Policy Research on Business Environment Reform

BERF seeks to produce demand-led Business Environment policy research for DFID Country Offices and policy teams to complement their operational and academic knowledge of how to design and deliver more effective Business Environment reform programmes to stimulate business growth. Relevant expertise is supplied from BERF’s Pool of Consultants, network of academic institutions and think-tanks and KPMG’s research services organisation.

BERF Research Projects

  1. BERF Skills and School Leavers in the Sierra Leone Labour Market
  2. Barriers to job creation and labour market access for youth in Sub Sahran Africa
  3. Business Environment Reform in Fragile and Conflict Affected States Research Report 
  4. Pakistan Punjab Research and Diagnostic
  5. BER in Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS), Scoping Study
  6. Formalisation of Smallholder Agriculture
  7. Gender and Customary Law in Business Environment Reform
  8. Scoping Study Gender Differences in Enterprise Surveys
  9. BERF Investment Climate Policy Refresh Vol 1 January 2019
  10. BERF Investment Climate Policy Refresh Vol 2 November 2018


BERF Research Themes

  1. Poverty Impact

    Business Environment reform programmes’ impact on poverty with a focus on the types of reform that are politically viable and that technically have an impact on investment, productivity and inclusive growth. Theories of Change for Business Environment reform – how Business Environment reform activities lead ultimately to poverty reduction – provide only tentative evidence that interventions are likely to lead to intended outputs, given their innovative nature.

  2. Women’s empowerment

    Business Environment reform and women’s economic empowerment, addressing gaps in Country Offices’ knowledge of Business Environment effects on gender equality, particularly equality of opportunity and equality of access to resources.

  3. Fragile and conflict states

    Interventions to reform the business environment in fragile and conflict affected states, with an emphasis on the role of women in business and work and at what point in the conflict or the transition from fragility to stability can Business Environment reform be expected to have traction.

  4. Climate change

    Environmental regulation is one of the cross-cutting issues of concern to DFID Country Offices, particularly the economic impact of environmental regulation as a means of monitoring and controlling Carbon Dioxide emissions. BERF research provides policy support to help Country Offices think through risks and opportunities in their Business Environment reform programmes.

  5. Investment decisions

    BE reform has a differential impact of on firms’ investment decisions and on employment creation potential in different poverty contexts. For example, while cartels and oligopolies do not necessarily constrain growth, they can limit the inclusiveness of growth; and resource rich economies tend to become less diversified over time for a number of economic and political economy reasons.

  6. Private Sector Role

    The political economy surrounding the facilitation of the private sector to play an active role in strengthening the business enabling environment.