Irwin Grayson Associates
Review, evaluation & appraisal

Irwin Grayson Associates undertakes reviews and evaluations of projects and programmes. In the UK, it undertakes appraisals for grant applications and investment proposals from a small number of charitable foundations. Here are some selected assignments.


  • Member of three person team which undertook a high level evaluation of ILO's efforts to delvier capacity developmengt to all of its constituents, that is, governments, employers' organisations and workers' organisations. This involved visits to 11 countries (between us, not by all of us) and desk reviews of a further couple of countries. A summary of the evaluation will be discussed by ILO's Governing Body. The full report is available from ILO. In addition, ILO has prepared a fact sheet (2018)
  • Undertook evaluation of programme of support for Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry (2017)
  • Undertook review for ILO of support from Norwegian and Swedish governments for employers' organisations in 11 countries including field missions to Cambodia, Vietnam and Zambia (2016)


  • Undertook review, in partnership with Springfield, of proposal seeking support from DFID in excess of GBP12m and then wrote the business case for DFID to justify the support (2012)
  • BEST-AC: Longitudinal Impact Assessment: Longitudinal assessment of Business Environment Strengthening in Tanzania (BEST) - Advocacy Component (AC), a programme intended to support private sector organisations to undertake advocacy and dialogue; objective of LIA is to determine the impact arising from advocacy projects undertaken by private sector organisations (DFID, 2010-2014)
  • BEST-AC: End of programme review. Evaluation was generally positive and programme was extended for a further five years. Undertaken in partnership with Annabel Jackson (DANIDA, 2008)
  • SME Competitiveness Facility: Preparation of monitoring and evaluation framework for phase II of the SME Competitiveness Facility, a programme designed to support clusters of small and micro-businesses working in food, food processing and food marketing build market linkages. (DANIDA, 2008)
  • BEST-AC: Preparation of monitoring and evaluation framework to enable BEST-AC to gather relevant and appropriate monitoring information and to record it in such a way that evaluation could be relatively straightforward. Undertaken in partnership with Annabel Jackson. (DANIDA, 2007)
  • BEST-AC: Mid term review. Objective was not only to assess effectiveness and impact of fund to date but also to make recommendations for future development (DANIDA, 2006)


  • Umbrella Project for Enabling Environment: Undertook the end of programme output to purpose review for the DFID funded 'umbrella project' contributing to efforts to simplify the enabling environment. The outcome was a detailed report assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the programme, together with recommendations of which the two key ones were to extend the programme for six months (possible within the original budget) and to design a new programme (which is underway currently). (DFID, 2004)
  • Kenya Private Sector Alliance: Undertook an institutional review for KEPSA (the successor organisation to the Private Sector Forum), with a view to putting in place an appropriate strategy for private sector influencing of the government, together with an organisational structure, covering both staff and volunteers, able to implement the strategy. Outcome was that DFID agreed to continue providing financial support (DFID, 2004)


  • Evaluation of performance of ENABLE, the advocacy support programme in Nigeria (DFID 2012)
  • Review in four states of advocacy activities by and effectiveness of business membership organisations in changing attitudes and in changing public policy (World Bank, 2007)


Advocacy Challenge Fund

  • Review of BUSAC (Business Advocacy Challenge) Fund and preparation of monitoring and evaluation framework (DFID, 2006)

East Africa

TradeMark East Africa

TradeMark East Africa has been established by DFID and other donors to support regional integration within the East Africa Community. I reviewed the need to involve the private sector and civil society in the process and designed one of the five components - to encourage private sector organisations and civil society organisations to become actively engaged in regional integration including participation in public private dialogue and pursuing private sector advocacy (DFID, 2009/10)

Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund

Undertook programme evaluation of the Maendeleo Agricultural Technology Fund managed by FARM Africa and operating in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya (Kilimo Trust, 2008)


  • Review of Business Enabling Environment Programme in Zimbabwe (DFID, 2015)


Gatsby Trusts

Strategic review of each of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon Gatsby Trusts. These are all business support initiatives and the intention was to revisit vision, mission and strategic priorities. (Gatsby Charitable Foundation, 2006)

Africa and Asia

Financial Deepening Challenge Fund

Output to purpose review: appointed by DFID to undertake the evaluation of the Financial Deepening Challenge Fund, a £15m fund established to support private sector led projects intended to provide new or better financial services to poor people in any of the countries in which DFID operates. (DFID, 2005)


Innovations Against Poverty

Member of assessment team, reviewing applications, and preparing funding recommendations (SIDA)

Business Innovation Facility

Member of advisory committee receiving recommendations from team, reviewing applications and appraisals, offering advice and making recommendations on which projects to support (DFID)

Oxfam Enterprise Development Programme

Member of investment advisory committee receiving recommendations from Oxfam staff team, reviewing proposals, offering advice and making recommendations on which projects to support

Central Europe

Business Advisory Service

Member of team (with Capital Representatives) appointed by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to evaluated the Business Advisory Service operating in 18 transition countries in central and eastern Europe and Asia. (EBRD, 2006)

Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy

    Assessor: reviewing applications from UK commercial applicants, reviewing travel award applicants, reviewing international applicants (including undertaking detailed assessments of short listed applicants) and making recommendations to panels of judges. Applications are all concerned with aspects of sustainable energy including inter alia wind, solar and hydro in the UK and cook stoves and solar lighting internationally.


Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

Due diligence review of social enterprise seeking mission related investment of £850,000 (JRCT, 2011)

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

  • Appraisal of social enterprise seeking investment of £150,000 (EF, 2011)
  • Due diligence on charity seeking grant of £800,000 pa (EF, 2011)

Enterprise agency loan funds

Reviewed the performance of micro-loan funds operated by English enterprise agencies; published annual reports; a final report was prepared as a paper presented at an ISBE conference (2006-2008)

Performance Hub

Review of way that charities and NGOs in England engage in strategic thinking and strategic planning, in partnership with Annabel Jackson Associates. (NCVO, 2006)

ONE NorthEast

  • International benchmarking of small firms policy implementation, performance measurement (based on outcomes rather than outputs or inputs) and needs assessment. (2002)
  • Member of Financial Support Steering Group, one of five groups established to review policy in relation to small firms' support (2002)

Birmingham City Council

Undertook review of Birmingham City Council's small business support activities including their relationship with stakeholders and made recommendations for a revised strategy focusing on the City taking a leadership role rather than a delivery role. (In partnership with Annabel Jackson Associates, 2002)


Review of business support services in Mexico and exploration of the scope for collaboration between British and Mexican governments (2002)


Review of small business support services to identify activities and approaches that could be transferable to the UK. (2000, 2001)

South Africa

Review of business support services in South Africa and exploration of the scope for collaboration between British and South African governments(2001)