Inclusiveness of Dutch private sector development in Jordan
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Inclusiveness is at the forefront of international development to ensure that poverty and inequality are reduced for the most marginalized in the world. The Netherlands is investing in private sector development in Jordan, focusing on its agricultural sector. However, this strategy of private sector development has been subject to polarized opinions whether it reduces poverty and inequality. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the Dutch private sector development strategy was inclusive to the most marginalized groups in Jordan. The conceptual framework for inclusiveness in private sector development that was developed for this thesis provided five principles to consider in the analysis. The analysis was based on three levels, each including the five principles of the conceptual framework. The results showed that no level is inclusive on all five principles. Furthermore, marginalized actors were significantly more included at the private sector development projects on the ground, compared to the overall development aid strategy of the Netherlands. Based on the empirical findings, the strategy applied by the Netherlands does not put marginalized actors upfront in its agenda, and leaves gaps for the private sector to fulfil. Therefore, to be more inclusive, the Netherlands must implement deliberate strategies in each principle in its development agenda in favour of marginalized actors. With the Dutch strategy that is currently applied, the most marginalized actors in Jordan will likely not catch up with those that have experienced greater progress. The discussion remains when inclusiveness is fully achieved, and whether private sector development should focus on including all marginalized groups in all five principles. Nevertheless, governments play a major role to promote inclusiveness by having safeguards in place for the private sector when doing business abroad, and the Netherlands lacked a deliberate strategy to ensure that the most marginalized benefited.