During the seminar ‘Current Trends and Results in Private Sector Development (PSD)’, 17-20 January 2012, a number of interviews were taken with selected participants and presenters. These interviews highlight some of the key issues arising from the seminar, and are intended to inform people who could not attend, and also encourage further discussion, including on the DCED Twitter and Facebook accounts. And see the DCED YouTube account to follow future video releases.
The DCED Standard
Despite the great interest in PSD results, relatively little information is available on what is being achieved. This video introduces the DCED Standard, which provides a practical framework built on the results chain, whereby programmes can measure their own results according to good practice. Credibility is assured through external audit of the measurement process.
Peter Tschumi, Senior Policy Advisor for the Employment and Income Division, SDC, and member of the DCED Results Measurement Working Group, outlines how the Standard was conceived in 2007 as a response to the lack of effective results measurement in the field. Jim Tanburn, DCED Coordinator, develops on this, and the role of the Standard in providing a practical framework on results measurement for the various organisations involved in PSD. Aly Miehlbradt goes on to set out the elements of the Standard and Jim Tomecko lastly highlights the importance of considering the logic of the intervention.
Fertilizer value chains in Nigeria and the DCED standard
PrOpCom is a DFID-funded programme to reduce poverty in Nigeria through making agricultural markets work better for the poor. By developing affordable small packs of fertiliser and improved blends of fertiliser, and supporting training for farmers on how to apply fertiliser and private distribution channels to remote villages, PrOpCom has helped more fertiliser reach farmers —increasing crop yield and incomes.
This intervention was piloted in two states in Nigeria from October 2009 – May 2010, and was scaled up in March 2010 to 12 states. Underlying the intervention has been a strong use of best practise in results measurement, including the development of a Results Chain, the use of indicators of change, and a concern for sustainability and aggregation. Sadia Ahmed outlines the benefits for the intervention of working with the Standard. The Standard has helped advise on measurement methodologies and supported triangulation of data. By requiring more documentation and evidence, the Standard has led to greater understanding of the fertiliser market, and helped the programme decide on which interventions to further support.
Trademark East Africa managing for results in trade facilitation
TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) aims to remove non-tariff barriers to trade. It supports regional trade-related infrastructure, trade facilitation and trade policy and regulations across East African Community countries (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda). TMEA was designed by DFID over the period 2008-2010. As DFID was securing funding it started a number of ‘fast track’ projects until TMEA was established in mid 2010. Over the period, TMEA’s budget has significantly increased. In mid-2010, the budget was just over $120m; currently, it stands at around $550m.
Donna Loveridge, Knowledge and Results Director, highlights some key issues arising from using the framework of the DCED Standard on a pilot basis. She notes that, in the logframe, the programme goal is to increase growth and reduce poverty. The purpose level refers to increased regional integration and trade competitiveness; the connection between these two (purpose and goal) is perhaps not as obvious as had been assumed. She also talks about the process through which TMEA is going to understand how all of its activities fit together. A better understanding of the specific logic of TMEA’s activities is also assisting the programme to communicate its work better, to partners and donors.
Katalyst’s monitoring and results measurement system and the standard
Katalyst aims to contribute to increased income for men and women in rural and urban areas of Bangladesh by increasing the competitiveness of farmers and small businesses. Katalyst is jointly funded by SDC, DFID, CIDA and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands . It is implemented under the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of Bangladesh by Swisscontact and GIZ International Services. Katalyst began its second phase in March 2008 with a budget of CHF50.67million, and aims to reach 2.3 million farmers and small businesses, providing employment for 450,000 poor people, by the end of the phase in 2013.
