October 2013 Designing a results measurement system for the Enterprise Challenge Fund

Designing a results measurement system - reportA results measurement system for a fund provides the opportunity to demonstrate the impact of the dollars spent as well as learn from the experience. However challenge funds have typically been designed with an arm’s length approach to management by the fund manager.   

In 2010, the ECF set about to improve the monitoring system using the recently developed DCED Standard for results measurement. This was the first time a challenge fund had invested significantly in a results measurement system and the first time the Standard had been applied to a challenge fund.

In this review, we discuss the approach to re-designing the system, the impact the new system had on the program and look at the DCED audit on the program – how did the ECF comply?




October 2013 ECF Lessons Learned Workshop - Growing Business to Reduce Poverty

ECF - brouchure 2013Private sector development is an area of importance for the Australian aid program and contributes sustainable economic development – improving incomes, employment and enterprise opportunities. The ECF for Pacific and South-East Asia was established to address this important area and is an A$20.5 million AusAID-led Australian Government initiative. It aimed to contribute to poverty alleviation by creating income generating opportunities and access to goods and services with a positive economic benefit for poor people.

From 2010 - 2013 the ECF funded businesses have benefited 78,154 people by an estimated A$8.179 million in increased income. This equates to 50% of Australian Government funds spent on the program. By 2015, the full value of the program will have been converted into income for the poor.

For a summary of the results and lessons learned from the ECF Project Completion Report 2013 download a copy of ECF Growing Business to Reduce Poverty

For more information - see the ECF Project Completion Report here.



May 2013 Improving Agricultural Supply Chains in the Pacific Islands

Improving Agricultural Supply Chains in the Pacific IslandsAs the ECF has funded a number of programs in the Pacific Islands in working to improve agricultural supply chains, the Fund Director also spent time with key stakeholders working in agricultural supply chains, reviewed relevant literature and studied the monitoring information from the ECF funded projects in order to develop lessons from agricultural supply chains.

This paper explores agricultural supply chains in four different Enterprise Challenge Fund projects from three Pacific Island countries: a teak nursery and plantation project (Future Forests Fiji) and a small scale poultry producer (Reddy Farms) in Fiji; a cocoa plantation (C-Corp) in the Solomon Islands; and a beef producer (Sarami) in Vanuatu. Attention is given to the practical lessons these projects can tell us about improving supply chains to maximise pro-poor outcomes and improve rural livelihoods – while the ECF has achieved significant successes but many lessons can be learnt from the challenges faced and some of the unanticipated outcomes.

The review also provides lessons for future programs adopting similar business support mechanisms to stimulate private sector investment and rural development - these lessons can also guide commercial organisations embarking on similar business ventures in the region.

Download the 2013 Improving Agricultural Supply Chains paper here.



May 2013 Accessing Finance in the Pacific Islands

Accessing Finance in the Pacific IslandsThe Enterprise Challenge Fund has completed a review of accessing finance in the Pacific. Over the last 12 months, the Fund Director met with a number of stakeholders in the Pacific Islands including banks, funded projects as well as conducting a review of relevant literature. The findings from this review have been consolidated into a paper looking at Accessing Finance in the Pacific Islands.

The paper firstly considered issues around accessing finance in the Pacific Islands from the perspective of an individual, an entrepreneur and experienced business people as well as considering action that has occurred to improve this. The paper also takes into account the issues in the enabling environment and the feedback from banking institutions in the Pacific Islands. The paper then looks at four case studies of projects in the Pacific Islands and assesses the issues around access to finance drawing individual lessons from each project.

The paper then concludes by considering lessons from the overall literature and case studies and provides lessons to inform future programs.

Download the 2013 Accessing Finance paper here.



January 2013 Women’s Economic Empowerment – Practice and Policy Implications from the Enterprise Challenge Fund

ECF - Publication - Womens Economic Empowerment  Practice and Policy Implications from the Enterprise Challenge FundChallenge funds contribute towards economic inclusion, the process of overcoming barriers to men and women participating in or contributing fully to the economic system. These barriers can include a lack of awareness and understanding, accessibility to products and services, and confidence in the system at large. This paper by Kate Nethercott, Amanda Jupp and Marianne Jago-Bassingthwaighte for the Enterprise Challenge Fund explores how the pilot program contributed to improved economic development and women’s empowerment outcomes.

The paper offers some observations for the international development policy and practice communities and for the private sector. It encourages a more targeted focus on women’s economic empowerment through private sector development partnerships, not least through a greater mutual allocation of funds, and design effort.

Download the 2013 Women’s Economic Empowerment paper here.





September 2012 How the private sector can contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals

ECF - Development Theme Series Gender 02The Enterprise Challenge Fund reporting often focuses on the economic impacts of the projects such as increased incomes and employment.

With support from a number of Coffey International’s development experts, the program team put together development thematic papers highlighting some of the achievements of the private sector in areas aligned with the Millennium Development Goals in Women's Economic Empowerment, Gender, Environment and Capacity Development - areas where the private sector is often not considered as key contributors.

Download the reports here:


October 2011 Enterprise Challenge Fund Independent Review

AusAID LogoAn independent progress review (IPR) of the Enterprise Challenge Fund (ECF) was conducted in October 2011 and can be found on the AusAID website here.

The Independent Progress Report is overall a good evaluation and appraisal of the Enterprise Challenge Fund for Pacific and South-East Asia in terms of progress against development and business outcomes and in identifying some of the positive and limitations to using a challenge fund (or other private sector development approaches) in the Asia Pacific context.

The report recommends continued AusAID support for pro-poor private sector development in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands but that its nature should change. AusAID has also posted a management response to the review here which outlines a number of activities that will address the recommendations of the report and are underway in 2013.

The review is the second mid-term review or independent progress review conducted on the Enterprise Challenge Fund.

As part of internal continuous program improvement, the ECF Fund Manager held sessions with both in-house and independent Coffey International Development team members to discuss the IPR review findings and the recommendations made on future instruments. The discussion covers the evaluation of challenge funds and the recommendations made with references to how the ECF pilot program will provide input into the debate over 2013.

The discussion paper can be downloaded here.


July 2012 Australia Evaluation Measuring Results in Private Sector Development

AES conference - hand outThe Coffey International Development-managed, AusAID-funded Enterprise Challenge Fund (ECF) for Pacific and South East Asia provides opportunity for businesses to obtain grants to assist in commercialising business projects in participating countries.

To assist in the evaluation of these resulting business projects, and the success of the fund, we have developed a results measurement system that compliments the needs of the private sector to provide timely information and flexibility to develop new approaches.

Download a copy of the brochure here


2009 Enterprise Challenge Fund Mid Term Review

AusAID LogoAusAID - In late 2009, an independent mid-term review of the Enterprise Challenge Fund (ECF) was conducted to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the pilot program. A range of activities have been implemented at AusAID’s request in response to the review findings to enhance ECF’s efficiency.

Read more on the Mid Term Review reports here


2006 Enterprise Challenge Fund Project Design

AusAID LogoThis document details the rationale, feasibility and design recommendations for the proposed Enterprise Challenge Fund.

The design recommends the structure, scale, scope and management arrangements for operating of the Enterprise Challenge Fund. It proposes a $20 million pilot covering eight countries over six years, with a focus on areas such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries. It also proposes working in transport, distribution, renewable energy, banking and telecommunications.

Enterprise Challenge Fund Design Document [PDF 802 kb]