Emerging Non-State Actors in Global Development: Challenges for Europe

By Erik Lundsgaarde

Working Paper No. 7 - April 2010

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As part of the broader research programme on how ‘new actors in international development’ might influence European development cooperation in the coming decade, this paper provides an overview of the engagement of three types of non-state development actors: private foundations, corporate philanthropies, and global vertical programmes. In discussing financial commitments, funding priorities, and implementation approaches of these actors, the paper identifies key issues for European donors to consider in developing a response to their growing presence in the development landscape.

One basic challenge in crafting policy responses to the rise of new non-state actors is the dearth of information that is available related to levels of financing, the geographical and sectoral distribution of resources, and the impact of interventions.  This challenge is particularly evident in looking at the global giving efforts of corporations, and deficits concerning the role of European firms in the development cooperation landscape are especially large. This inadequate knowledge base is partly a reflection of the diffuse nature of private actors that are engaging in global development. However, the EU and its member states can help to remedy this problem by strengthening financial reporting requirements, investing in data collection and monitoring efforts, and working more closely with industry associations that help to set standards for philanthropic practice. Read More.


About the author:

Erik Lundsgaarde is Research Fellow at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), with a focus on the application of scenario analysis methods to explore what development policy challenges may emerge in the coming decades. He has previously conducted research on the politics of aid provision in donor countries and on the relationship between trade and aid flows, and is currently participating in the EDC 2020 work packages on new actors and climate change. Erik holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Washington.