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2022/2023  KAN-CPOLV1025U  Making the Private Sector Work for Sustainable Development: Tools to Enhance Impact of Development Interventions

English Title
Making the Private Sector Work for Sustainable Development: Tools to Enhance Impact of Development Interventions

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 20
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Elizabeth Boye - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
  • Michael Wendelboe Hansen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Project and change management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 01-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course and against the backdrop of the course literature, theory, workshops and lectures, the students should be able to:
  • Describe recent developments in policy, strategy, implementation and impact of private sector development interventions.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the changing roles of the public, private and civil society sectors in relation to private sector development interventions in the Global South.
  • Apply tools and methodologies to design, plan, implement, monitor a private sector development intervention.
  • Apply the DAC evaluation criteria on a private sector development intervention.
Course prerequisites
Making the Private Sector Work for Sustainable Development: Tools to Enhance Impact of Development Interventions:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
The paper should be written and structured as an academic paper containing an introduction, an analysis, and a conclusion. The paper must use academic referencing.
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 72 hours to prepare
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
Description of the exam procedure



Course content, structure and pedagogical approach


"Tools for design and management of sustainable business driven development interventions - ensuring maximum impact"


Today the importance of the private sector is recognized as a key mainspring to generate economic growth, jobs and income in developing countries. But making the private sector contribute to sustainable and inclusive development does, on the other hand, not happen automatically. This course aims at giving you tools to assure concrete and documentable private sector-driven development impact. Which is even more urgently needed in the post Covid-19 context.


Also Development banks and -institutions, impact investors and NGO's express an increasing need for exactly these competencies in positions titled Sustainability, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Impact Investment.


Hence, it is increasingly important to understand the strategies, tools and methodologies that development agencies and institutions can adopt to ensure that the private sector contributes to sustainable and inclusive development - analysing and taking the framework conditions and recipients into account. 


To this end, the course combines a business strategic approach with theory and tools for effective programming for inclusive and sustainable development. The course provides students with an understanding of the context, the roles of the respective sectors related to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Moreover, the course provides a conceptual and theoretical overview of the private sector involvement in the international development agenda as well as knowledge of various types of development interventions from direct business support, value chain development to Public Private Partnership (PPP) models.


A practice-focused course delivered by practitioners:


The course is informed by theory, literature as well as cases based on the practical experience of course faculty and guest lecturers. E.g. Coop (vegetables and Coffee in Kenya), NordZucker (cane sugar Africa wide and Vanilla from Madagascar), Ready made garments and fashion (Bangladesh and Cambodia), Industrialization Fund for Development IFU, International NGO's and the UN.   



The course covers four overall and interrelated topics:

The first topic consists of an introduction to the history of development in the roles and the interplay of the public, private and civil society sectors respectively over time, in particular the evolution of policy aims, themes and strategies, implementation practice in relation to private sector driven development interventions. The overall context of development interventions will be examined, including current trends and status on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Focus will be on the role of the multilateral institutions, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) country-based donors and the non-traditional donors while also understanding the changing role of the recipients in the global south and mega trends, Climate, Gender, Digital divide, Youth unemployment among others.


The second topic is concerned with tools and methodologies for design, planning and implementing of the private sector driven development interventions. It draws on examples from very different developing countries and focus on management tools such as the Logical Framework Approach (LFA), Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED), Theory of Change (ToC).


The third topic is about evaluation of the impact and sustainability of private sector driven development interventions and their adherence to UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and contribution to the SDGs. We discuss evaluation of various types of private sector development interventions and evaluation methodology - the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) evaluation criteria.


The fourth topic will discuss various modalities and forms of involvement of the private sector in international development cooperation with public actors like the Public-Private Partnerships. 



Modules - course structure

1. Introduction to the ‘Making the Private Sector Work for Sustainable Development: Tools and Methodologies for Development Interventions’ 

2. UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and UN Sustainable Development Goals 

3. The role of the state and the private sector in development

4. Development intervention, aid modalities and analytical tools – ToC, LFA and DCED - application of LFA and DCED

5. Private Sector Development and global value chains 

6. The new roles – new actors in development interventions, poverty alleviation and achieving the SDG’s. 

7. Non-traditional donors

8. ”Assessing the development impact of private sector driven interventions” 

9. New forms of international development cooperation with private actors: Public-Private Partnerships.

10. To what degree can (and shall) the private sector drive development? Role of the mega-issues Gender, Youth and climate agenda and their links to private sector on the development thinking and practice.


Description of the teaching methods
The dominating teaching method is flipped learning with focus on practising the application of tools and methodologies in class. Including peer to peer review and supervision.

The classes will be organized as a mix of in class and pre-recorded and in time lectures, group work, workshops, guest lectures with practical content.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be given immediately in class and on assignments that the students has the possibility to hand in during the course.
Student workload
Lectures 30 hours
Preparation and exam 176 hours
Total 206 hours
Further Information

Course coordinator and faculty

Managing partner, Sociability and External Lecturer CBS

Background: M.Sc. in Business Administration and research from CBS (1994) and M.Sc. And P.G. Diploma in Development studies from Uppsala University (2000). I am Advanced SA8000 auditor (2009) from Social Accountability International.

