Independent policy advice in economic growth, business development and job creation
Dr Simon White in an independent policy advisor in economic growth, business development and job creation.
With over thirty years’ international advisory experience, Simon advises governments, business organisations and development agencies. He specialises in private sector development, business environment reform, entrepreneurship and innovation, regional and local economic development, and market systems development.
From regional Australia to Rwanda, the Philippines and China, to the Pacific, Simon has provided advice and development services in over 40 countries, including fragile and conflict-affected countries, remote and rural economies, and big cities like Johannesburg and Cairo.
Simon has carried out scores of assessments and research papers, providing guidance on the political, economic and institutional influences affecting development. His clients range from development agencies to local councils, national governments, regional economic communities, academic institutions and large international consulting firms.
Over the years, he has undertaken over 22 programme and institutional reviews and evaluations for more than 16 agencies in a range of countries, as well as a number of global programme reviews.
Simon has also supervised national and global research projects, including multi-country studies on business environment reform, small business policies and programs, investment climate reforms and job creation initiatives.
Simon’s academic experience includes having taught graduate and postgraduate students at the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Western Australia, and Murdoch University.
He is skilled at managing large multidisciplinary teams of consultants and coordinating missions, and is an experienced communicator. He has delivered keynote addresses, presentations and run conferences, workshops and training sessions.
Skilled at working across various geographic and economic contexts, Simon’s technical expertise is crucial in a rapidly changing world where – more then ever before – place defines strategy.
Testimonials and case studies
See a selection of testimonials from previous clients.
Also see case studies of Simon White’s work. These include studies of public-private partnerships for industry development (Rwanda), asset-based regional economic development (Australia), sector-based business environment reform (global), business advocacy (Botswana), and sustainable enterprise development (global).
Simon is an experienced writer and is comfortable with a variety of writing formats. Below is a sample of his reports.
- International Labour Organization (2020) Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises and the Post-COVID-19 Rapid Response, Enterprise Department, Geneva (written by Simon White)
- White, S. (2020) “Local content policies for regional economic development”, chapter in Pereira, E.G., R. Spencer and J. Moses (Eds) Sovereign Wealth Funds, Local Content Policies and CSR – Developments in the Extractives Sector, Springer Nature Switzerland AG
- White, S. (2020) Use of New Technologies in Regulatory Delivery; Policy Brief; Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- Lead Author (2019) Pharmaceutical industry in Sub-Sahara Africa; a guide for promoting pharmaceutical production in Africa, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Vienna
- White, S. (2018) ‘Creating an Enabling Local Business Environment’, Conference Paper, Australian Regional Development Conference, 17-18 September 2018, Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia
- White, S. (2017) ‘A systemic framework for entrepreneurship and sustainability’, in Hartz-Karp, J. and Marinova, D. Methods for Sustainability Research, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham UK, Northampton, MA, USA
- White, S. and D. Aylward (2017) Scoping study on formalisation of the agricultural and agribusiness sectors, Business Environment Reform Facility and UK Department for International Development, London
- White, S. (2016) “Innovation and the drive for more dynamic and competitive local economies”, Economic Development Quarterly Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 18-20
- White, S. (2016) “Supporting innovation in an age of disruption”, Asia and Pacific Policy Society –– Policy Forum, 12 October 2016
- White, S. (2016) “Regulating for local content: Limitations of legal and regulatory instruments in promoting small scale suppliers in extractive industries in developing economies” in The Extractive Industries and Society
- White, S. (2016) Beyond national business environment reform; a review of donor agency support for regional and local business environment reform, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- Principal Author (2016) Supporting Business Environment Reforms: Practical Guidance for Development Agencies – Annex: Supporting Business Environment Reforms within Industry Sectors, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S. (2016) “The Local Dimension to Innovation”, Asia and Pacific Policy Society
