RGS-IGB 2021

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConference


The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual International Conference

Session: Making a return on development: for-profit logics, actors and finance in
post-aid world

Role: Discussant

Session abstract: For-profit logics, actors and finance are by no means new in the global development sector, but in the last few years, explicitly seeking to make profit as part of development projects or a return on development finance has
become newly validated and enabled through rapidly growing partnerships,
narratives and tools. The profit here is for the most part a literal financial return
on investment; but we include more diffuse and related ways of constructing profit within global development. Together, examples include the turn to various forms of innovative development financing (impact investment, development impact bonds, securitising remittances, financial guarantees); a deepening but far from uncontested role for management consultancies (e.g. PWC, KPMG); the largely over-looked but substantial role of development contractors (e.g. Palladium: Roberts (2014) being a rare exception in this field); and a huge shift in donor language and policy towards various formulations of mutual prosperity; and co-benefits; in development. Southern partners have long taken a principled position on; win-win; development, but there is evidence that many are now also articulating a stronger and more explicit assertion of domestic benefit. This panel seeks to go beyond simplistic critiques to explore the complex assemblages of actors and contested fields of for-profit development, which may include attention to friction and resistance, as well as to powerful interests and the normative claims of financial and corporate capital.
Period31 Aug 20212 Sept 2021
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational