News

We are pleased to present you with some of our work's highlights and share with you the media's reporting on our activities. More news and media reporting is available on our German website.

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An evaluation of the Addis Tax Initiative's effectiveness

September 2019: Together with our partners of the German Development Institute we presented the main findings and recommendations of the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) midterm evaluation on the occasion of the 2019 ATI/ITC Conference on Tax and Development in Berlin, Germany.

The ATI aims to improve the domestic revenue mobilisation of 24 partner countries. The tax initiative, launched in 2015 in Addis Ababa, aims to facilitate the partner countries' fulfilment of the 17 goals of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We evaluated the current implementation of the ATI and especially the realisation of the three commitments. The recommendations formulated by us and the GDI shall inform the ATI working groups and are a foundation for the design of the initiative's next phase. The report and additional information is available here.

How business environment reforms can improve labour productivity

April 2018: The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) commissioned BSS 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.

Assessing Austria's development cooperation with Bhutan

December 2017: BSS 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 status of Austria's whole of government approach.
The full report is accessible here.

What happens to the skill structure of employment in Swiss manufacturing firms when exchange rates fluctuate?

July 2016: A new study by Boris Kaiser (BSS) 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.

A closer look at Swiss development cooperation in Bhutan, Mongolia and the Western Balkans

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 Cooperation Programme that had focussed on democratic governance and provided our recommendations for the phase out of the programme.

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.

Designing a skills development programme for the Albanian labour market

November 2014: BSS 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.

An ex-post evaluation of a decade-long project to support policy analysis in Tanzania

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 2012-2018 strategic partnership in the field of public finance management with SECO’s macroeconomic support unit.

Ameliorating youth employability in Western Mongolia

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.   

BSS evaluates constitutional reform efforts

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.