AfDB and Norad shed light on private sector development actions

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) hosted a seminar on Private Sector Assistance: Current Evidence on Additionality on Monday, October 24 in Oslo.  

The Independent Development Evaluation (IDEV) of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) Evaluation Department, joined forces to synthesize the wealth of existing evaluative evidence from 33 evaluations of donor support for private sector development.  The objective of this initiative was to mine this evaluative knowledge and share it with key stakeholders including policy makers, development partners, senior management and the public.  The seminar, which drew on the findings of the synthesis report Towards Private Sector-Led Growth: Lessons of Experience, brought together over 80 participants including Norwegian policy-makers, private sector, academia, civil society and the media, in addition to African diplomatic missions present in Oslo.

 This seminar spurred a dialogue on key issues such as risks, opportunities and challenges that the private sector faces. It also impelled the role of donor support in alleviating major constraints faced by the private sector, as well as the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of private sector development interventions. The appropriateness of the mix of donor support instruments and how development partners would work together to ensure that the private sector creates shared growth and contributes to poverty reduction, were highlighted by the seminar as well.  It particularly focused on the issue of additionality (both quantity and quality) and catalytic effect. Difficulties for identifying appropriate metrics and measuring them were also highlighted.  

Per Øyvind Bastøe, Evaluation Director at Norad, moderated a debate which included AfDB’s General Evaluator, Rakesh Nangia; Balbir Singh, Senior Adviser, Evaluation Department, Norad; Katja Christina Nordgaard, Director, Section for Economic and Commercial Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Ola Nafstad, Head of Department, Strategy and Analysis, Norfund.

According to Norad Per Bastøe, Evaluation Director, “This seminar has led to an enriching discussion not just with the policy-makers, but also with other key stakeholders including the private sector and civil society. It is a testimony to the effective partnership between the AfDB and Norad’s evaluation departments.  This is just the start of a dialogue on how we can ensure additionality of our interventions and create catalytic impact.”

Rakesh Nangia concluded that “The Norad and IDEV teams worked closely together to prepare this seminal piece that highlights lessons of experience from more than 30 evaluation reports conducted by bilateral and multilateral development partners. It is my hope that this synthesis will guide future initiatives by developing countries, at both a policy and transaction level, in support of private sector development.”

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