The DCED is a forum for funding and inter-governmental agencies that support the inclusive growth of the private sector in developing countries – the businesses, small and large, that help the poor to work their way out of poverty. It promotes original research and frank exchange on what works, based on the practical experience of DCED members and others in private sector development (PSD) and private sector engagement (PSE). This has allowed the DCED to develop a substantial body of knowledge and lessons learned – available on its constantly-updated websites, starting at www.Enterprise-Development.org.
What the DCED has achieved
The DCED websites have become the leading source of knowledge on PSD and PSE – covering for example business environment reform, women’s economic empowerment and industrial policy, to name just some of the most popular themes. The original DCED page on market systems has recently been augmented by the BEAM Exchange, bringing a popular website aimed particularly at practitioners. The DCED has also developed an evidence framework that gives easy access to rigorous research on how PSD leads to pro-poor impacts. Practitioners also find the latest on job opportunities and events. In the last year, DCED websites have had over 300,000 page views from almost 100,000 visitors. Thousands have subscribed to its newsletters.
The DCED is spearheading international work on results measurement in PSD interventions. In consultation with field-based experts, it has developed the DCED Standard for Results Measurement that provides a common framework for measuring programmes’ results in practical yet credible ways. It is now implemented by more than 150 programmes globally and a growing library of supporting documentation and advice is available on the DCED website.
The DCED’s biennial Global Seminars bring together funders, practitioners and researchers from around the world to discuss the state of the art and cutting-edge thinking in measuring results and market systems.
Other achievements include agreement and publication of Practical Guidance on Supporting Business Environment Reforms and complementary guidelines (e.g. on the informal economy); the development of an inter-agency training course on PSD in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Environments; and reviews of experience and effective practice in engaging with the private sector, including guidelines on demonstrating additionality.
How members benefit from the DCED
The DCED also offers many services that are exclusive to member agencies. Thematic discussions with international technical experts at DCED Annual Meetings, most recently on youth employment, help to facilitate frank exchanges and inform members’ work. At Annual Meetings, members also vote on the DCED’s strategy, scope of work and planned activities, and elect the five members of the Executive Committee (ExCo).
By joining the DCED, agencies are not only able to learn from each other, but also to influence agreement on effective practice across various PSD approaches. In addition to Annual Meetings, opportunities for technical exchange on substantive issues exist in particular in the DCED’s thematic working groups, which currently focus on Private Sector Engagement, Market Systems Development, Results Measurement, Business Environment Reform, Green Growth, and Women’s Economic Empowerment. The DCED also provides a valuable forum for members to network with other agencies, present their own agency experiences and plan joint projects.
The DCED Secretariat offers regional workshops on private sector development to field staff of member agencies, to provide an overview of approaches and current trends to specialists and non-specialists alike. Further, in the fast-moving field of PSD, the Secretariat provides a reliable institutional memory and offers technical support and advice to member agencies on request. Presentations and workshops on substantive issues can equally be organised at agency-level on demand. As well as keeping members up-to-date on developments in PSD, the DCED also helps members share their news with a wide audience through the DCED website, DCED newsletters and social media.
How to Join the DCED
DCED members share the vision of making PSD more effective. Membership is open to all governmental and philanthropic agencies that exist to fund PSD in developing countries, as well as multilateral agencies (UN, development banks) actively engaged in PSD. In line with the DCED Charter, applications are formally considered at DCED Annual Meetings; membership requires a modest annual payment to the Trust Fund to cover running costs. In exceptional cases, in-kind funding is also possible in lieu. Additional contributions to specific work streams are also welcome. Also important is an agency’s commitment to an open sharing of knowledge with other members, attending events such as Annual Meetings, contributing to the work of the DCED where possible and promoting the DCED within the member agency itself. Agency representatives interested in learning more about, and working with, the DCED should contact the Secretariat to further explore available options.