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 work their way out of poverty. It promotes frank, technical knowledge exchange and discussion on effective practice, based on the practical experience of DCED members in private sector development programmes as well as domestic policy innovation worldwide. This has allowed the DCED to develop a substantial body of knowledge and lessons learnt about the rapidly expanding field of private sector development (PSD) – as summarised in its constantly updated website at Enterprise-Development.org.
What the DCED has achieved
The DCED has had a significant impact from a number of activities, including its syntheses and original research on new trends and effective PSD practices, programme guidance and training, and support to inter-agency coordination.
The DCED Website has become the leading source of knowledge on private sector development – bringing together resources on all PSD approaches (e.g. market systems development, innovation policy, industrial policy) and diverse experiences from developing economies. The DCED has developed an evidence framework that serves as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for robust research on how PSD leads to pro-poor impacts. Practitioners also find the latest relevant news on PSD, such as upcoming events and job opportunities. In total, 50,000 users from all over the world visit the DCED website every year and thousands subscribe to its newsletters.
The DCED is also 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 private sector development programmes globally and a growing library of supporting documentation and advice is available on the DCED website. The DCED’s third Global Seminar on Results Measurement in 2016 brought together 130 funders, practitioners and researchers from around the world to discuss the state-of-the-art and cutting-edge thinking in measuring results. The fourth in the series, in February 2018, was fully subscribed with 150 participants.
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 donor funds and facilities for partnering with the private sector. To learn more about the content of the DCED’s work, please refer to the introduction to the DCED here.
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, for example on employment creation and mega-trends in private sector development, 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 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. Of more importance 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.