Research interests: Global Value Chain Governance and upgrading, inclusive and sustainable development through private sector involvement and Public-Private Partnerships. I worked with PSD in more than 25 years for Corporates, Danida, Governments, EU, Asian Development Bank, business associations and NGO’s.

Thus my approach to responsible business development is founded on sound theoretical and practical experience in making the case for and implementing economic and social sustainability solutions. I worked in: Bangladesh, Cambodia, DK, Ghana, Greece, UK, India, Kenya, Kosovo, Lithuania, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Expected literature


Roger C. Riddell (2008). Does Foreign Aid Really Work? Oxford University Press; Oxford UK. www.academicbooks.dk. Course book can be purchased at the Academic Books bookstore, CBS Solbjerg Plads campus. Selected chapters.


Why All Countries Should Contribute to Ending Global Poverty (3 pages):  https:/​/​www.project-syndicate.org/​commentary/​poverty-sdgs-aid-from-rich-and-poor-countries-by-andy-sumner-1-2020-08


D’ Alessandro C and  LC Zulu (2016) From the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Africa in the post-2015 development Agenda. A geographical perspective. African Geographical Review 2016, pp. 1-18 (18 pages)  http:/​/​www.tandfonline.com/​doi/​abs/​10.1080/​19376812.2016.1253490#aHR0cDovL3d3dy50YW5kZm9ubGluZS5jb20vZG9pL3BkZi8xMC4xMDgwLzE5Mzc2ODEyLjIwMTYuMTI1MzQ5MD9uZWVkQWNjZXNzPXRydWVAQEAw


Covid has put Governance at the heart of debates on Development, but how has it changed the questions we ask?  https:/​/​oxfamblogs.org/​fp2p/​covid-has-put-governance-at-the-heart-of-debates-on-development-but-how-has-it-changed-the-questions-we-ask/​(5 pages)


Carlos Fortin and Richard Jolly (2015) The United Nations and Business: Towards New Modes of Global Governance? IDS Bulletin 46:3, pp 45-68 (14 pages)  http:/​/​onlinelibrary.wiley.com/​doi/​10.1111/​1759-5436.12143/​epdf


John Humphrey, Stephen Spratt, Jodie Thorpe and Spencer Henson (2014) Understanding and Enhancing the Role of Business in International Development: A Conceptual Framework and Agenda for Research. IDS Working Paper 2014: 440. (33 pgs.)


CORPORATE GOVERNANCE Business Roundtable Redefines the Purpose of a Corporation to Promote ‘An Economy That Serves All Americans’, American Business Roundtable (August 19, 2019)  https:/​/​www.businessroundtable.org/​business-roundtable-redefines-the-purpose-of-a-corporation-to-promote-an-economy-that-serves-all-americans  (4 pages)


Is Stakeholder Capitalism Really Back?
https:/​/​www.project-syndicate.org/​commentary/​how-sincere-is-business-roundtable-embrace-of-stakeholder-capitalism-by-joseph-e-stiglitz-2019-08?referral=768d2f (3 pages)


Dale, Reidar. 2003. The logical framework: an easy escape, a straitjacket, or a useful planning tool? Development in Practice 13 (1): 57-70 (13 pgs.)



Maertens, M.; B. Minten and J. Swinnen (2012) Modern Food Supply Chains and Development: Evidence from Horticulture Export Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Development Policy Review  Volume 30, Issue 4, pages 473–497, July 2012 (24 pages)



Gender, development, and globalization: Economics as if all people mattered. Second edition. By Lourdes BENERÍA, Günseli BERIK and Maria S. FLORO. Routledge 2016  https:/​/​onlinelibrary.wiley.com/​doi/​10.1111/​ilr.12044  (Chapter 1, 28 pages)


Youth and inequality-time to support youth as agents of their own future


Barney Tallack, Averthur NGO Consulting: The existential funding challenge for Northern INGOs, May 2020: 



Fejerskov, A. M. (2015). From Unconventional to Ordinary? The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Homogenizing Effects of International Development Cooperation. Journal of International Development, 27(7), 1098-1112. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1002/​jid.3149 (15 pages)


Kragelund, P. (2015). Towards convergence and cooperation in the global 

development finance regime: closing Africa's policy space? Cambridge 

Review of International Affairs, 28(2), 246-

262. DOI:  10.1080/​09557571.2014.974141 (17 pages)


Kragelund, P. (2019). South-South Development. London:

Routledge,  https:/​/​doi-org.ep.fjernadgang.kb.dk/​10.4324/​9781315164731

Chapter 4: vectors of South-South Cooperation, pp. 62-92 (31 pages)


Mawdsley, E. (2018). The ‘Southernisation’ of development? Asia Pacific

Viewpoint, 59(2), 173-185. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1111/​apv.12192 (13 pages)


Literature: Farquharson, E; T. C. Torres de Mästle, and E.R. Yescombe with J Encinas (2011) How to engage with the private sector in Public Private Partnerships. The International bank for Reconstruction and Development/the World Bank, Washington DC, pp 1-14 (14 pages)



Last updated on 01-02-2022