The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) is a forum for funding and inter-governmental agencies that aim to establish markets that function vibrantly and fairly, providing economic opportunities of quality to poor people at scale. 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). This has allowed the DCED to develop a substantial body of knowledge and lessons learned – available on its website at www.Enterprise-Development.org
What the DCED has achieved
The DCED Website has become the leading source of knowledge on PSD – covering for example private sector engagement as a means to achieve PSD (and other development outcomes); women’s economic empowerment; and industrial policy, to name just a few popular themes. Complementing the page on market systems development, the BEAM Exchange website under the umbrella of the DCED offers a wealth of practical resources on the approach. The website is constantly updated and expanded to address to emerging priorities and questions among donors, such as how to best promote job creation, create economic opportunities for refugees, or engage in innovative finance.
A particular focus of the DCED is to make knowledge easily accessible to busy readers in member agencies. That is why a growing library of short document summaries and synthesis notes on PSD approaches is made available on a single webpage.
The DCED has also developed an evidence framework (right) that gives easy access to rigorous research on how PSD leads to pro-poor impacts. Practitioners also find the latest on job opportunities and upcoming events. In the last year, enterprise-development.org had over 155,000 page views from more than 65,000 users. Thousands have subscribed to DCED newsletters.
Through its own knowledge products, the DCED is spearheading international work on a range of themes. In particular, the DCED is known for its guidance on results measurement in PSD: 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 being used by many development programmes globally (see the map below) and extensive supporting documentation and advice is available on the DCED website. Some of the latest publications include practical tips on how to gather information from businesses and assess systemic change; and reviews of results measurement in impact investing. The DCED’s Global Seminars discuss the state-of-the-art and cutting-edge thinking in measuring results and market systems.
Map of Programmes using the DCED Standard
Other key achievements include: Multi-donor Practical Guidance on Supporting Business Environment Reforms and complementary advice (e.g. on the informal economy, inclusive business, SMEs); guidelines on how to integrate WEE considerations into PSD programming, including results measurement and a special review of business environment reform and gender; and reviews of experience and effective practice in private sector engagement.
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, such as on PSD in the age of digitalisation at the June 2019 Annual Meeting, 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. These 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 presentations and tailored workshops on PSD, current trends and specific technical themes to specialists or non-specialists in member agencies on request. Members can also ask the Secretariat technical questions and send requests for advice at any time. Overall, the Secretariat provides reliable institutional memory in the fast-moving field of PSD, and facilitates coordination and exchange among DCED members on a day-to-day basis. In addition, the Secretariat also helps members share their news with a wide audience through the DCED website, DCED newsletters and social media.
How to Join the DCED
Membership is open to all governmental and philanthropic agencies as well as multilateral agencies (UN, development banks) that fund or implement PSD in developing countries, and share the vision of making it more effective. 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 agencies’ 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 agency itself. Agency representatives interested in learning more about the DCED should contact an existing member, or the Secretariat, to further explore available options.