Impact Assessment

What works in Business Environment Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

    This report gives a snapshot of the business environment reform programmes funded by DFID Country Offices. It describes the most important lessons learnt, drawing on interviews with Country Offices and implementing agencies.

    Summary of results
    This Evidence and Learning Note provides lessons on what works in BER design and
    programming. It identifies the prerequisites for starting a BER programme, suggests
    approaches for designing programmes to suit varying levels of political commitment and
    provides a range of strategies to sustain reform through political transitions.

    1. Political economy analysis which reflects a realistic assessment of the country
    context is the most important pre-condition to determining whether to start a
    BER programme, regardless of country or region.

    2. Gender should be emphasised early in the design process to avoid bolt-on modifications after substantial design work has been done.

    3. Choice of implementing agency is as important as the choice of partner and innovation in approach is increasingly common in DFID’s BER programmes

    4. Many critical design decisions are made early in the programming cycle, and Country Offices have to balance a series of trade-offs.