Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative
This evaluation of the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI), 2007–2017, examines whether the initiative has been successful in improving the enabling business environment of the 14 ADB Pacific developing member countries (DMCs). The program, managed by ADB through its Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney, has provided support to Pacific DMC governments in the following areas: access to finance, business law reform, state-owned enterprise (SOE) reforms, public–private partnerships (PPPs), the economic empowerment of women, and competition and consumer protection. These interventions were complemented by analytical work and subprograms on cross-cutting issues. Since 2007, the PSDI has launched 276 subprograms, of which 93 had been completed as of 30 June 2017. From a total of $60.4 million allocated funds, $42.2 million had been disbursed as of 30 June 2017. Of the total funds, ADB provided $6.1 million, Australia $49.8 million, and New Zealand $4.5 million.
The evaluation found that, after a decade in operation, PSDI had supported the provision of several important inputs necessary for modern, functioning private sectors in Pacific DMCs. This was achieved in a political economy environment that generally made private sector reforms difficult. Nevertheless, the delivered outputs did not fully achieve the intended outcomes. This is because the provision of building blocks (i.e., outputs) conducive to improving the enabling business environment was not sufficient in itself. In managing the program and delivering value added, ADB did not provide sufficient strategic guidance, thus missing out on opportunities to draw on its knowledge and experience to lead the program.
PSDI remains a relevant program and it is well aligned with the needs of the Pacific DMCs. Given its wealth of experience in the Pacific, ADB with support from the cofinancers is best placed to lead a process of refocusing, expansion and increase of the value addition of the program.
In order to achieve better outcomes in PSDI, ADB needs to provide greater strategic guidance, review the management model for PSDI, put in place a fully functional M&E system that includes mapping out the results chain of subprograms, and rethink and enhance the focus area on the economic empowerment of women.