The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development

Linked with Supporting Business Environment Reforms.

The Committee promotes enterprise development, particularly for small enterprises, in developing countries. It provides a forum, in which member agencies can exchange information about their programmes, and the lessons learned through those programmes. Building on experience, the Committee publishes common guidelines for member agencies.

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About: The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development is a gathering of many of the funding and inter-governmental agencies working for sustainable poverty alleviation through development of “the private sector” – the businesses, small and large, that provide the bulk of employment and prosperity worldwide.

It was established informally in 1979, when its first members met at a meeting convened by the World Bank. Until 2005, the Committee was known as the “Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development”.

Sustainable development can only be driven, in the long term, by a dynamic private sector; and external agencies can only contribute to that dynamism if their efforts are coordinated. In the quest for harmonisation and effectiveness, the Committee therefore works on:

  • defining best practice in priority themes, in participatory ways;
  • disseminating best practice and successful experiences between countries;
  • and increasing capacity of development practitioners to improve their effectiveness.

This technical focus contributes to realisation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, which aims to ensure that “donors’ actions are more harmonised, transparent and collectively effective”. It does so in ways that are distinctive; for example:

  • the Committee is led by its member agencies, responding to the shared interests and needs that arise as members work to serve their clients in government, the private sector and civil society in developing countries;
  • the Committee develops best-practice guidelines based on the practical experiences gained in the field;
  • the Committee includes among its membership bilateral donors, multi-lateral agencies (Development Banks, UN agencies and others) and private foundations;
  • the Committee provides a forum where innovative thinking and approaches can be articulated and discussed;
  • the Committee provides institutional memory to members and others, in private sector development.

In addition, the Committee, through its Annual Meetings and Working Groups set up to tackle specific issues, provides an opportunity for staff of member agencies to get to know their peers, and expand their networks, in a constructive and positive atmosphere.

The activities of the Committee: … (full text).

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