Business environment reform (BER) is increasingly considered as a key component of development strategies in fragile settings, including conflict affected, post-conflict, post-disaster and emergency situations. Enterprises operating in fragile contexts might face business interruptions, physical damages, disruptions to infrastructure services, difficulties with supplies and shipment, and revenue decline. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable, as they tend to have less financial and human resources to face emergencies and hazards. When a community face disasters, violence, conflicts or emergencies the ability of local enterprises to survive is an important factor in the recovery process. Businesses play an important socio-economic role: they offer jobs and income for affected populations; they provide goods and services as well as tax revenues. Increasingly, bilateral and multilateral agencies that support private sector development ensure that these programmes have a component focusing on the improvement and reform of the business environment. The reason behind that is that an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises can contribute not only to economic growth, but also to more peaceful and inclusive societies. However, conducting business environment reforms in fragile contexts is a complex and often-long process. Fragile countries have many different characteristics, including varying levels of fragility, inequalities, income and economic performance. They are also more susceptible to rapid change, which implies that BER must be designed in an adaptable and flexible way. Stakeholders' engagement must be thorough and robust throughout the process, to ensure no stakeholders are isolated causing further tensions Against this background, this online course aims to provide participants with an understanding of existing tools and approaches to conduct and contribute to business environment reforms in fragile settings.
The course is addressed to a varied audience, with a common interest on fragility, resilience, business environment reform, and support to micro, small and medium enterprises. More specifically, the course is designed for: - ILO and UN in HQ and field, working in fragile contexts, including conflict affected, post-conflict, post-disaster and emergency situations. - ILO constituents (staff of employers' and workers' organizations, government representatives) that are based in a fragile context and are interested in learning more about how to improve the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises in their country. - Development and humanitarian professionals, including international experts and consultants in the fields of fragility, resilience, and business environment reform, looking to understand the role and approach of the ILO on these topics. - Donor agencies supporting MSME and private sector development in fragile contexts
The specific objectives of the course are the following:
This 4-week online course includes three thematic modules plus one “hands on” module:
Each module will include a webinar with international experts, plus a Welcome Webinar.
This course is an opportunity for participants to: