Project on Prosperity and Development

Solar panel on used for lighting village homes in Sri Lanka from Dominic Sansoni / World Bank

The Project on Prosperity and Development (PPD) highlights the central role of the private sector and private actors in development.

An Introduction to PPD

The Project on Prosperity and Development (PPD), studies the central role of the private sector, private actors, and emerging actors in development with the U.S. Government.   

Trade and free enterprise are the engines of prosperity and development. Governments play an essential role in providing public good provisions that underpin freedom and prosperity. The majority of products and services, however, will be and are delivered by an increasing number of non-state actors. 

PPD serves as a platform to leverage the expertise at CSIS and its broader network. It develops approaches, solutions and strategies that merge traditional development theory and practice with the non-traditional approaches of private actors, and will influence the development debate and donor resource allocation through dialogue, working groups, analysis, and policy support.  The project engages U.S. civil and military officials, the private sector, civil society, philanthropic actors, academics, faith-based groups, diasporas, research institutions, multilateral organizations, and media. Supporting the “3Ds” of Defense, Diplomacy, and Development, PPD works to improve development outcomes.  

In addition to influencing private actors, PPD shapes the debate on both sides of the aisle and offer Congress and the Executive Branch actionable steps.  PPD provides recommendations to ensure that the United States possesses the tools necessary to remain the preeminent player in global development in the 21st century and, by extension, is better positioned to achieve its foreign policy and national security goals. 

Areas of Initial Focus

PPD seeks to influence private actors in the International Community and shape Executive and legislative policy on development.  PPD currently works on three priority areas: 

  • Private enterprise and entrepreneurship in developing countries
    • New directions in development finance
    • Foreign Aid and Private Enterprise in conflict and humanitarian disaster-affected environments
    • Trade and trade capacity-building in the development context
    • Social Enterprise and the evolving role of the social sector in development
    • Information and communication technologies (ICT) and Development 
  • Strengthening the role of non-state actors in development—philanthropy, diasporas, non-profits, the private sector, and the faith community
    • Next generation of development alliances and alliances with philanthropic groups, business, and private and public actors 
  • Middle-income countries and emerging donors as development actors and investors
    • South-South development and trade cooperation
    • Challenges for the U.S. and other “traditional donors”


  • Madeleine Albright (Co-Chair) & Vin Weber (Co-Chair)

    CSIS and CAP released a bipartisan statement of principles signed by members of a high-level working group to emphasize the role of the United States in supporting democratic reforms and inclusive societies abroad as a central pillar of our national security strategy. The statement recommends more partnerships with nongovernmental institutions and our international allies to further this aim.

  • Students at San Jose Secondary School, a rural school in in La Ceja, Antioquía

    Short podcasts and commentary exploring new thinking on development through entrepreneurship, innovation, and market-driven economic growth.

  • IYF Flickr

    Exploring the near- and long-term economic, social, and geopolitical implications of youth development trends around the world. In partnership with the International Youth Foundation.

Media Requests