The global development and finance world is undergoing significant changes as several forces reshape the traditional development model. New players, including the BRICS and other middle-income countries, businesses, and private foundations are upending traditional ideas about how to give aid and how to measure success. Additionally, more and more companies are looking to expand their operations globally, with particular emphasis on the emerging economies. The result is an increasing shift toward going local, as donors and businesses seek to fund and invest directly in local or national entities across all sectors, as opposed to international intermediary actors.
Who is Affected
The traditional donor-to-recipient model of international development is evolving. Governments, businesses, civil society, private foundations, individual philanthropists, and multi-sector partnerships all play an important role. Businesses are making a mark in the field of development, either through corporate social responsibility programs or through foreign direct investment in emerging economies and the global south, while partnerships are bringing together actors from the public, private and civil society sectors to implement collaborative solutions to development challenges. Meanwhile, local actors are no longer being viewed as mere beneficiaries of foreign assistance; they are becoming increasingly active in directing development in their own countries.
As development actors navigate this changing environment, GFS provides unique services to address several important needs. GFS offers financial and operational outsourcing, capacity building and advisory services to clients including government donors, foundations, businesses, NGOs, academia, think tanks, and multi-sector partnerships. Through our international offices and networks, GFS helps donors and recipients of international development funding, as well as other organizations and businesses, adapt to the growing shift toward localization. All of our staff has extensive experience working inside companies and non-profit organizations, managing and leading the types of organizations we now advise. We leverage that insider expertise to provide pragmatic and sustainable solutions to the issues affecting our clients.
Organizations in developing and emerging economies also face the challenge of managing the financial aspects of their work with the same confidence as the policy and program sides, particularly when external donors are involved. On the other hand, donors are concerned that they are not adequately supporting their grantees with the financial aspects of their grants, and want to provide the support necessary to protect their investment. GFS can provide support on both sides of this equation.
Currently, there are few organizations addressing key development and commercial finance issues including capacity-building, accounting, business operations, regulatory and tax compliance, donor compliance, grants management and program management for local organizations, donors and businesses working in the global south, or multi-sector development partnerships involving local actors. GFS has a strong focus on the emerging economies, which are becoming new engines of growth and innovation, and on building local centers of excellence to implement sustainable development programs. GFS aims to help local institutions build more permanent and sustainable organizational capacity and to provide the financial and analytical expertise necessary for donors, businesses and NGOs working in international development to thrive.