April 2018
The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) commissioned B,S,S. to conduct a study to better understand the ways business environment reforms can contribute to improvements in labour productivity; and to identify new and emerging (best) practices and policies in this field. The report is now available.

 

December 2017
B,S,S. concluded the mid-term evaluation of Austria's current country strategy in Bhutan. A formative, improvement-oriented evaluation, we provided strategic guidance for the Austrian development cooperation by assessing the potential consequences of a phasing out of Austria's assistance from Bhutan and potential support areas if Austria were to continue its bilateral development partnership with Bhutan. Furthermore, we reconstructed the underlying theory of change and assessed the current status of Austria's whole of government approach.
The full report is accessible here.

 

July 2016
A new study by Boris Kaiser (B,S,S.) and Michael Siegenthaler (KOF ETH Zürich) investigates how exchange rate fluctuations affect the skill structure of employment in Swiss manufacturing firms. The results show that an appreciation of the Swiss franc mainly hurts low- and medium-skilled jobs because they are more prone to outsourcing and automatization. In contrast, demand for high-skilled workers may even increase. The authors explain their findings in a readable blog post in the LSE Business Review. The study has been published in a recent issue of The Economic Journal.

September 2015
Over the past six months we have been providing advice to the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation in Bhutan, Mongolia and the Western Balkans. In Bhutan we reviewed the implementation of the current Cooperation Programme that focuses on democratic governance and provided our recommendations for the planned phase out until the end of 2016. In the Western Balkans we critically assessed relevance, effectiveness and sustainability as well as the institutional set-up of the Swiss Regional Police Cooperation Programme. Finally, in Mongolia, we were facilitating a consultative process to develop a second phase of a vocational education and training project and drafted the corresponding project document.

 
November 2014
B,S,S. Economic Consultants advised the United Nations Development Programme UNDP in Albania in the design of a skills development programme with a focus on youth employment in the rural area. The programme, which will be carried out over the next four years, aims at integrating elements of the “dual approach” into Albania’s skills development system, at improving labour market information, diversifying active labour market measures and setting up an accreditation system. Our services included carrying out a scoping mission, organising a planning workshop as well as drafting a logical framework and programme document, in close cooperation with UNDP.

 

September 2014
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO commissioned us to carry out an ex-post evaluation of its ten year project (2000-2010) to support the Policy Analysis Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in Tanzania. The evaluation was specifically targeted at the long-term outcomes and impact of the programme and the sustainability of interventions. Furthermore, assessed the SECO-internal follow up on lessons learned during the programme implementation. This project is part of our ongoing strategic partnership in the field of public finance management with SECO’s macroeconomic support unit.

 

August 2014
Vocational education and training is a recurrent topic of our work in Switzerland and internationally. A good case in point is the mid-term review of a Swiss funded project in Mongolia that we were asked to carry out. The project aims at improving the employability of youth in western Mongolia by fostering the collaboration between VET institutions and the private sector and by enhancing demand-driven vocational education and training. Our review shows that the orientation of the project is valid and that its implementation is adequate; our recommendations to consolidate the achievements hitherto and to carefully evaluate their practical outcomes prior to the scaling-up of the project’s measures are now being implemented.   

 

March 2014
Applying methods of qualitative research and based on the OECD-DAC methodological framework our team evaluated the project “Contribution to Constitutional Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina” on behalf of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC. Even though continuous efforts to reform Bosnia’s constitutional set-up remain unsuccessful hitherto, our report confirms the relevance of the dialogue platform that the project offered. The report also discusses the outcomes that were achieved and provides recommendations regarding SDC’s future approach in this domain.  

 

December 2013
Efforts to reform the judicial system in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been going on for more than a decade. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supports the reform process since October 2010 when it launched its project “Strengthening prosecutors in the criminal justice system” in collaboration with the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC). In a recent evaluation we assessed the overall relevance, performance and achievements of the project and provided our recommendations for a possible project follow-up.

 

June 2013
B,S,S. Economic Consultants co-authored an opinion on the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2012: Youth and skills: Putting education to work, which was published in the latest edition of the norrag news. The article briefly shows what functions the private sector can fulfil in a VET system and provides examples where private companies have been successfully involved in reforms of vocational education and training.

