Impact Assessment

Mid-term Review of the Morocco New Business Opportunities Project, USAID 2008

    Authored by: Stephen C. Silcox, Senior Enterprise Development Advisor
    EGAT/EG, USAID Washington

    The objective of this assignment was to carry out a Mid-Term Review of the NBO project. Specifically, the evaluators undertook a formative assessment of the project to gauge progress made in the implementation of planned activities toward reaching stated goals and objectives. The evaluators also assessed the wider project context to validate project assumptions and results indicators against the reality on the ground, based on actual NBO implementation experience to date. The latter was done with a view toward making recommendations for adjustments and calibration of assumptions and results indicators, as warranted

    The objective of the NBO Project (as stated in the Task Order) was to increase the growth of selected Moroccan industrial and service enterprises by better linking them with market opportunities and by improving their technical and managerial capacities to respond to such opportunities. The program was to help Moroccan businesses to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the more liberalized trading environment being put in place as a result of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, similar accords with the European Union and other countries, and other Moroccan reform efforts.

    The expected project results (as presented in the SOW for this assessment) were twofold: (1) to directly assist exporting enterprises in non-agribusiness manufacturing and services sectors to expand business activity and generate jobs, particularly as a result of the FTA, and (2) to work with business support institutions and public agencies to enhance these organizations' responsiveness to the needs of export-oriented business expansion and job creation. A two-pronged approach was envisioned. The principal means was through intensive firm-level assistance to firms selected in the targeted sectors. The second means was to increase the capacity of the trade associations for those sectors and to supplement assistance for exports to the United States provided by the Government of Morocco.