In 2010, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced that the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) would establish a new department to step up its engagement with the private sector. The Private Sector Department is now open.
The new department intends to prompt and help catalyse change across DFID to deepen our capability to work with and enable private enterprise to improve the prosperity and well-being of poor people.
The Head of Department Gavin McGillivray and most of the 25 staff have been appointed.
The department is structured into four teams:
- Infrastructure, energy and basic services
- Investment and finance
- Business engagement hub
- Policy and management
The department will take forward most of DFID’s centrally-funded private sector partnerships and projects and be a point of contact for these and future work. Its remit will include work on:
- Pioneering and scaling up new business models that enhance the contribution of firms to development.
- Public-private partnerships.
- Fair and ethical trade.
- Financial sector development including branchless banking, microfinance, finance for small & medium enterprises (SMEs) and remittances.
- Catalysing private investment in business, infrastructure and basic services.
- DFID’s shareholdings in CDC (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation), Actis, IFC (International Finance Corporation) and MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency).
The new department will develop its work programme over the coming weeks. DFID will publish details of its new approach to working with the private sector in May 2011.