Since its first phase, Katalyst has been working on developing a high quality impact assessment system and has contributed significantly to the development of the DCED Standard. This process culminated in the full audit of Katalyst’s Monitoring and Results Measurement (MRM) system in May 2011. Nabanita Sen introduces Katalyst, and outlines how using Results Chains help Katalyst resolve measurement issue of working through local actors. Markus Kupper, the Director of Katalyst‘s MRM Group, highlights how the Standard can help encourage senior management and donors to commit to results measurement methodologies. The Standard has both given Katalyst more confidence in its results measurement and encouraged reflection on appropriate methodologies. He concludes by highlighting the value of Standard audits.
Results measurement of business environment reform
Reforming the business environment is a priority for development agencies because of the significant influence the business environment has on 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. 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. 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.
Measuring challenge fund impacts
Challenge funds are an increasingly popular and effective mechanism for allocating and disbursing public funds. They are traditionally demand driven grant funding mechanisms, run as competitions where the winnings bids receive funding. The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) is a US$150m private sector fund of donor money available to the private sector on a competitive basis. It is hosted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and is currently funded by AusAid, DANIDA, DFID, IFAD, NMFA and Sida. It is open to proposals from all countries in Africa, with the aim to make agribusiness, finance, renewable energy and information market systems work better for the poor in rural areas. KPMG DAS was awarded the contract to manage the AECF following a competitive tender. KPMG DAS retains the services of Triple Line Consulting (TLC) for monitoring, evaluation and management information systems.
Hugh Scott, Director of the AECF, introduces the AECF and how it combines typical features of challenge funds, such as thorough advertising of competitions and clear criteria, and innovative methods, such as organising bespoke competitions. David Smith, Director of TLC, notes that the AECF is starting to implement the Standard, for instance developing intervention results chains and considering attribution, key to assessing the real impact of challenge funds. Challenge funds are light-touch mechanisms and have little resources themselves for monitoring. The businesses applying for funding focus on measuring business indicators over development impacts. David Smith suggests this means a compromise is needed between donors and businesses, including more donor support for results measurement. Hugh Scott outlines how the AECF will take forward and implement the DCED Standard.
Donor perspective on results measurement and the DCED Standard
Views and changes at donor headquarters are very important for PSD programmes. This is especially so currently, as the headquarter context is changing very rapidly in some countries. Pressures from parliaments to achieve better results, and to report them more convincingly to a wider audience, may have important implications for all development practitioners.
Alwyn Chilver, Rural Development Principal Sector Specialist, AusAID, notes that the growing pressure from the Australian public and politicians for credible results makes the DCED Standard a valuable quality assessment tool. He notes that the Standard has been embedded in a number of AusAID programmes. Though the process has not always been easy, the ensuing measurement methodological improvements have been valuable for programmes and have improved their reputations. Peter Tschumi, Senior Policy Advisor for Employment and Income at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), highlights further work to adopt the Standard within SDC, and to further disseminate it and build capacity. He notes that the Standard is likely to be mainstreamed within SDC in a couple of years, and may be applied in other areas such as technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and rural development.
Next steps for results measurement and the DCED Standard
The Seminar was not structured particularly to formulate conclusions, but rather to promote learning, exchange and networking; nonetheless, some next steps were suggested. There was widespread acceptance of the Standard as codifying good practice, as partly evidenced by enthusiasm to apply it to fields other than PSD. Several member agencies wanted to learn more about how to apply the DCED Standard to PSD in a challenge fund context and in business environment reform programmes. Other issues also attracted interest and discussion, including for example how best to report on employment creation. There was widespread support for the idea that the DCED should enhance and expand its plan for implementation of the Standard. Some of the discussions focused on the need to build capacity in the core skills needed to work towards compliance with all aspects of the Standard.
Susanne Hartman, GIZ, highlights how far the DCED Standard has come in a short time. Many projects around the globe are working towards it. However there is more to do and she notes that the Results Measurement Steering Group is committed to further developing the Standard. Peter Tschumi, Senior Policy Advisor for Employment and Income at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), suggests a focus should be on disseminating the Standard and building market capacity. Jim Tanburn, DCED Coordinator, notes an analytical process is required to look at developing the whole market for good monitoring.