Cairo Conference Session 2.3: How Donors Can Work Together (2005)

    The Papers and powerpoint presentations on the right hand side come from Session 2.3 on 30th November 2005 in Cairo, "How Donors can Work Together". This topic has been a primary concern of the Donor Committee since it was established in 1979. Donor collaboration and coordination when supporting reforms of the business environment brings a number of new challenges to donor agencies. It is a way of increasing donor credibility with the host country and improving efficiency and effectiveness of donor efforts.

    However, donor collaboration is a "motherhood" term (i.e., everyone agrees with it and few would want to argue against it), but the difficulties are found in the details. Some donors indicate that cooperation with others is easier in well-established sectors, such as health and education, because these areas are easily defined and the relative interests and capabilities of donors in these fields are well known. However, the business environment is an emerging field for many donors; it is less well defined and the capabilities donors bring to this work are unclear.

    Work in this field also has a highly political character to it, which is not the case in sectors such as education and health. Moreover, donor collaboration becomes more difficult once political processes intervene. Because business environment reforms require agencies to work at a higher, and therefore, more political level, the challenges to collaboration are greater - but also more crucial than ever. At a technical level, collaboration is rather easy; donors can quickly delineate their relative interests and competencies among themselves. Despite this, not all mechanisms for collaboration and information sharing are effective. Donor agencies can spend a lot of time understanding each other because similar terms can be used by agencies to explain different concepts. This is a common problem in the business environment.

    a) Donor Coordination in SME / PSD in Vietnam, by Nguyen Hoa-Cuong
    Nguyen Hoa-Cuong, from the Agency for Small and Medium Enterprise Development in the Ministry of Planning and Investment in Vietnam, described the ways international donor agencies have worked with the Government of Vietnam to support reforms in the business environment.

    b) How does the IFC Deliver Technical Assistance? by Frank Sader
    Frank Sader, Senior Operations Officer in the Private Enterprise Partnership for Middle East and North Africa of the International Finance Corporation in Cairo, described the work of the regional facilities of the International Finance Corporation in supporting business environment reforms.

    c) Donors' Business Environment Reform Interventions in Egypt: A General Analytical Review, by Eman Omran and Ghada Waly
    Eman Omran is Chairperson of the Egypt SME Donor Committee in Cairo and SME Development Agency (CIDA) in the Canadian Embassy in Cairo; Ghada Waly is Co-Chairperson of the Egypt SME Donor Committee in Cairo, and Assistant Resident Representative for the United National Development Programme, based in Cairo. They presented a paper on donor experiences in supporting business environment reform in Egypt.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Synthesis documents
    »Donor Committee Conference: Reforming the Business Environment - from assessing problems to measuring results, Cairo, 29 November to 1 December 2005