SNV’s approach to development is principally to work in an advisory capacity with meso-level organizations. Taking on this advisory role has considerable implications for the way that SNV handles issues. In essence, it is the quality of the advisory service itself, rather than the specific knowledge to be shared or transferred, that makes managing such issues successful. Clearly SNV advisers must be able provide guidance and support to partners and their staff to do this. At the same time SNV seeks to learn from other organizations that may be emphasizing the advisory process.
East African SNV programmes have undertaken an initiative to build new models for advisory practice, what we call ‘Building Advisory Practice’ (BAP). The initiative has examined in detail what characteristics constitute a quality advisory practice, what others are doing that SNV would like to emulate, and the best way to share the knowledge gained with the wider public. Meeting these objectives means building new ways of learning and sharing within SNV and with external partners and knowledge systems. This publication on private sector development is a major product in that endeavour.
The publication, as with the whole BAP process, has involved the energy, commitment and patience of literally hundreds of persons, from partner organizations as well as SNV staff, many of whom are acknowledged at the back of the booklet.