Private Sector Engagement Evidence Gap Map

Private Sector Engagement Evidence Gap Map

Researchers and practitioners at Notre Dame, Purdue, and Catholic Relief Services are collaborating with USAID to implement the Agency’s private sector engagement (PSE) evidence and learning plan to enable USAID Missions and Bureaus to incorporate PSE good practices in the future.  The principal outcome so far of the 4-year project is an Evidence Gap Map (EGM) – a web-based visual representation of existing evidence that displays information in terms of USAID’s notions of PSE means and value propositions that both the private sector and development actors offer.  Users apply filters by geography, sector, industry, private sector type, and document type; the next version will have full search capabilities applicable to the following data fields: key findings, recommendations, title, partner, and publishing institution.

The EGM provides a structure for making sense of the great body of evidence around PSE, and allows users to distill this evidence base into a subset that is most useful for their particular context.  In this way, one can sift through the noise in getting to the evidence that is relevant and actionable for programmatic and strategic decisions; it also identifies areas for further evidence generation.  USAID technical staff and program designers are the primary audience for the EGM, but secondary intended audiences include USAID implementing partners and private sector employees seeking to engage in development work. 

The “gap” in the title refers to understanding where there is good evidence in the matrix and where there are holes in our knowledge base and understanding.  As users interact with the EGM and its filters, it becomes visually apparent where there is knowledge and where additional investments in research and evaluation are likely needed to further build the evidence base.  The EGM is a live resource, meaning that the process of identifying and tagging relevant evidence is ongoing, and the underlying database will be updated as new materials become available.  The PSE team encourages users of the EGM to contribute resources that they might be aware of that are not present in the EGM, or to suggest corrections to the existing resource categorizations.

For more information on this new resource, please contact Paul Perrin at

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