European Commission

MNEmerge project: MNEs and global development

The MNEmerge project’s central research question asks to what extent multinational corporations could represent an alternative to foreign aid when trying to combat poverty. Companies possess money, knowledge, and innovations that could help citizens and governments of low-income countries improve their living conditions. The MNEmerge research team studies how multinational enterprises operate in developing countries, what kinds of benefits the companies get from operating there, and how cooperation between companies and decision-makers could be strengthened.

In MNEmerge, the impacts of the operations of multinational companies are mirrored against the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals. The UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals were common development targets for the whole world: halving extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, and developing a global partnership for development. The goals were set by the 2010 United Nations Summit and the target date for their achievement was 2015.

Field research for the MNEmerge project takes place in three countries, Brazil, Ghana, and India. In Brazil, the objective is to study how rural communities could be electrified in a cost-effective manner. The research in Ghana focuses on assessing the impacts of the operations of large Chinese and European Multinational Enterprises. In India, the aim is to study how sanitation and hygiene could be enhanced in rural communities in order to improve people’s health and capacity for work.