Project Case Study
Improving the investment climate in Sierra Leone
Improving programme delivery and effectiveness of the Sierra Leone Business Forum
A decade after the end of the civil war, more than half the workforce of Sierra Leone worked in subsistence agriculture and more than half the population were living under the poverty line. There was little foreign investment, meaning that job creation was low and people struggled to escape the poverty trap.
To try and remedy this, in 2007 the Sierra Leone Business Forum, a public-private dialogue forum designed to stimulate private sector investment into the country, was established.
In 2008, the International Finance Corporation and the Department for International Development asked us to undertake a review of the Forum, which covered its organisational structure, governance principles, operating guidelines and funding structure.
We also reviewed the relationship between the Forum, International Financial Corporation Private Enterprise Partnership Africa (IFC PEP) and DFID to identify opportunities to improve programme delivery and effectiveness, with the overall aim of improving the investment climate and facilitating business development and growth in Sierra Leone.
Our reviewed the design of the Forum at its inception and examined its relevance in the changing environment. We then identified current economic trends that could impact it, and assessed their potential impacts, and identified the extent to which key stakeholders could evaluate its independence and effectiveness.
We also developed a redesign to bring it greater flexibility in responding to the demands of its key stakeholders, and drafted a new Memorandum of Understanding between the IFC, DFID and the Forum to improve future operations. Since its inception, Sierra Leone’s World Bank Doing Business ranking has improved by 18 places, from 160 in 2008 to 142 in 2013, out of the 183 economies surveyed.