Development Organizations Should Work With, Exercise Freedom To Criticize Private Sector

The Guardian: Development needs business but we must be free to criticize
Jonathan Glennie, visiting fellow at the International Development Institute at King’s College London and director of policy and research at Save the Children U.K.

“…Because working with the private sector is still relatively new for many, incoherent approaches are applied. The most problematic is the idea that if you work with a company, or take money from one, you should avoid criticizing it or activities it may be involved in. … Working with companies should no more imply support for its practices than working with a government implies support for its policies. … Development organizations should be as quick and bold to speak out against business partners as they are with governments — their right and duty to do so should be agreed at the beginning of any relationship and considered standard. … It is time to get over kneejerk anti-private sector attitudes and get round the table. But it is equally important not to be gagged — the right to criticize should remain sacrosanct” (3/9).