This page lists some of the most interesting recent blog posts on Private Sector Development and related issues. It gets updated regularly and aims to show the insightful things people are talking about right now. Let us know if you have any suggestions on what should be included, or any comments on the blogs.
to contact the DCED Secretariat
Simon White posts Do business environment reforms encourage informal firms to formalise? Simon introduces the 2014 Doing Business report, noting in particular a large increase in reforms in Africa. He focuses, though, on the link between business regulation reforms and the informal economy, with the report associating a larger informal economy with higher minimum capital requirements, overly complicated tax systems and inefficient contract enforcement. However he notes that it is an oversimplification to suggest that bad business environments are the only cause of informality
; though there is a clear link, there are other drivers of informality, and as such, different reform programmes need different starting points and priorities.
Added: 29 January 2014
Diana Good, lead Commissioner for the forthcoming Independent Commission for Aid Impact report on DFID’s private sector development work, posts on meeting smallholder farmers in Tanzania. She notes DFID’s aim to encourage the development of small businesses at local level, more accessible markets for the poor and further inward foreign investment, and outlines some of the challenges Tanzania faces to its economic development. The review in Tanzania involved meeting a number of senior government, private sector and development agency representatives, but Diana notes the most lasting impression was made on her by smallholder farmers in Mtwara, close to the border with Mozambique. Several groups of farmers had received help with irrigation and farming techniques and had seen significant improvements. However improvements in market access were felt to be even more significant, with farmers increasingly able to sell directly to purchasers and cut out corrupt middlemen.
Added: 27 January 2014
Adam Kessler posts on the DevPolicy blog five suggestions for measuring results in challenge funds
. Increased funding and interest in challenge funds has not been matched by a growth in the evidence base regarding their impact, and Adam notes, to this end, new guidance from the DCED on measuring results in challenge funds using the DCED Standard
. Challenge funds need to understand the logic of their programme and be clear on how the
poor are expected to benefit. The business and fund managers should clearly divide responsibilities, and results measurement be made useful for the business
. Fund managers should take a portfolio approach
and with limited resources, prioritise monitoring of more expensive, successful or innovative business projects. Market wide changes
should be looked out for. Grantees can be valuable sources of information, as long as interview questions are concrete and hold back on development jargon.
Added: 11 December 2013
Added: 10 September 2013
Added: 23 May 2013
Leo Horn-Phathanothai of the World Resources Institute posts: The Private Sector and International Development: A Love Affair, or Cold Feet?
In it, he highlights a recent round-table with representatives from donor agencies and the private sector on their collaboration, co-organized by WRI and the IIED. He notes the key meeting message of increasing intersection of business and aid, and though the pressure for donors is to do more with the private sector, the real challenge is to do better. Though examples of private public partnership were given, participants identified major hurdles to further collaboration. To overcome these and scale up collaboration, participants suggested the need for more structured dialogue, better evidence, more standardized metrics and space and resources for innovation, risk-taking, and experimentation
Added: 12 April 2013