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Towards success: impact and sustainability in the FIT programme

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The FIT programme is working to strengthen local capacity for action research, specifically in the field of non-financial services for micro- and small-scale enterprises (MSEs). High priority is being placed on the development of services which can be self-sustaining in the long term. If the services are self-sustaining, it is argued, then they are presumably in demand by the beneficiaries. They could also achieve considerable outreach in a cost-effective way, if they can be copied by others.

At the same time, monitoring the impact of those services has been of great importance to both FIT and its partners, to understand what is actually happening, and in particular, to ensure that the ultimate effects have indeed been beneficial, for example in the creation of high-quality opportunities for employment. This article gives a brief description of the FIT programme; it then considers the demands of MSEs for services, and the impact achieved by some pilot activities to meet those demands. The needs of the end-users of MSE products, and the situation for the partner organizations, are also discussed. Finally, conclusions are drawn about demand, impact monitoring and the design of future activities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 15, 2005

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