  

February 2013
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation supports the joint efforts of the Ministry of Education and Science and OXO, a local non-governmental organisation, in institutionalising environmental education in the Macedonian school system. The programme, implemented between 2010 and 2013, aims at raising awareness of environmental issues and encouraging children to act in an environmentally responsible manner. Furthermore, through training and a small grant component, the programme undertakes to encourage school administrations and municipalities to integrate environmental issues in school management. B,S,S. carried out a mid-term review of the programme, focusing on effectiveness and efficiency of the programme to date, and provided recommendations as regards the future of the programme.


February 2013
Since September 2012 B,S,S. Economic Consultants carries out an evaluation of the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme (together with KEK-CDC Consultants). The aim of the evaluation is to assess the outcomes of selected instruments of return assistance, to identify lessons learned and to propose recommendations to the Federal Office for Migration for improving and further developing voluntary return assistance. B,S,S. is responsible for a comprehensive quantitative data analysis as well as qualitative interviews with returnees and programme stakeholders in Georgia, Sri Lanka and Turkey as well as in Switzerland.   

 

August 2012
B,S,S. Economic Consultants advised the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Albania and the non-governmental organisation NPF in the design of the final phase of a Roma social inclusion project. To this end we organised and facilitated a one-day project planning workshop in Tirana that brought together more than twenty-five representatives of central and local government and civil society. The workshop provided a platform to discuss the project, validate proposed plans and agree upon the main intervention areas of the project. In close collaboration with and active support from NPF staff we subsequently developed the project document, including a logical framework and a detailed budget breakdown.

 

May 2012
The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Serbia (SIPRU) is tasked to disseminate and anchor the concepts of social inclusion and poverty reduction in Serbia. SIPRU is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation since 2009. B,S,S. Economic Consultant was invited to evaluate the work of SIPRU and to provide recommendations for its future mandate and institutional set-up. The evaluation is based on the OECD-DAC methodological framework and employs qualitative methods.  

 

November 2011
For the next three years B,S,S. Economic Consultants and its partner Oxford Policy Management from London will provide operational and conceptual backstopping and advisory services to the Macroeconomic Support Division of the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO). The framework contract covers a wide range of issues in the public financial management (PFM) domain, with a focus on budget management and fiscal decentralisation. Our engagement will contribute to enhance SECO’s development cooperation efforts by providing support and complementary services to SECO.

 

October 2011
SDC’s project Alternated Education and Vocational Education Project – Phase VI (CEFA) in Albania aims at contributing to improved social inclusion of the Roma and Egyptian minorities through education, employment, community empowerment and promotion of minority rights. It also supports the implementing agency – Foundation Ndihmë për fëmijët (NPF) – in its development process. B,S,S. Economic Consultants carried out an external review, which included an organisational performance assessment, and formulated recommendations particularly as regards SDC’s future interventions in the domain of social inclusion in Albania.

 

August 2011
The Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) commissioned an independent review of four components of its Rule of Law Programme, including a trial monitoring project in Armenia and a prosecutorial reform project in Moldova. B,S,S. performed an evaluation of the programme components in terms of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. Furthermore, we developed recommendations on possible improvements and future considerations for ODIHR’s programmatic work on rule of law.

 

June 2011
B,S,S. Economic Consultants was commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to perform a review of the Joint Programme for Roma and Marginalised Groups Inclusion through Education in Serbia and in Montenegro (2009-2011). The programme (implemented by the Red Cross, Pomoc Deci, and UNICEF) aims at including marginalised children, particularly children of the Roma minority and on children with disabilities, into the mainstream education system though institutional and legislative reform, design and implementation of different educational modules and advocacy. The objectives of the review were to assess the relevance of the programme against national strategic documents and policy priorities; to evaluate the results achieved and the efficiency of the institutional set-up; and to provide recommendations for the future strategic and institutional orientation of the programme.

 

April 2011
External Evaluation of SDC Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has been playing a key role in the field youth employment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Youth Employment Project (YEP) is a flagship intervention in this regard. YEP aims at facilitating cooperation between private and public agencies/employment institutes and with the education sector with a view to increase employability of school graduates and long-term unemployed youth. B,S,S. carried out a mid-term evaluation of this three year technical assistance based on the OECD-DAC criteria and supported SDC with recommendations for the design of the follow-up project.


For more issues of News please refer to our News in German or our News Archive (also only available in German).

B,S,S. Volkswirtschaftliche Beratung, Aeschengraben 9, CH-4051 Basel, Tel: +41 61 262 05 55