Trends and Results in Private Sector Development: Reforming the Business Environment

By Jim Tanburn, Donor Committee on Enterprise Development

Trends and Results in Private Sector Development: Reforming the Business Environment

The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) organised a Seminar on trends and results in private sector development (PSD), in January 2012. It focused on what we are learning about results and in part on the DCED Standard for results measurement. There were around 100 participants from 32 countries, representing 54 different organisations, field programmes and governments. We took a number of interviews to capture some of the key messages that came out. They also aim to create a discussion around the issues highlighted, and all comments are very welcome.

In the sixth video, Simon White reviews results measurement of business environment reform.

Reforming the business environment is a priority for development agencies and governments because of the significant influence the business environment has on the development of the private sector and therefore on economic growth and the generation of livelihoods and jobs. Development agencies design business environment reform support programmes in developing and transition countries so that businesses are able to change their behaviours in ways that lead to increased levels of investment and innovation, and the creation of more and better jobs. This is done through activities such as reducing business costs, reducing risks and increasing competitive pressures through new entry. The DCED’s work in this area is driven by the Business Environment Working Group (BEWG), which has organised a number of conferences and developed key publications.

Simon White, Managing Director of Southern African IDEAS, outlines recent work of the BEWG, before identifying a growing concern over the measurement of business environment reform. This includes concern both for how the business environment relates to development needs, and also how donor-supported business environment reform programmes are aiding the business environment. During the January 2012 seminar, a series of discussions were held on the measurement of BER results, including programmes, donors and other parties. Simon White introduces three programmes involved in the discussions; the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (BICF), Harakat in Afghanistan and TradeMark East Africa (TMEA). From these discussions, key priorities were noted and are being addressed; developing business environment reform models of change (including reviewing programme result chains), and reviewing business environment indicators.

View Estem Islam (BICF), Hamid Seddiqi (Harakat) and Donna Loveridge’s (TMEA) presentations at the DCED Current Trends and Results Seminar in Private Sector Development.

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