- White, S. (2016) “Resisting the formulaic: measuring the impact of aid on entrepreneurship and development”, Paper delivered to the 2016 Australasian Aid Conference, Australia National University, Canberra, 10-11 February 2016
- White, S. & P. Fortune (2015) Business Environment Reform and Poverty, Rapid Evidence Assessment, DFID London
- White, S. & P. Fortune (2015) Business Environment Reform and Investment Promotion and Facilitation, Rapid Evidence Assessment, DFID London
- White, S. (2015) Supporting Sector-Focused Business Environment Reform in Developing Countries, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S. (2014) Labour Laws, the Business Environment and the Growth of Micro and Small Enterprises in South Asia, International Labour Organization, Geneva
- Principal Author (2013): Supporting Business Environment Reforms: Practical Guidance for Development Agencies – Annex: Measuring Donor-Supported Business Environment Reform Results, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S. (2013) Case Studies in the Measurement of Donor-Supported Business Environment Reform Results, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- Principal Author (2011): Supporting Business Environment Reforms: Practical Guidance for Development Agencies; Annex on How Business Environment Reform Can Promote Formalisation, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S. (2011) 51 Lessons for Donor and Development Agencies Supporting Business Environment Reform, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S. (2011) Measuring the Results of Business Environment Reform Support Programmes in Developing and Transition Economies; Toward a Framework for Assessing Programme Outcomes and Impacts, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S., Azher, S., Quader, M., & Rahman, M. A. (2011) Review of Donor-Supported Business Environment Reforms Programmes and Practices in Bangladesh, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S., Küsel, C., Hegazy, F., Killmeyer-Oleche, A., Wanyiri, A. & Heinrich, M. (2011) Review of Donor-Supported Business Environment Reforms Programmes and Practices in Rwanda, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge:
- White, S. (2012) Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Iraq; A Survey Analysis, ILO Regional Office for Arab States
- White, S., Winton, E. & Engels, S. (2010) Review of Donor-Supported Business Environment Reforms Programmes and Practices in Kenya, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S. (2009) “Youth owned and managed enterprises: a career of choice or last resort?” in Youth Enterprise Journal Vol. 1, No. 1, January pp. 6-20
- White, S. (2008) Assessing the Business Environment for Women’s Entrepreneurship Development; Consultant’s Guide, Women’s Entrepreneurship Development and Gender Equality (WEDGE) Programme, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and the International Labour Office, Geneva
- White, S. (2007) A Conceptual Framework to Guide Research on Private Sector Development in Developing Countries, International Development Research Centre, Canada
- White, S. (2008) Mapping of Commercial Alternative Dispute Resolution Programmes in Developing Economies: Donor and Development Agencies and Service Providers, International Finance Corporation, Washington DC
- White, S. (2006) Role of the Private Sector in Poverty Reduction Strategies; Synthesis of a Six-Country Study, International Labour Office, Geneva
- White, S. (2005) Assessing the influence of the business environment on small enterprise employment; An assessment guide, International Labour Office, Geneva
- White, S. (2005) State support for development initiatives in peripheral regions; enduring political centralism in an age of global localisation, a PhD thesis submitted in 2005 to the University of Western Australia
- White, S. & P. Fortune (2004) Review of DFID Activities in the Enabling Environment; Final Report, Investment, Competition and Enabling Environment Team, Policy Division, Department of International Development, London, December:
- Reinecke, G. & S. White (2004) Policies for small enterprises; creating the right environment for good jobs, International Labour Organization, Geneva (ISBN92-2-113724-4)
- White, S. (2004) Donor practices in designing initiatives for improving the business environment for small enterprises, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge
- White, S., Alamgir, D., Allcorn, C., Hossain, N., Hossain, N., Matsaert, F., & Kagohashi, H. (2004) Unleashing the Bengal Tiger; Realising Private Sector Potential in Bangladesh, DFID Bangladesh, Dhaka
- White, S. & J. Chacaltana (2002) Enabling small enterprise development through a better business environment; Donor experiences in supporting reforms in the business environment, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development
Australian Credited Economic Developer (ACEcD) and Member of Economic Development Australia.
