for market systems approaches

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Published by
Project implementer
Results level
Growth and access to services
Mixed method
Intervention type
Improved access to information

This document is the report of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Enterprise for Pro-Poor Growth (Enter-Growth) project in Sri Lanka. The evaluation assesses the extent to which the approach contributed to the generation of pro-poor economic growth and quality employment for men and women in four North West and North Central districts over the course of four years with a focus on the development of micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

Main findings

  • The overall assessment of the project is positive with sound evidence from reports that the approach led to local economic growth including increased MSE registration and more favourable market conditions for MSEs to operate in.
  • The 'light touch' approach enabled the project to take more of a facilitating approach rather than intervene which contributed to the effectiveness of the project to identify appropriate activities, build local ownership and commitment, which promoted sustainable impact.
  • MSE forums were proved to be effective mechanisms to facilitate and improve dialogue and relationships between private, public, and NGO stakeholders.
  • Comparative Advantage and value chain analysis helped stakeholders identify priority reform areas. 

Intervention description

The Enter-Growth project utilized a 'light touch' approach to its intervention, focusing on the provision of technical support, coordination, and information to MSEs in order to facilitate reform in the four chosen districts instead of more direct financial interventions. Interventions aim to (i) improve market access for MSEs (ii) support more conducive policy and legal environment (iii) improve attitudes towards entrepreneurship and (iv) improved access to business development services. 

Evidence methodology

The report examined data produced by the following means:

  • Desk research of all programme documentation including the 2007 strategic mid-term review, design documents, progress reports, intervention reports, and impact assessment reports
  • Interviews with a cross section of stakeholders in all four districts
  • Meetings with association representatives
  • Stakeholder workshop to validate findings
  • Discussions with the Enter-Growth team.

Useful for:

Anyone interested in the market systems approach, specifically with an interest in  the development of MSEs in Sri Lanka and South Asia. This might include potential investors and partners, as well as development practitioners and researchers.