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Centrally Managed Donor Funds and facilities to promote business engagement

Research reports

Written by Alberto Lemma

Engaging with busines in order to achieve development objectives is an issue that has been given particular emphasis by many donors, as a result of changing consensus on the effectiveness of different aid delivery mechanisms, as well as overall government budgetary constraints.

For public donor organisations that have traditionally provided funding through governments or civil society organisations, the issue of how to introduce the idea and practice of business engagement throughout their organisations but in a way which is sensitive to, and consistent with, decentralised decision making, has proved challenging. One common response has been to launch initiatives managed centrally to promote business engagement – usually a fund or facility of some kind.

Setting out to reviewing currently existing or recently closed CMDFFs, this study will focus on facilities that provide grants, technical assistance, information, training, publicity, ‘reputational capital’ and similar support – but will not include facilities offering financial instruments such as debt, equity investment or similar.

Section two will describe the funds covered in this review. Section three will analyse the objectives, scope and modalities of these funds and facilities. Section four will examine evidence from available evaluations of these funds, while Section five will discuss some issues that should usefully be considered by donors when thinking about business engagement funds and facilities.

Alberto Lemma and Karen Ellis