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Show Me the Data: Evidence & Experience on SMEs

May 19, 2015
institutional sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)


Donors and governments around the world looking to boost inclusive growth have focused on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for their employment and innovation potential. In the past, few have evaluated their SME programs rigorously, resulting in a shallow empirical basis for understanding what works and where. Recently, a team of researchers, with the support of the Campbell Collaboration, has taken a broader look at rigorous impact evaluations on this question.

With its focus on inclusive growth and evidence-based policy-making, USAID is pleased to host this Microlinks seminar. Caio Piza of the World Bank presented findings from a new, systematic review of impact evaluations on SME development interventions in low and middle-income countries, ahead of its publication. Joao Montalvao, also of the World Bank, discussed his team's experience with impact evaluations on SME development as well as an ongoing project in Mozambique that offers matching grants for business development services. Find out what we've collectively learned to date about SME development interventions and participate in a discussion that moves us toward identifying best practices in this area.


Joao Montalvao
Joao Montalvao
World Bank

Joao MontalvaoJoao Montalvao is a development economist at the World Bank’

Joao Montalvaos Africa Gender Innovation Lab. His research interests focus on microeconomic issues in development, including private sector, agriculture, education, and household behavior. Ongoing work includes impact evaluations that try to understand gender gaps in economic domains in order to help inform the design of policy interventions. Joao has a PhD in economics from the University College London.

Caio Piza
Caio Piza
World Bank

Caio PizaCaio Piza is an economist in the Development Impact Evaluation unit in the

Caio PizaDevelopment Research Group at the World Bank. He manages the Brazilian portfolio on impact evaluations, which focuses on finance and private sector development. As an applied microeconometrician, his interests range from microfinance to education and labor economics. Recently, Caio has turned his attention to agricultural economics in order to support ongoing impact evaluation in Brazil. Before joining the Bank, he spent two years at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC, and about five years as an assistant professor at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil. He holds a Master's degree in applied economics from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil and a Master's degree in development economics from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, where he is currently pursuing his PhD in economics.