BERF is a new facility for promoting business environment reform especially in DFID partner countes.  BERF will work not just in “Tier 1” partner countries, which means DFID’s 28 priority programmes, but also in other countries where DFID is working, whether through a local office of DFID or through a programme managed from another country.

We are in the inception phase at the moment (til the end of March).  This is the phase where we get design our systems and processes to start delivery over the period April 2016 – January 2019.

We are also starting to test the water with DFID country offices to gauge the level of interest for support.  Our objective is to provide substantial support in at least 10 countries.  Working with the DFID Investment Climate Team we have contacted an intial group of 9 priority programmes, and  a second group of a similar number.  Overall the response has been encouraging, though some programmes are obviously not ready to move forward immediately to support.

We have already had a number of meetings with DFID and with our consortium.  Tomorrow we are holding a workshop to develop the logical framework for BERF which will help to clarify the monitoring framework for the project. In March we are hoping to meet with the Consultative Advisory Panel for BERF which will help us to take a strategic view of the priorities, including for example in the area of policy design.