Business Association Development

Business associations – including chambers of commerce and trade associations – contribute to economic growth, development, peace, and prosperity. They play a key role in building inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems and can bolster the ability of firms of all sizes to grow and create jobs. Through associations, the private sector can voice legitimate needs while engaging in a transparent policy reform process.

Voluntary, membership-based associations are microcosms of the democratic process, bringing entrepreneurs together to strengthen market economies. In order to be successful, they need strong internal governance, membership development, financial sustainability, and advocacy skills.

CIPE builds the capacity of associations as the independent voice of the business community. CIPE helps associations advocate for a more competetive economic environment. In countries around the world, CIPE and its local partners are proving that with an informed and participatory approach, business associations can elevate public-private dialogue and facilitate economic growth.

Business Association Programs at CIPE

Through its programs and international partnerships, CIPE acts to boost the capacity of business associations in these areas:

  • Strengthen business associations through building sound governance and accountability to members.
  • Promote best practices in association management through executive education, technical assistance, case studies, and toolkits.
  • Facilitate public-private dialogue by uniting the business community around common issues and policy proposals.
  • Provide program models such as the National Business Agenda to assists business associations in creating grassroots-driven campaigns that promote democratic and economic reforms.
  • Educate businesses and policymakers on the importance of participatory policymaking.

Read more about CIPE's work with business associations around the world.

Related Publications

Development Evaluation at a Key Inflection Point

Article at a glance:

  • Convergence of program evaluation and social impact measurement can be catalytic for development if it can mobilize private sector investment to address the estimated $2.5 trillion development funding shortfall.
  • The associated methodological challenges include examining the causal links, moving away from purely econometric approaches, and building evaluation capacity to develop a consensus on evidence-based policy recommendations.
  • There are encouraging improvements in the evaluation capacity of developing countries, but we will need more collaborative work that includes placing evaluators alongside managers and investors in program design with evaluation and improvement in mind at the outset.

2015 Annual Report

CIPE published its 2015 annual report in an all-digital, interactive format for the first time. Since the establishment of CIPE in 1983, the world has gone through many changes. CIPE has been at the forefront of promoting democratic governance and economic freedom around the globe.

Using Technology to Strengthen Civil Society in Cambodia

Article at a glance:

  • Cambodia remains one of the least developed countries in Asia, but internet connectivity is on the rise.
  • Digital tools, often inexpensive or free, can multiply the impact of advocacy and help associations run more efficiently.
  • CIPE and Panoply Digital worked with Cambodian partners to identify useful online tools for advocacy and capacity development.

CIPE

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