"Donors are engaging directly with the private sector, as partners in development. This represents a major shift in mode of operation, relative to the more traditional, bilateral model. One particular area of interest is how business form, governance and ownership influence social outcomes, a theme that has not received much attention until now. This Briefing Note explores why form, governance and ownership matter, and reviews the evidence that they can influence outcomes for the poor. It is intended to support donors in enhancing the impact of future programming choices, when engaging with business. It is based on research and practical examples from both developed and developing countries, and is a joint initiative of Oxfam and DCED."