Blended finance: Blended finance is the strategic use of development finance for the mobilisation of additional finance (public and/or private) towards sustainable development in developing countries. The World Economic Forum and OECD note that blended finance has three characteristics: 1) leverage – the use of development or philanthropic funds to attract capital into deals (i.e. concessional finance); 2) impact – investments that drive social, environmental and economic progress; and 3) returns – in line with market expectations based on real and perceived risks.

Civil society organisations (CSOs): The multitude of associations around which society voluntarily organises itself and which represent a wide range of interests and ties. These can include community-based organisations, indigenous peoples’ organisations and non-governmental organisations. In line with the United Nations Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, business or other for-profit associations are not considered to be CSOs, but part of the private sector, albeit with a special status (see below).

Development co-operation: An activity that “aims explicitly to support national or international development priorities, is not driven by profit, discriminates in favour of developing countries and is based on co-operative relationships that seek to enhance developing country ownership”. Official development assistance is one form of financing within a much broader palette of development co-operation approaches and instruments. These include non-concessional finance; South-South and triangular co-operation; climate finance; co-operation among governments on non-aid policies; and co-operation with and among non-governmental actors, such as businesses and civil society. 

Development partners: This refers to the range of national and international organisations that partner with countries receiving development co-operation to realise national sustainable development priorities and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. They include governments that provide different types of development co-operation, multilateral organisations such as United Nations agencies and programmes, international financial institutions such as the World Bank, bilateral development finance institutions, and philanthropic organisations. They may also include CSOs, trade unions and parliamentary organisations in their capacity as implementing partners. 

Inclusive dialogue: A structured and facilitated conversation on an issue of concern by representatives of the various groups and institutions who are affected by or can affect the issue positively or negatively.
Large domestic companies: These include all resident corporations and quasi-corporations that are not controlled by government or by non-resident institutional units and which employ 250 employees or more.

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs): MSMEs are non-subsidiary, independent firms that employ fewer than a given number of employees. This number varies across countries. The most frequent upper limit designating an SME is 250 employees, as in the European Union. Small firms are generally those with fewer than 50 employees, while microenterprises have at most 10, or in some cases 5, workers. MSMEs’ turnover should not exceed EUR 2 million, EUR 10 million and EUR 50 million, respectively. 

Multinational corporations: A multinational corporation, sometimes also called a multinational enterprise, just multinational or international corporation, is an enterprise producing goods or delivering services in more than one country. A multinational corporation has its management headquarters in one (rarely more than one) country, the home country, while also operating in other countries, the host countries.

Partner countries: Countries that enter into partnerships with development partners in the pursuit of advancing their national development priorities and achieving development outcomes. They mostly consist of low- and middle-income countries that face disproportionately higher development challenges. It is in these contexts where local policy processes and the implementation of development co-operation programmes and projects take place. 

Private sector: The organisations that make up the private sector are those that engage in profit-seeking activities and have a majority private ownership (i.e. they are not owned or operated by a government). The term includes financial institutions; multinational companies; MSMEs; co-operatives; individual entrepreneurs; and farmers who operate in the formal and informal sectors. The term excludes actors with a non-profit focus, such as CSOs. Chambers of commerce and business associations are important partners for stimulating policy dialogue and laying the groundwork for direct (financial) partnerships with the private sector in developing countries. Given their role in promoting business interests, they are considered under the definition of “private sector”, though with a special status, not as CSOs.

Private sector development: Activities carried out by governments and development organisations with the objective of promoting an enabling environment for the private sector in partner countries. Private sector development refers to the substantive nature of particular development activities (i.e. the sector targeted by development interventions). Activities include the creation of an adequate policy environment, addressing market imperfections (e.g. value chain development) and firm-level interventions (e.g. capacity building, access to finance and markets).

Private sector engagement (PSE): The aim of PSE through development co-operation is to leverage the private sector to achieve development objectives while at the same time recognising the private sector’s need for financial return. In 2016, the OECD defined PSE in development co-operation as “an activity that aims to engage the private sector for development results, which involves the active participation of the private sector.” The definition is broad and includes all modalities – such as finance, policy dialogue, capacity development, technical assistance, knowledge sharing and research. These efforts and actions range from informal collaboration to more formalised arrangements, encompassing many sectors (e.g. health, education, private sector development, etc.). 

Social dialogue: A type of dialogue that refers to all types of negotiation, consultation or exchange of information between, or among, representatives of governments, employers and workers, on issues of common interest relating to economic and social policy. It can be tripartite, with the government, or bipartite, between trade unions and employers’ organisations.

Trade unions: A trade union is defined as a workers’ organisation constituted to further and defend workers’ interests.