Member: Australasian Evaluation Society.
Visiting Fellow: Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Murdoch University, Western Australia (2016-present)
Visiting Adjunct Professor: Graduate School of Public Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (2009-2015)
Board Member: Harakat – the Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility (2011-2017): a US$50 million facility supporting the reform of the investment climate and business environment in Afghanistan.
Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (2002-present): The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) is an international membership organisation made up of international development agencies, which includes World Bank and United Nations agencies, as well as the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and the UK, among others. Simon provides technical advice and support on various knowledge management projects that improve the practices of these agencies in their support of business environment reforms in developing countries.
- Afghanistan Investment Climate Programme (Harakat)
- African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP)
- Australian Government (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
- Blueprint Group Pty. Ltd., South Africa
- Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower
- Business Environment Reform Facility (DFID United Kingdom)
- City of Windhoek, Namibia
- Coffey International Development
- Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
- Commonwealth Secretariat, London
- Commonwealth Youth Programme, London and Africa
- Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Danida), Copenhagen and numerous embassies
- De Beers, South Africa
- Deloitte and Touch, London
- Development Bank of Southern Africa
- Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Cambridge UK
- Economic Research Forum, Egypt
- Federation of Egyptian Industries
- Federation of Kenya Employers
- Flanders International Cooperation Agency
- Ford Foundation
- Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Namibia
- European Commission, Brussels
- Gaborone City Council, Botswana
- Gauteng Provincial Government’s Department of Economic Development, Johannesburg
- German International Development
- Gladstone Regional Council, Central Queensland
- Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
- Government of the Republic of South Africa, Department of Local and Provincial Government
- Government of the Republic of South Africa, Department of Trade and Industry
- Government of Botswana, Local Enterprise Authority
- Government of Botswana, Ministry of Trade and Industry
- Government of Botswana, Ministry of Youth Affairs
- IBN (Banyjima, Milyuranpa Banyjima, Minadhu and Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporations), Part Hedland, Western Australia
- International Labour Organization (Geneva headquarters and many regional, sub-regional and country offices)
- Independent Research and Development Council, Canada
- Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- International Training Centre, Turin, Italy
- KPMG London
- LandCorp, Western Australia
- Local governments (numerous local governments across Australia)
- Manufacturing, Engineering, and Related Services Education and Training Authority, South Africa
- Mineworkers Development Agency, Lesotho
- MINTEK, South Africa
- Murdoch University, Australia
- Namibia National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- National Economic Initiative, South Africa
- National Native Title Tribunal, Australia
- National Small Business Council, South Africa
- National Youth Affairs Research Scheme, Australia
- National Youth Council, Namibia
- National Youth Commission, South Africa
- NEPAD: New Partnership for Africa’s Development (the development agency of the African Union)
- Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)
- Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency, South Africa
- Okutumbatumba Hawkers’ Association, Namibia
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Donor Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC), Paris
- Oxfam UK and Ireland
- Oxford Policy Management
- PeaceNexus Foundation (Geneva)
- PLATFORMA, the pan-European coalition of local and regional governments, Council of European Municipalities and Regions
- South African National Youth Commission
- Southern African Development Community
- Spark, a Dutch NGO based in Amsterdam
- Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Stockholm
- Transport Education and Training Authority, South Africa
- Trust Africa, Senegal
- UK Department for International Development (DFID), London and numerous embassies
- Umsobomvu Youth Fund, South Africa
- Urban Trust of Namibia
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Geneva)
- United Nations Development Programme (New York)
- United Nations Peace Building Support Office (New York)
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Vienna)
- University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
- Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
- World Bank Group, including International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS)
Dr. White has provided consulting services to clients in the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Botswana, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Maldives, Malaysia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine Territories, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.