In June 2016, Erasmus University and Carnegie Consult concluded an extensive evaluation of PUM. This independent evaluation was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and made extensive use of quantitative data from PRIME (Pioneering Real-time Impact Monitoring and Evaluation in small and medium enterprises). Launched in 2013, PRIME is a joint research programme by PUM, the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), the Agricultural Economics Research Institute (LEI, Wageningen UR) and the Erasmus School of Economics to design a credible and real-time system of impact monitoring and evaluation. The evaluation concludes that PUM achieves its primary objectives of strengthening its customers and contributing to their growth while safeguarding the relevance, additionality and efficiency of the programme.


With the creation of the PRIME partnership, PUM has made a significant step forward in collecting data on the effectiveness of its activities. PRIME data has already proven its usefulness to measure the programme’s effectiveness. The most interesting finding is that changes in practices attributed to PUM –as stated by customers – explain to some extent changes in performance (turnover, profit and employment). This finding is supported by insights from the case studies which present several more qualitative examples of companies that have been able to enhance their performance with the assistance of PUM experts. Of course, we must realise that numerous other factors influence such changes in outcome variables, but by combining PRIME data with our own research we find sufficient evidence that PUM experts are able to make a change in only two weeks’ time.


Given PUM’s unique characteristics, it is nearly impossible to compare its efficiency with other organisations. Overall, PUM is considered an efficient organisation. Customers are satisfied with the communication and speed of handling in the application stage. There are no clear signs of avoidable bureaucracy, although the increasing number of procedures related to PUM’s monitoring and evaluation system require attention.

For updates on the PRIME programme, please visit www.primepartnership.nl

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