Emerging patterns of demand for BE reform programme support

The marketing of BERF to DFID country offices commenced on 1st February. To ensure that our resources can work efficiently in the year ahead, every month we take stock of the results of our marketing effort. The emerging pattern of response by DFID country offices reflects in part BE reform programme maturity (and issues arising), the existence of a pipeline of programmes dedicated to, or containing elements of, BE reform interventions and the prominence given to BE reform by individual country offices. All these factors are likely to shape BERF’s product offer in the year ahead and are therefore worthy of closer examination now.

The marketing campaign was initiated by DFID’s Investment Climate Team with a personalised email to key contacts (usually PSD Advisers and Economic Advisers) in country offices. Earlier analysis had established notional interest among DFID’s priority country offices and had produced a “rag” (Red/Amber/Green) rating of levels of interest in BE reform programme support. Emails were followed up by the BERF Team with a telephone interview which produced a briefing note on BE reform status, key issues for DFID, country governments and local stakeholders and opportunities for BERF engagement in supporting the country office.

Responses from the 20 DFID country offices contacted to date have been encouraging and can be divided into four categories:

Interested now

7 country offices (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, Rwanda, Zimbabwe) have expressed strong interest in BERF support, for example:

  • improved evidence of what works in BE reform programmes

  • value for money evidence of benefit to cost of IFC investment climate programmes

  • programme design and implementation support in local growth sectors

  • undertaking annual reviews

  • implementing M&E in BE reform programmes, particularly measuring cost of compliance savings

Interested, but for later

4 country offices (Ethiopia, Ukraine, Burma, Caribbean) have expressed firm interest but for one reason or another are not in a position to engage just yet – typical reasons include key people on leave or a potential clash with the launch of complementary programmes.

2 country offices (Tanzania, Nepal) have acknowledged the potential benefits of BERF support for their BE reform programmes, but have no urgent needs – this situation could change in the near future.

 

Not yet responded

7 other DFID programme managers have yet to respond, possibly because of conflicting commitments or no imminent BE reform programme needs.  BERF will follow up to confirm the situation.

Each of these categories calls for a different follow-up response, from securing a firm commission (already 2 offices have reached the ToRs stage), through nurturing early leads with a focus on specific needs, to emailing reminders of the benefits of BERF (in the expectation that Advisers will eventually have time to notice how BERF could contribute to better BE reform programmes). Each of the four categories of early response calls for a nuanced marketing campaign to ensure that our extensive and expert resources are brought to bear in the right way on DFID country office needs.