Feasibility Studies & Research

MEDA-ECDI focused on the supply side of BDS markets developing a framework for evaluating BDS providers in three sub-sectors in Pakistan. The evaluation included a survey of providers in targeted regions and an in-depth assessment of selected providers across those sub-sectors and regions. The BDS market and providers were measured in terms of their contribution to the marketability, sales and long-term sustainability of constituent MSEs (micro to small enterprises) and the MSE products or services. This focus on MSE sales and marketing was based on an earlier MEDA-ECDI study in which MSEs identified increased sales as their first priority.

BDS services assessed, based on MEDA-ECDI experience were: input supply, market access, technology development (application of ICTs), and product design and development. Methodologies and tools developed by MEDA-ECDI assisted sub-sector specific and cross-cutting service providers undertake appropriate target-market research and to incorporate target-market findings into the development of results-oriented programs.

Services undertaken covered: Literature review to identify and assess BDS market survey methods and tools; development of survey methodology to catalog BDS providers in a given sub-sector and region; development of an MSE questionnaire to elicit information about BDS services including embedded, informal, piggy-back and commercial services, key informant interviews and focus groups, application of MSE questionnaire amongst women owned and operated MSEs; preparation of concept paper for local funding agencies (e.g., USAID and CIDA in Pakistan) to expand scope of work, identify and catalogue a total of at least 90 BDS providers that serve women owned and operated MSEs through the application of the survey methodology including the MSE questionnaire; information on 90 BDS providers catalogued in user- friendly database format; analysis of BDS provider database to determine which providers participate in an in-depth assessment; development of assessment tool, primarily to determine the effectiveness of BDS providers in accessing and applying target market research to services, and application of assessment tool (key informant interviews).