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This panel explores the emerging leadership roles played by private sector development actors and institutions in the Global South, particularly in pursuit of the SDGs. It will examine how Southern actors are helping redefine businesses as leaders and executors of the sustainable development agenda.
This panel explores the DSA2020 theme of 'New Leadership for Global Challenges' by examining the emerging leadership roles played by private sector development actors and institutions in the Global South. We are seeking papers that examine the role played by private sector actors in providing leadership on meeting the SDGs and responding to diverse development challenges. The role of the private sector in development is changing, with new private sector actors and emerging networks recreating the traditional domain of development. Prominent examples include the rise of outsourced management consultancies specializing in development, philanthropic institutions and CSR initiatives and a series of contractors that engage with international organizations such as the UN. New processes building on on-going financialisation, such as metric-based institutions specializing in impact and social investing and insurance companies redefining risk in relation to international development are also important dimensions of this change. These transformative shifts redefine the earlier notion of development assistance as a transfer of resources from one state to another making it a complex arena of multiple private sector interests, and challenging traditional flows of aid. The SDGs are central to this shift, helping to both equate sustainability with business interests and redefine the role of business actors as both leaders and executors of the sustainable development agenda. This panel aims to conceptualize these transformations by focusing on the actors and institutions leading these processes in the Global South, and emerging linkages between private sector actors in the South and North in pursuit of the SDGs.