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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world


Roundtable discussions

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> Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing: Rethinking the role of private sector development in Africa

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supported by Nestlé

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

This series of roundtable discussions - supported by Nestlé - are taking place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined by the 17 recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21). COP21 aims to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) however, has yet to provide the commitments needed to achieve this aspiration. In addition, the UN Commission on the Status of Women will mark its 60th anniversary (CSW60) in 2016. Its priority focus will be women's empowerment and sustainable development. The level of global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women and girls continues to be compounded by an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to sustainable development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important.

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> What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?

supported by Barclays

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

Financial inclusion and jobs: Drivers of development and growth in Africa?

How might improving the access, distribution and use of a wide range of affordable and appropriate financial services and products (financial inclusion) facilitate job creation and stimulate balanced economic growth across Africa? In addition, how might the private sector build partnerships to champion strong leadership, sustainable innovation and responsible engagement in order to help develop an enabling environment where universal financial inclusion and employment-led growth can thrive?

FPC Roundtable series: Building an agenda for action to shape a post-2015 development agenda

At a series of three roundtable discussions and through the publication of a report supported by Barclays, the Foreign Policy Centre seeks to explore how greater financial inclusion has the potential to help drive the development of new businesses and new jobs, thereby igniting development transformation across Africa. In an effort to support action to help redefine the international development agenda post-2015, the event series seeks to explore the interface between financial inclusion and employment creation – two pressing global public policy priorities.

The event series is scheduled to take place during February 2014 to June 2014. Following the roundtable discussion series, the FPC will produce a report (to be launched in the autumn/winter of 2014) that will build on the discussions and insights exchanged during the course of the event series. The report will capture the salient issues discussed and key findings identified.

Should you have any queries about this event series, please feel free to contact the FPC on

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> Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development

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supported by CDC Group

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

The current global financial crisis has led to an economic age of unprecedented austerity, mounting uncertainty and rising inequality. Today, there is a pressing need to forge a new global consensus on how best to build Africa's productive capacity. In essence: supporting the continent to develop and employ its productive resources, harness and grow its entrepreneurial capabilities and build robust and dynamic networks and linkages essential for supporting the production of goods and services to power national and regional economies. In order to move beyond the Millennium Development Goals, no longer can addressing the multiple challenges of how to promote development transformation, cultivate entrepreneurship and drive employment-led growth continue to be considered in isolation. How can the physical, social and human capital needed to expand business and enterprise development in the formal sector be promoted? How might access to, as well as the distribution of appropriate business education, skills and training across Africa be improved, replicated and scaled-up?

Mounting global concerns about inclusive growth are illustrated by the World Bank's 2013 World Development Report, focused on jobs and the G20 development agenda's training strategy explored developing employment related skills. Yet, there are a number of issues which need to be considered. How can national development strategies focus on job creation? How best can their impacts be measured and scaled-up? Beyond micro-enterprise, how best can entrepreneurship be developed and fostered within and beyond national borders? Which investment and trade sectors have the greatest development impact potential, particularly with respect to creating professional employment for young people and women? How best can such sectors be developed and supported? What type of investments are required in education, training and skills development to enhance business infrastructure, expand networks and build the innovations required to transform long term employment prospects?

FPC Event Series

At a series of two roundtable discussions in 2013/14, the Foreign Policy Centre seeks to explore and develop a more informed and evidence-based understanding of the important links shared between employment promotion, business enterprise development and expanding entrepreneurial training and education to build job-related skills. The first roundtable discussion aims to provide a broad overview of employment-led growth. It will attempt to explore and identify which sectors maximise development impact through the creation of decent jobs with good prospects across the formal sector. Essentially, what works, what doesn't and how might success be appropriately replicated and scaled-up? The second roundtable will aim to address how to drive the expansion in employment and the development of entrepreneurship among young people and women. This event will adopt a strong focus on: education, training and skills development by identify issues, developing practical responses and recommend action for change. The event series could also help develop more coherent and effective policy responses to deliver improvements to the development of employment-led, business infrastructure in poor countries and regions. Following the roundtable discussion series, the FPC will produce a concise summary report that will build on the discussions and insights exchanged during the course of the event series, capturing the salient issues and key findings. The series is kindly supported by CDC, in association with Business Fights Poverty.

Should you have any queries about this event series, please feel free to contact the FPC on

Download the roundtable summary notes here:

Roundtable 1 summary notes

Roundtable 2 summary notes

Download 'Employment enterprise and skills' final report (870 kilobyte PDF)

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> Are the BRICs losing their swagger? The case of Brazil

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Beyond the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and Brazil being a global agricultural powerhouse, what does the future hold for Latin America's largest economy? In a year where a wave of public protests have swept through Brazil, this social unrest has been compounded by: a plunge in the value of its currency, high rates of inflation, anaemic economic growth, a failure in the expansion of Brazilian exports, a palpable lack of business confidence and weak domestic demand. How can President Dilma Rousseff's Government re-ignite the hopes of one of the world most promising emerging economies?

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> Free and full consent: Tackling child and forced marriage - An FPC and Plan UK roundtable discussion forum

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Wednesday 6 July 2011


In July 2011 the Foreign Policy Centre in partnership with Plan UK hosted a roundtable discussion forum at the House of Commons. While marking the launch of a Plan UK publication entitled "Breaking Vows: Early and Forced Marriage and Girls' Education", the event aimed to explore how policy-makers across UK Government departments might strengthen national and global alliances (and networks) to increase the political priority given to the issue of child and forced marriage.


The event brought together a diverse range of participants from the worlds of politics, academia, government, the media, community-based organisations and international NGOs. Organisations represented included: Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the University of Bristol, Commonwealth Secretariat, Dawson Cornwell (law firm), Forced Marriage Unit (FMU)- Foreign Office, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Plan UK, UK Government Equalities Office, BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) and BBC WST 'Afghan Woman's Hour' radio programme, Karma Nirvana, Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development (FORWARD), BBC Radio 4's 'The World Tonight', 4 Paper Buildings - Chambers of Jonathan Cohen QC, House of Lords, The Elders, Demos and the Foreign Policy Centre.


The forum focused on three principal themes. The first, examined how best to promote prevention and mitigate the impact of child and forced marriage, the second assessed how to provide support to victims and those at risk to escape and rebuild their lives and finally, an exploration of the broader development impact of prioritising the eradication of child and forced marriage as part of the UK's wider foreign policy engagement.

The Plan UK report can be accessed at:

Summary recommendations

A summary report of the recommendations that came out of this roundtable can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

Download Summary Recommendations - Child & Forced Marriage Roundtable (150 kilobyte PDF)