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In the 1990’s USAID and the World Bank’s Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) developed “The Investor Roadmap”, which became a popular tool for monitoring the business environments of developing countries. A diagnostic study of the procedural and administrative barriers to creating and investing in businesses in a particular country, the concept for the Roadmap, now used in more than 50 countries, was inspired by Hernando de Soto’s first book, The Other Path.

The World Bank’s popular “Doing Business” series, launched in 2004, that provides country data for over 175 countries worldwide on opening and closing businesses, obtaining credit, labor laws, and fulfilling contract and property rights was also inspired by the ILD’s research in Peru and the success of the Investor Roadmap concept.

Over the past 10 to 15 years, microeconomic reforms have gradually moved to the center of the development agenda for both the World Bank and USAID. The Bank’s current view that land tenure must not be viewed as merely a source of subsistence or shelter but as a source of capital owes much, according to interviews with Bank officials, to de Soto’s The Mystery of Capital. USAID has also embraced the ILD’s argument that creating sustainable market economies requires that the majority of entrepreneurs and other asset holders be brought into a more user-friendly legal system.


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