MSI Points Way to Increasing Iraq’s Oil Revenues

MSI‘s Iraq Public Administration Reform Project (USAID-Tarabot), in cooperation with the Ministry of Oil, carried out a Rapid Oil Sector Assessment of technical, administrative, political, and legal problems stalling key oil projects. The Tarabot Team identified a short-list of practical solutions in the refining, export, and distribution systems that will generate $13.5 billion in revenue annually. 

Iraq now faces a double whammy of the ISIS insurgency and the precipitous fall of international oil prices.

Recent Tarabot Meeting with the Minister of Oil

Recent Tarabot Meeting with the Minister of Oil

For the last ten years, Iraq’s oil industry has determinedly rebuilt its infrastructure, negotiated agreements with international oil companies, and made Iraq the fastest growing oil sector in the world, and the second largest producer in OPEC. Under challenging circumstances, Iraq managed to almost double its oil production by 2014, with plans for the continuation of this trend through 2020. Beyond funding Iraq’s recent oil sector Investments, the growing oil production and strong oil prices provided government revenue for critical improvements in key public services such as electricity, water, transportation, and social services.

This progress is now jeopardized as the government’s funds have drastically shrunk due to the worldwide 50% drop in crude oil prices, and the necessity of diverting resources into fighting ISIS. This puts at risk Iraq’s ambitious plans to increase oil exports, and is wreaking havoc on service delivery in all sectors.

The MSI Oil Sector Assessment Team of American and Iraqi experts identified a list of fixable stalled projects in refinery operations, export facilities, and oil product distribution systems that are currently costing Iraq a total of over $13.5 billion per year in lost oil revenue and real opportunity costs. The Team analyzed the reasons for these delays, proposed solutions to put them on track within a year, and proposed a set of immediate targeted administrative reforms and skills development aimed at bringing an end to the repetition of the contracting and management problems that have long beset the sector.

An important contribution of this assessment is shining a light on the billions of dollars in opportunity costs in recent years stemming largely from indecision and delays regarding resolvable problems.

MSI formally presented the recommendations to the Minister of Oil, the US Ambassador, the USAID Mission Director, and their oil sector and economic experts. The Tarabot Team proposals were hailed by all parties as providing an important and practical road map for these times of crisis.

Click here to download a printable version of this project profile.

Click here to read about how MSI is supporting the Government of Iraq’s response to their internally displaced persons (IDP) crisis.

Baiji, Iraq's largest refinery, shut down by ISIS. © THAIER AL-SUDANI/Reuters/Corbis

Baiji, Iraq’s largest refinery, shut down by ISIS. © THAIER AL-SUDANI/Reuters/Corbis

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Street Addressing in Ghana shows “What’s In a Name”

The USAID/Ghana LOGODEP project recently completely a documentary about Street Addressing in the Western Region of Ghana. The documentary looks at the work from a human-interest point-of-view and tells the story through the perspective of Assembly staff, local taxpayers, traditional authorities, and Local Governance and Decentralization Program (LOGODEP) staff members.

The documentary uses examples of the work in LOGODEP’s five target districts to show how increased tax compliance can be achieved through the methodology the program has pioneered. LOGODEP trained district town planning officers in the five districts to enable them to lead the street naming exercises in collaboration with Town and Country Planning Department.

Locally in Ghana, the documentary has been distributed to District Assemblies and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to support the districts’ communication strategy on improving taxpayer compliance.

LOGODEP project is a five-year program funded by USAID/Ghana and implemented by Management Systems International (MSI) in cooperation with the Netherlands Development Agency (SNV). The program seeks to improve advocacy capacity, targeted at more capable local governance, to ensure stronger democratic and decentralized governance in Ghana.

LOGODEP purpose is to advance USAID/Ghana’s Strategic Objective 5: “Strengthened Democratic and Decentralized Governance through Civic Involvement.” The three key result areas are:

– Public participation in local governance expanded;

– Integrated development planning to increase internally generated funds achieved;

– Linkages to local governance initiatives at national level strengthened.

Click here to read more about the LOGODEP project or watch the full-length documentary here.

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Recognizing Youth This July and August

recognizing-youth_tile-rectangleIn recognition of this month’s Youth Skills Day and August’s International Youth Day, we want to highlight some of our recent youth programs. Follow along with this page and social media (Facebook, Twitter) for all of our updates.

