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The report assesses the role and efficacy of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO's) cooperation in Business Environment Reform (BER). The study reviews the results of SECO projects which contribute to reducing costs of doing business and barriers to competition as well as provides recommendations for future business environment improvement projects.
- The assessment concluded that there is an overall positive degree of relevance in SECO's work with business development reform with 75% of the projects in SECO's portfolio considered to be satisfactory or highly satisfactory in relevance
- While the majority of projects show evidence of contributing to improvements in the business environment, results relating to the outcome of implemented reforms are mixed
- The portfolio of projects had a mixed result of effectiveness with slightly over 50% of projects rated satisfactory or highly satisfactory in effectiveness
- The portfolio is efficient overall, with over 80% of the rated projects judged as satisfactory or highly satisfactory in efficiency
- Nearly 80% of the portfolio had a satisfactory or highly satisfactory rating in sustainability
- Although the report lacks strong assessment of costs and cost-effectiveness, slightly more than 50% of the portfolio of projects were rated as reasonably cost-effective.
SECO projects in the portfolio varied in intervention techniques. However, projects aimed to reduce costs of doing business and support partner countries in sustainable and environmentally friendly economic development.
This report utilized four methodologies:
- A review of secondary data collected via evaluations and mid-term reviews of 19 SECO projects
- A case study of Serbia with focus on SECO funded Business Environment Reform projects
- A literature review to identify current best practices and trends of Business Environment Reform
- A review of literature of Business Environment Reform produced by donor agencies.
Anyone interested in the market systems approach, specifically focused on business environment reform. This might include potential investors, development practitioners, policy-makers and current programmes that may have interest in partnering with SECO.