Press Notice 13, Session 2005-06

New inquiry


The International Development Committee is to begin an inquiry on Private sector development (PSD) .  PSD touches on many aspects of what donors already do.  The presumption behind the inquiry is not therefore that PSD is another sector for donors to engage in, but rather that PSD requires a changed perspective and practice in what donors (who may traditionally have little experience of business) are already doing. The inquiry will examine the coherence of DFID’s private sector development policy with DFID's work in other sectors.  The Committee invites interested organisations and individuals - especially those from developing countries - to submit written evidence addressing the following points:

What can the private sector do to alleviate poverty?

What are the different types of pro-poor growth?
What are the connections between growth and PSD?

What are the constraints on the private sector in developing countries and how can they be addressed?

The macro level - institutions, laws, governance, macro-economic policy
The meso level - resources and infrastructure
The micro level - direct support to businesses, microfinance

What type of donor interventions have strong leverage in changing the business climate (in partner countries)towards PSD and pro-poor growth?

Creating an enabling environment by providing technical assistance on:

  • Property rights

  • Investment promotion

  • Regulatory environment

  • Competition policy

  • Public procurement

Private sector development financing

  • Risk finance (CDC)

  • Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises

  • Micro-finance

Making markets work better for poor people

  • Transforming traditional markets: agriculture/informal sector

  • Business goods and services (products, training, advice.)

  • Infrastructure services (water, sanitation.)

  • Other services (health, education.)

How is the private sector engaging in development?

Dialogue between public and private sectors in developing countries
Business forums
Industry groups (EITI, Pharmaceutical industry, others...)
Joint working with the public sector on new approaches to encourage growth in incomes and employment

What aid instruments can be used by donors to encourage PSD? Private benefits versus benefits to society (public goods) - how much is this an issue?

Investment Climate Facility and other trust funds
Challenge Funds
Public Private Partnerships in infrastructure
Ethical funds
Corporate Social Responsibility and beyond


Submission of written evidence

Organisations and individuals with relevant experience and expertise - especially from developing countries - are invited to submit written evidence addressing (any of) the themes listed above. Evidence should reach the Clerk of the Committee by Friday 3rd February 2006. 

Evidence submitted should:

- if possible, be provided electronically in MS Word or Rich Text format, either by e-mail to or on a disk. If submitted by e-mail or e-mail attachment, a letter should also be sent validating the e-mail;
- the letterhead should contain your full postal address and contact details;
- any memorandum of more than six pages should begin with a one page summary;
- have numbered paragraphs;
- and avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material;
- further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at;

Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included. Submissions can be sent via or, by post, to International Development Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, either by printing the written evidence alongside the oral evidence or by making the evidence available through the Parliamentary Record Office.  If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


Further Information: Alistair Doherty, Clerk of the Committee, 020 7219 1226.

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), Mr Jeremy Hunt MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh (Lab).

Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 7219 0718 or

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