Impact Assessment

Evaluation of Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) BDS Programs, IADB 2004

    The group of MIF projects evaluated in this report includes a wide scope of interventions that attempted to suppport the provision of BDS and improve MSME productivity and competitivness in the region.

    MIF support for the private sector and strategic commitment to BDS programs was particularly important given the competitive context and limited number of countries having specific MSME policies and funds. MIF interventions pioneered a broad range of BDS approaches and introduced many innovations in an area that lacks public support and has seen limited action by donors. MIF went from strengthening selected suppliers, to creating business development centers, and, finally, promoting demand-side approaches. The MIF's approach to BDS shows a process of learning and evolution that is marked by a clear turning point in 1999.

    Summary of results
    The evaluation concludes that six critical areas require adjustment in the way the MIF operates. The Bank should 1) better focus its activities; ii) design services that support MSMEs in regional integration and trade processes; iii) institute a systemic approach and a broadening of program mandates; iv) coordinate programs and BDS market platform development; v) stimulate innovation and open competition; and (vi) leverage institutional networks and experiences.