Methodological issues in the evaluation of small business development policies and programmes

Bukula, Mandulo Septi (2004-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Evaluating small business development policies and programmes is a methodologically difficult task. A wide range of role players in the economy - government departments and agencies, corporations, international donors, and non-governmental organisations - invest resources of sizeable magnitude annually in promoting small business. This investment is often justified on the basis of the importance of small business in contributing to the attainment of a range of socio-economic objectives such as job creation, addressing economic inequity among various population groups, stimulating competition in the economy, and enhancing economic growth. With the increase in the magnitude of public investment in small business development, and increasing competition for the same resources from other worthwhile interventions, the pressure for public accountability and the need to demonstrate effectiveness of policies and programmes has increased. Programme sponsors are increasingly requiring that those receiving public funds for small business development projects should ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of their programmes in order to ensure that there is a sound information base to provide the necessary policy and programme feedback. The question, however, is to what extent small business policies and programmes are successful in ensuring the attainment of their objectives. To what degree can any changes at the level of the enterprise and its immediate environment be realistically attributed to the effectiveness of policies and programmes? Can ongoing investment In small business development be justified in the face of competing demands for the same resources from other worthwhile and perhaps more pressing causes? How efficient is a particular policy or programme in terms of its cost in relation to other policy or programme alternatives? These and more are questions facing evaluators of small business development policies and programmes. This thesis shows that the task facing these evaluators is not an easy one, due to methodological complexities encountered in attempting to answer these questions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die evaluering van ontwikkelingsbeleidsrigtinge en -programme van kleinsakeondernemings is metodologies geen maklike taak nie. 'n Groot verskeidenheid rolspelers in die ekonomie, ingeslote regeringsdepartemente en -instansies, korporasies, internasionale skenkers en nie-regeringsorganisasies, belê jaarliks aansienlike hulpbronne in die bevordering van kleinsakeondernemings. Sodanige beleggings word dikwels geregverdig aan die hand van die belangrikheid van kleinsakeondernemings se bydrae tot die bereiking van verskeie sosio-ekonomiese doelwitte soos werkskepping, en om die kwessie van ekonomiese ongelykheid tussen onderskeie bevolkingsgroepe aan te roer, om mededinging binne die ekonomie aan te moedig en om ekonomiese groei te versterk. Die toename in die omvang van openbare beleggings in kleinsakeontwikkeling asook toenemende mededinging vir dieselfde hulpbronne deur ander verdienstelike partye gaan gepaard met toenemende druk vir openbare aanspreeklikheid en noodsaak doeltreffende beleidsrigtingr en -programme. Programborge vereis toenemend dat diegene wat openbare fondse vir kleinsakeontwikkelingsprojekte ontvang, die doeltreffende monitering en evaluering van hulle programme moet waarborg sodat daar 'n deeglike inligtingsbasis bestaan om die nodige beleids- en programterugvoer te verskaf. Die vraag is egter tot welke mate kleinsakebeleidsrigtinge en -programme daarin slaag om te verseker dat hul doelwitte bereik word. Tot watter mate kan enige veranderinge op ondernemingsvlak en sy onmiddellike omgewing, realisties gesproke, aan die doeltreffendheid van beleidsrigtinge en -programme toegeskryfword? Kan voortgesette beleggings in kleinsakeontwikkeling geregverdig word in die lig van mededinging vir dieselfde hulpbronne deur ander verdienstelike, en moontlik selfs meer dwingende, sake? Hoe doeltreffend is 'n bepaalde beleid of program in terme van sy koste, gesien in verhouding tot ander beleids- of programkeuses? Diegene, wat verantwoordelik is vir die beoordeling van kleinsakeontwikkelingsbeleidsrigtinge en - programme word deur hierdie en vele ander vrae gekonfronteer. Hierdie tesis toon aan dat sodanige beoordelaars, as gevolg van die metodologiese ingewikkeldhede waarvoor hulle te staan kom in die poging om hierdie vrae te beantwoord, geen maklike taak het me.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50020
This item appears in the following collections: