The Initiative for Global Development, an MFAN partner organization that is an alliance of business leaders championing effective solutions to global poverty, recently released a policy brief laying out a business plan for foreign aid and making a strong case for more business leaders to get involved in foreign assistance reform.
The paper, titled “The Business Case for Foreign Aid Reform,” advocates several of MFAN’s core principles – including calls for a National Strategy for Global Development and an overhaul of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act – and highlights the economic benefits of reducing global poverty. Specifically, a National Strategy for Global Development that emphasizes results and leverages foreign aid with private investments would expand economic opportunity for some of the world’s poorest people and would also give immense value back to business. Moreover, foreign aid is currently not coordinated with other U.S. policies that have development impact, such as trade, and a development strategy would serve to address this incoherence.
Increasingly, business is realizing that effective foreign aid is one of the keys to successful development. The application of business principles – strategic clarity, accountability, and focus on results – would boost the effectiveness and impact of foreign aid.
Many companies now recognize that economic growth and poverty reduction in the developing world are critical to long-term business growth. Neville Isdell, former CEO of Coca-Cola and member of IGD’s Leadership Council says, “There are no sustainable businesses without sustainable communities.”
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