The first scoping study published under BERF considers the existing evidence on how to design effective business environment reforms (BER) in fragile and conflict affected countries (FCAS). DFID has identified this as a priority area given the increasing focus on economic growth and the greater concentration of expenditure in FCAS. This scoping study provides a high level assessment of the existing evidence on the design and impact of BER in FCAS.
Whilst there is a large collection of research around how to design business environment reforms (BER) in general, there is relatively little which looks specifically at fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS). It is with this view that Activity D launched the first of its scoping studies to look at the evidence on BER in FCAS.
DFID is increasingly focusing bilateral aid on FCAS, committing 30% of official development assistance to these countries. Whilst there is no commonly accepted definition of FCAS, DFID’s working definition includes countries where the government cannot, or will not deliver core state functions, such as providing security, justice, and basic services to the majority of its people. Currently, 21 of DFID’s 28 priority countries are designated as FCAS.
We held the first CAP meeting today for BERF. The panel agreed its objectives and terms of reference going forward, it had an initial discussion of some of the cross cutting issues including gender, political economy analysis, fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS), and environment/climate, and it had an a discussion about the emerging policy agenda (Activity D).
Under “Activity D” we are looking to conduct 5-10 short term (2-6 months) policy research pieces around the impact of Business Environment reform over the next 3 years. These are intended to add to the evidence base and support DFID in its future programming decisions.