Step 1: Defining the purpose of the assessment

The first step that needs to be taken is to agree on the purpose of the assessment. The tools and guidance provided in this toolkit cover a wide range of issues and were designed to be used for different purposes. When selecting the right tools to use, the Employers' Organization needs to be clear on why the assessment is being conducted and what results are expected from it.

Assessing the EESE can be done in a broad manner that endeavours to cover a wide range of issues, in order to get a general idea of what the main problems or concerns are, or it can be done on a specific set of issues that require a more detailed analysis. The choice on this matter will have an influence on the resources and time required to undertake the assessment, as well as on the technical skills that need to be made available. The choice will also be based on the amount and quality of information that is already available on the EESE (i.e., on what assessments have already been conducted previously).

In many cases, it will be immediately clear why the Employers' Organization wishes to undertake an EESE assessment and there will be an obvious reason why you are reading this toolkit and planning to conduct an assessment. However, it is necessary to define the parameters of the assessment and to be clear on what the Employers' Organization wants to get out of the assessment.

1.A What is the rationale for the assessment

The Employers' Organization should be able to be clear about the main rationale for undertaking the assessment: what has brought the organization to consider this project.

Here are some examples that illustrate possible rationales.

The Employers' Organization wishes to assess the EESE in order to:

  • Identify and respond to the major problems firms face, including women-owned enterprises;
  • be better able to effectively participate in public-private dialogue;
  • identify constraints in a specific sector, including sectors in which women are dominant;
  • take a proactive approach to advocating for improvement of the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises;
  • respond to a new dynamic in the policy environment;
  • identify constraints on the small business sector.

The above list shows a number of possible rationales for undertaking an EESE assessment. These examples illustrate a diverse number of reasons for doing this work. Your organization will have its own reasons, and it is important these are written down and agreed upon.

Use Worksheet 1 for doing this.

1.B Define the scope

The scope of the assessment refers to how much of the EESE the Employers' Organization wishes to assess. The Employers' Organization should be able to state the parameters of the assessment. This will be guided in large part by the rationale for the assessment, as discussed above.

The scope of the assessment will affect the time it takes to complete, the magnitude of the resources it requires –– including the amount of money and people, and the skills and expertise that need to be committed to the project. While many of these issues will be considered in Step 2 of this section ("Formulating an assessment methodology"), it is the scope of the assessment to initially defines these. Thus, it is important to match the ambition of the Employers' Organization with the resources it has available and with its own commitment.

The EESE toolkit is based on the 17 policy pillars of the Sustainable Enterprise framework. An EO can choose to conduct an assessment across all these policy areas. However, in most cases the EO will want to target specific areas for deeper and more detailed analysis.

Use Worksheet 1 for describing the scope of the assessment in as much detail as you can.

1.C Who will use the assessment?

It is likely that the assessment will be used by the Employers' Organization and its members; however, there are likely to be other key audiences that you should define from the outset. This will help to ensure the report or other outputs produced by the assessment meet the specific demands of these audiences.

Here is a list of possible users of the assessment:

  • The leadership of the Employers' Organization (i.e., the elected or employed officials who will be guided by the findings of the assessment in their advocacy work).
  • The Employers' Organization's members (i.e., members who may wish to better understand and appreciate how their problems and concerns are shared by their peers).
  • Other members of the business community (i.e., those engaged in business activities that may not be a part of the Employers' Organization).
  • Governments.
  • Members of Parliament (including opposition parties).
  • International donor and development agencies.
  • The media.

It is very likely that there will be more than one audience for your assessment. Use Worksheet 1 to identify the primary and secondary audiences of your assessment outputs.

1.D Assessment products

Finally, it is important to be clear about the products the assessment will produce. Clarity on this matter will help everyone involved to understand and work toward an agreed upon goal.

Here is a list of possible assessment products, designed to help you appreciate the range of products:

  • Detailed assessment report – containing the full detail of why the assessment was done, how it was done, who was involved, what was found, and what these findings mean.
  • Summary assessment report – containing the key findings and recommendations.
  • A ten-point advocacy strategy – containing the Employers' Organization's ten top priorities for investment climate and business environment reform.
  • Advocacy position paper(s) – containing the Employers' Organization's view and counter-proposals on specific reform items.
  • Press releases on assessment findings.
  • Series of newspaper articles.
  • A EO's Strategic Policy Framework.

Your choice of products will reflect the audience you have in mind for the assessment. Use Worksheet 1 to specify these products.

Worksheet 1: Defining the purpose of the assessment
Assessment Rationale

Outline the main reasons for conducting the assessment:



Assessment Scope

Define the parameters of the assessment as precisely as possible:



Assessment Audience

Who will read the findings of the assessment? Divide the audiences into two groups: Primary audience (who are the priority users of this assessment?): Secondary audience (who else will use and benefit from the assessment?):



Assessment products

Describe the kinds of reports or documents that the assessment will produce: