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2019/2020  KAN-CCBLV1601U  Poverty, Sustainability and the Private Sector

English Title
Poverty, Sustainability and the Private Sector

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Andrew Crabtree - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Intercultural studies
  • International political economy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 12-02-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Account for, and critically reflect upon, the most important contemporary definitions of poverty
  • Analyze the leading issues relating to poverty and the private sector and the latter’s effect on poverty and development including sustainability.
  • Connect themes relating to global, regional, national and local levels
Course prerequisites
Students should have a basic knowledge of economics or development
Poverty, Sustainability and the Private Sector:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2-3
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Groups of 2 student have to hand in max 10 pages. Groups of 3 have to hand in max. 15 pages. Students are allowed to write individually and have to hand-in an assignment of max. 5 pages.
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

In 2016 the United nations unanimously adopted the resolution Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development more commonly known as the Sustainable Development Goals. This course considers the role the private sector can play in achieving these objectives.


The course begins with a discussion of how we define sustainable development, present trends, and the present status in relation to the SDGs. It then takes up the individual SDGs, themes and central issues relating each to the private sector concentrating on the green economy, multidimensional poverty, education, health, gender, energy, work, innovation, technology, Planetary Boundaries, climate action, biodiversity, and peace and justice. Emerging global partnerships are examined by looking at the activities of India, China and Brazil in Africa. The course includes examples from all continents and examines a wide variety of approaches also incorporating microfinance, Fair Trade and the Bottom of the Pyramid approaches.

Description of the teaching methods
Two hours for 15 weeks. A combination of lectures and presentations with active student participation. Students will be required to read approximately 800 pages.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback in class and individual office feedback
Student workload
Preparation 136 hours
Teaching 30 hours
Examination 40 hours
Expected literature

The below list is indicative.


Week 1: Introduction  

  • Sachs, J. (2015) The Age of Sustainable Development Chapter 1 An Introduction to Sustainable  Development,  Columbia University Press.


Week 2: The Private Sector and Inclusive Green Growth 

  • World Bank (2012) Inclusive Green Growth: the Pathway to Sustainable Development. 


Week 3: SDGs 1 (No poverty) and 2 (Zero hunger)

  • Janvry de A and Sadoutet E (2010) The Global Food Crisis and Guatemala: What Crisis and for Whom? World Development Vol. 38 No9 pp 1328-1339
  • Prahalad C.K. and Hammond A (2003) Can the Bottom of the Pyramid eliminate income poverty? Serving the Poor Profitably Harvard Business Review on Corporate Responsibility.


Week 4SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being

  • Drèze, J., & Sen A. (2013). An uncertain glory: the contradictions of modern India. London: Allen Lane Ch 6 India’s Health Care Crisis pp 143 - 181 
  • Connolly, M.D., Padilla, M.P., Reyes, A.M., and Natsui, S (2012): Beyond ‘state pimpage’: insights from local leaders on HIV/AIDS prevention in the Dominican tourism industry, Critical Public Health, 22:3, 355-371  


Week 5: SDG 4 Quality Education

  • Tooley J and Dixon P (2012) Private Education is Good for the Poor Cato Institute


Week 6: SDG 5 Gender Equality and Empower Women 

  • Rice, J. S. (2010), Free trade, fair trade and gender inequality in less developed countries. Sustainable Development, 18: 42–50


Week 7: SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy & SDG 13 Climate Action 

  • Pulver, S., & Benney, T. (2013). Private-sector responses to climate change in the Global South. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 4(December), 479–496.              


Week 8SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • Human development Report (2015) Work for Human Development


Week 9: SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

  • Li Y & Ma C. 2015. Circular economy of papermaking in China: A case study, in Journal of
  • Cleaner Production. Vol. 92, (2015) p. 65-74. Elsevier, UK.


Week 10: SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities

  • Ravallion, M., (2009) A Comparative Perspective on Poverty Reduction in Brazil, China and India World Bank
  • Hanlon, J. (2004) Is it Possible to Just Give the Money to the Poor? Development and Change Vol. 35 Issue 2 Pages 375-383


Week 11: SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • Sachs, J. (2015) The Age of Sustainable Development Chapter 11 Resilient Cities Columbia University Press.


Week 12: SDG 12  Responsible Consumption and Production

  • Laudal, T (2010) An Attempt to Determine the CSR Potential of the International Clothing Business Journal of Business Ethics  96:63-77 


Week 13: SDG 14 (Life below water) and 15 (Life on land): Biodiversity

  • Spenceley A and Goodwin H, (2007) Nature-Based Tourism and Poverty Alleviation: Impacts of Private Sector and Parastatal Enterprises In and Around Kruger National Park, South Africa, Current Issues in Tourism vol. 10 Nos. 2&3.


Week 14: SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals: technology

  • Hughes, N., Lonie, S. (2007) M-PESA: Mobile Money for the “Unbanked” Turning Cellphones into 24-Hour Tellers in Kenya. Innovations, Technology, Governance, Globalization. Vol. 2. Issues 1-2 


Week 15: SDG 16 Peace and Justice and Strong Institutions

  • Berdal M., Mousavizadeh N (2010) Investing for Peace: The private sector and the challenges of Peacebuilding. Survival vol. 52 no.2 April-May pp 37-58
Last updated on 12-02-2019