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Seeking Feedback: Doing Business Methodology Review by External Panel

As part of an overall effort to strengthen the Doing Business project and its usefulness to policy makers, the private sector, think tanks, and academia worldwide, the World Bank Group has launched an external review of the Doing Business methodology.

The External Review Panel would like to hear from you by April 16, 2021 on how to improve the Doing Business methodology, including refining existing indicators, adopting new ones, and enhancing the data gathering process.

Over the past 17 years, the project has benefited from feedback from governments, academics, and practitioners, and we are committed to continuing this effort. The initial goal of Doing Business remains to provide an objective basis for understanding and improving the business environment around the world. Findings of the External Review Panel are expected in mid-2021.

Doing Business has been a valuable tool for many countries seeking to benchmark the business regulatory environment and generate reform momentum. It provides objective measures of regulatory efficiency and institutional quality of key processes that affect domestic businesses across 191 economies.

The first Doing Business study, published in 2003, covered 5 indicator sets and 133 economies. Currently Doing Business covers 10 indicator sets—starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.  The external panel is seeking comments on how to improve the Doing Business methodology, in particular the areas covered, the balance between costs and benefits of regulation, as well as the data gathering process.

Doing Business indicators are conceived to help catalyze reforms of business regulations and track progress on the implementation of the reforms measured by the indicators. Policymakers, academics, civil society organizations, and international development agencies use the indicators and the underlying data in research, in monitoring and evaluation of programs, and to benchmark private-sector development and the business environment.

Given its prominence in policy discussions, and given the time elapsed since the last comprehensive review in 2013, the World Bank Group is convening an external panel of experts to perform a comprehensive review of the Doing Business report. Since its inception, the Doing Business methodology has been the subject of widespread discussions and debate. The external review will serve to crystalize key elements of these debates and draw implications from them for consideration by World Bank management as they seek to refine the Doing Business methodology and enhance its policy impact. The External Review Panel will assess and make recommendations to improve the overall Doing Business methodology

All comments and recommendations will be reviewed, documented and released without attribution. They may inform the review directly or indirectly even if they are not incorporated into the final version of the external panel review report. 

If you and/or your organization are interested in providing your views for consideration by the External Review Panel to enhance the Doing Business report, please submit your comments and feedback by April 16, 2021.

Thank you.  

The World Bank

Panel Members

Laura Alfaro
Harvard Business School

Alan Auerbach
University of California, Berkeley

Mauricio Cardenas
School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University

Takatoshi Ito
School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University

Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan
University of Maryland

Justin Sandefur
Center for Global Development