 

Day Five: MSI’s Youth Practice Area

MSI continues to hone our worldwide reputation for designing, implementing and supporting positive youth development initiatives. Read more about our youth practice area here.

Day Four: New Masala Theatre Productions, Zambia

New Masala Theatre Productions in Ndola, Zambia uses a creative outlet to raise money in order to increase local awareness about HIV/AIDS. This program allows the community’s youth to use their skills to generate change.

Day Three: Pride Community Health Organization, Zambia

The Pride Community Health Organization was established in Kafue, Zambia in 2003 in cooperation with USAID. The organization provides community-based HIV/AIDS services focused on educating and engaging the local community.

 

Day Two: Roan Youth Development, Zambia

Roan-Youth-Development-RESIZEMSI’s capacity building partner, Roan Youth Development in Luanshya, Zambia creates school-based HIV/AIDS programs in order to teach the community’s youth about the disease and its progression. The programs, developed in coordination with USAID, are working towards a more sustainable HIV/AIDS response.

Day One: MSI’s Internship Program

It’s World Youth Skills Day! Youth make up an important part of any population and are a crucial part of international development. In recognition, we’re highlighting some of MSI’s youth programs. First up, we want to mention our Internship Program. We certainly value all of our hardworking interns and the skills they bring to their jobs!

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Creative Anti-Corruption Films Showcased in Indonesia’s 2015 ACFFest

KPK photoOn February 11, 2015, more than 300 activists packed the auditorium of Jakarta’s Film Institute Building to mark the launch of the third annual Anti-Corruption Film Festival (ACFFest). Sponsored by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) with support from USAID’s Strengthening Integrity and Accountability Program 1 (SIAP 1), ACFFest 2015 featured a competition for short films, short documentaries, short animations, citizen journalism videos, and public service announcements.

The annual event, created in 2013, supports the fight against corruption in Indonesia and raises public awareness by mobilizing students, filmmakers, and Indonesia’s creative community to produce films that enshrine honesty, integrity, and transparency in order to boost anti-corruption education efforts. Management Systems International (MSI) is involved in all the stages of film production from film proposal submission to post-production. Each of the production teams is mentored by local experts in coordination with personnel from MSI SIAP 1, KPK, Padi Padi, and production coordinators to ensure each stage of film production is achieved.

During his opening remarks, KPK Commissioner Zulkarnain said, “Young people’s engagement with the anti-corruption movement, through ACFFest, is very meaningful in supporting KPK’s efforts to prevent and eradicate corruption. They can use this event to investigate or monitor public services, for example.” KPK Vice Chairman Bambang Widjojanto later noted that film is a great way to reach out to the next generation, which is important because young people have the power to change the world.

To broaden the event’s reach, SIAP 1 and the KPK took ACFFest 2015 on the road with events in 9 cities. More than 3,700 people have attended the events to engage in talk shows with representatives from KPK, SIAP 1, and filmmakers.

ACFFest will head to 5 other cities in August for road shows, where youth can submit short-film proposals with anti-corruption themes. The best proposals will be selected by MSI/SIAP 1, KPK, and National Filmmakers to be produced between June and November 2015.

Upcoming tour dates and instant updates are available via the official Twitter account, @ACFFest. For examples, watch four short films from 2011, developed for “Kita versus Korupsi (US Against Corruption),” an anthology based on stories generated from a competition conducted by Transparency International Indonesia.

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Partnerships to Promote Accountability in Indonesia

MSI is proud to partner with Indonesia’s Supreme Audit Board (BPK) to ensure accountability and transparency in the country’s new program aimed at increasing investment and economic reform. The program’s key reforms focus on speeding up business licensing, increasing revenue through tax reform, reducing fuel subsidies to finance infrastructure and achieving increased productivity and competitiveness. The BPK monitors the program by tracking its effectiveness and financial management. The BPK also focuses on promoting anti-corruption by working closely with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

We recently collaborated with USINDO and USAID to host the Chairman of the BPK, Dr. Harry Azhar Azis at an Open Forum on the BPK’s role in the new government’s agenda titled “Safeguarding Integrity and Accountability in Indonesia’s Economic Reforms.” Watch the video above to learn more about the BPK and our work in Indonesia.

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