This review assesses how well the Department for International Development (DFID) engages with business to achieve a range of development objectives that benefit the poor. These objectives include economic growth and human development, environmental sustainability and humanitarian assistance. The review focusses on how DFID and businesses can work together in emerging markets in mutually beneficial ways. It does not cover DFID’s engagement with businesses through purely contractual relationships, where a private sector company is delivering a DFID programme. This review complements but is distinct from our previous review of DFID’s Private Sector Development (PSD) work.1 That review assessed the overall coherence of DFID’s efforts to stimulate the growth of the private sector in developing countries. This review concentrates on how DFID works with businesses in the UK and in developing countries to benefit the poor. As well as British businesses, businesses include those owned by nationals of a developing country and foreignowned businesses and may be located in-country or abroad.
DFID does not categorise separately its expenditure on working with business in development. It is also unable to quantify the amount it spends on private sector development more generally, because its financial systems are not set up to do so. This is, however, a significant and growing area of DFID’s expenditure, however. Based on the information available to us, we calculate that, between 2012-13 and 2014-15, DFID committed £494 million to its work with business in development, although these figures are subject to some uncertainty. Further details are provided in Figure 2 on page 5 below.