Business environment analysis Testing a context-specific approach in Ethiopia

By Jason Wares, Anna Wetterberg

A number of prominent business environment rankings have achieved outstanding results from their efforts to promote legal and regulatory reform around the world. Such tools help to raise awareness of general constraints, but lack the specificity and rigor to produce context-specific information to guide policy and programs supporting business and economic growth, especially in contexts with high levels of economic informality. We review four commonly referenced business environment rankings and identify their respective strengths and weaknesses. To address the identified shortcomings, we present a business environment assessment methodology that (1) provides investors and policy makers with a means of collecting rigorous evidence on local business constraints and (2) is representative of a particular population. The paper closes with a description of our experience applying the methodology to assess the business environment of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Wares, J., & Wetterberg, A. (2014). Business environment analysis: Testing a context-specific approach in Ethiopia. (RTI Press Publication No. MR-0028-1409). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press.

© 2019 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Jason WaresJason G. Wares, MBA, is an international business environment specialist. At the time of writing he was a senior economic development advisor at RTI International.

Anna WetterbergAnna Wetterberg, PhD, works as a social science research analyst in RTI’s International Development Group. Dr. Wetterberg has more than 10 years’ experience working on research and operations in international development. In Indonesia, she managed a research and training program at the Ministry of Agriculture, led research on local-level institutions for the World Bank, and contributed to the monitoring and evaluation framework for the country’s largest poverty alleviation and participatory planning program. Dr. Wetterberg’s current research interests include state-society relations, corporate social responsibility, and international labor standards.

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