Foreign Assistance:

AID's Microenterprise Assistance Program

T-NSIAD-90-58: Published: Sep 26, 1990. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1990.

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GAO discussed the Agency for International Development's (AID) microenterprise program. GAO noted that: (1) prior to fiscal year (FY) 1988 legislation, AID did not have a policy for structuring microenterprise activities and directing resources in support of them; (2) in response to the legislation, AID appointed an advisory committee that helped develop policy guidelines and incorporate such guidance into an agencywide policy; (3) AID lacked an adequate tracking system to monitor microenterprise activity information; (4) AID based data on loan size, recipient gender, and economic status on assumptions or estimates, resulting in questionable and unreliable data reports to Congress; (5) there were data discrepancies for 8 projects; (6) due to FY 1988 legislation, AID focused greater management attention on its microenterprise assistance program; (7) AID recently took steps to improve its program management and oversight, including placing its microenterprise development projects within the Private Enterprise Bureau to ensure more effective control over program implementation and resources; and (8) in an effort to increase its oversight and congressional response ability, AID contracted a feasibility study to determine whether an information system could be developed to track AID microenterprise programs and produce congressionally requested information.

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