDGs or those in national frameworks and related agendas.  
  • Disregard qualitative indicators and the lived experience of disadvantaged groups in the project’s impact measurement. 
  • Lack transparency about the overall development results of your projects. 
  • Design a project without a theory of change, business case and exit strategy.
  • Define project aims, objectives and outcomes without consulting private and civic partners.


See the Kampala Principles case study on how the Ugandan government identified the oil palm sector as a key area for private sector engagement and enabled the digital inclusion of smallholder farmers as a key sustainable development result across a range of SDG targets tackled in this initiative.  

Consider approaching the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data for guidance and advice on creating and accessing the most up-to-date data on groups and sectors most in need.

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