When it comes to tackling poverty, DFID's Development Finance Institution, the CDC group, is at the back of the class, as a new report from the TUC shows.
As DFID's wholly owned DFI, CDC has the mandate, resources, and potential to drive significant pro-poor private sector growth in the developing world. Yet as CDC: time to improve its poor effort outlines, it has a set of development standards that are weak and not in compliance with international conventions. It fails to collect data or set baselines and targets on helping the poor and lacks systems or programmes to reach such targets. And finally, it fails to consult or engage civil society in developing and carrying out its work.
At a time when the global financial crisis is hitting the poorest and the public purse the hardest, these are badly missed opportunities. The report also contains recommendations for CDC to significantly lift its performance.
Firstly, CDC should ensure that its Investment Code is fully consistent with internationally recognised labour, social and environmental standards, and builds on best practice instruments such as the World Bank International Finance Corporation's (IFC) performance standards ;
Secondly, it should establish indicators and targets on poverty reduction, and particularly on labour, social and environmental standards to drive continuous improvement.
Thirdly, CDC should draw on best practice in private sector development initiatives by establishing programmes in priority investing countries whereby local development and workers' rights practitioners work with companies to design and deliver programmes on raising labour standards and productivity.
Finally, it should establish formal consultative bodies with trade unions and other civil society organisations, as well as consulting civil society in impact assessments; adopting best practice on transparency and public consultation; and establishing complaints mechanisms for those potentially affected by investments.
Download the TUC report: CDC: Time to improve its poor effort
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