Supporting Sustainable Civil Society in Lebanon

Enjoy this recent video update giving a short overview of the USAID-funded BALADI CAP project in Lebanon.  The interview features the project’s Chief of Party, Dr. Fares El Zein.
 

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

International Anti-Corruption Day: United Against Corruption

December 9 each year is International Anti-Corruption Day, recognized in countries worldwide as a time to look back at progress made in fighting corruption and what still needs to be accomplished. For the past 20 years, MSI has supported governments, civil society groups, the mass media and business communities to plan and implement effective programs aimed at making governments more accountable to their publics and reducing fraud and abuse. Here are some of our recent accomplishments.

In Ukraine, MSI worked with the city administration of Kyiv and central government agencies to build the capacity of staff and the private sector capacity to use a new award-winning eProcurement system for public tenders nationwide. By some estimates, corruption has been reduced 25% to date as a result of this system.
Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 11.12.00 AM

 

<< Listen to this interview with MSI’s Juhani Grossmann, in which he shares lessons learned from his work with Indonesia’s anticorruption commission that can offer insights for anticorruption agencies in other countries, especially in Ukraine.

 

In Serbia, Ukraine and Afghanistan, MSI has implemented its new corruption risk assessment approach to identify vulnerabilities in government practices and recommend fixes. Click on the photo to learn more about this corruption risk assessment tool.>>
2_edited

 

Awarding night for Anti Corruption Film Festival 2013
MSI has closely supported the internationally recognized anti-corruption commission in Indonesia (KPK) as well as many other government accountability institutions and CSOs over the past six years, yielding many transparency improvements in government procedures and greater civic engagement.

 

A very popular anticorruption film festival implemented with MSI support has become a centerpiece for building citizen activism against fraud and abuse. Watch this YouTube playlist to see the winning films from the first Indonesian AC Film Festival >>

 

usaid anticorruption guideFor USAID, MSI conducted a practical analysis of hundreds of anti-corruption programs over the past decade to identify lessons learned and best practice.

<<  Click the image to learn more about MSI’s work on USAID’s Practitioners Guide for Anticorruption Programming and to download a copy of the Guide.

 

shutterstock_528702079-1Along with Vietnamese researchers and think tanks, MSI assessed the costs of corruption on social and economic development… and the development benefits of fighting corruption.

Click the image to learn more about the causes of corruption in Vietnam  >>

 

shutterstock_464487638In Sierra Leone, along with their Anti-Corruption Commission, MSI and our Coffey colleagues implemented a crowdsourced application and hotline for citizens to report on corrupt transactions to create awareness and energize government reactions to reduce targeted problems.

<<  Read the Economist article about our work putting technology to work to root out graft in Sierra Leone.

 

“BALADI CAP’s capacity building Program is a mirror of “Lebanese Transparency Association LTA” mission and vision. LTA aims at becoming a reference and a leading example to all other Lebanese civil society organizations in Transparency and Anti-Corruption. Under its ‘Capacity Building Component – CBC, BALADI CAP is currently supporting LTA in overhauling its financial, human resources and monitoring and evaluation procedures to allow the latter to regain its position as a leader in the Anti-Corruption campaign in Lebanon and as a model to a transparent and well governed Lebanese civil society organization. MSI’s USAID-funded Building Alliances for Local Advancement, Development and Investment – Capacity Building (BALADI CAP) project in Lebanon is taking the lead in advocating for improved accountability and transparency at the local and national governance levels through its creation of an issue-based Accountability and Good Governance Network.

Click the photo to learn more about the Anticorruption Advocacy Network in Lebanon  >>

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Promoting Anti-Corruption Advocacy Network in Lebanon

 According to the 2016 International Transparency Index by Transparency International, Lebanon is now ranked first among Arab nations in the perception of corruption and misappropriation of public funds. MSI’s Building Alliances for Local Advancement, Development and Investment – Capacity Building (BALADI CAP) project in Lebanon is taking the lead in advocating for improved accountability and transparency at the local and national governance levels through its creation of an issue-based Accountability and Good Governance Network.

The network will be comprised of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and private sector entities working on common issues in the area of anticorruption, good governance and accountability towards fostering collaboration in addressing, advocating for and resolving specific issues.

 

In an effort to build consensus and a sense of shared purpose around this new advocacy network, BALADI CAP has undertaken a series of activities, including a Defining the Agenda workshop, which helped CSOs interested in participating in the network to identify priority issues by conducting a SWOT analysis and developing a mission statement and network goals. Additional meetings with Local Problem Solving Groups and Topic Discussion Groups were held to engage with broader community leadership to further refine network goals, map relevant stakeholders, and propose locally driven solutions. BALADI CAP has also provided assistance to CSOs with concept development and proposal writing to ensure the submission of relevant, well-crafted proposals for grants that will support the network goals through advocacy-related activities and awareness raising campaigns.

Other issue-based networks being created under BALADI CAP with similar supporting activities will center on human rights and the environment/waste management in Lebanon. As BALADI CAP is primarily a capacity-building project, MSI will provide technical assistance, resources and support to build the capacity of selected Intermediate Support Organizations (ISOs) to lead each issue-based network, after which the ISOs will in turn provide training and capacity-building to their respective networks of CSOs.

“BALADI CAP’s capacity building Program is a mirror of “Lebanese Transparency Association LTA” mission and vision. LTA aims at becoming a reference and a leading example to all other Lebanese civil society organizations in Transparency and Anti-Corruption. Under its ‘Capacity Building Component – CBC, BALADI CAP is currently supporting LTA in overhauling its financial, human resources and monitoring and evaluation procedures to allow the latter to regain its position as a leader in the Anti-Corruption campaign in Lebanon and as a model to a transparent and well governed Lebanese civil society organization.

BALADI CAP’s capacity building Program is a mirror of “Lebanese Transparency Association LTA” mission and vision. LTA aims at becoming a reference and a leading example to all other Lebanese civil society organizations in Transparency and Anti-Corruption. Under its ‘Capacity Building Component – CBC, BALADI CAP is currently supporting LTA in overhauling its financial, human resources and monitoring and evaluation procedures to allow the latter to regain its position as a leader in the Anti-Corruption campaign in Lebanon and as a model to a transparent and well governed Lebanese civil society organization.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

MSI Hosts 2nd Annual Scaling Up Conference

MSI, a Tetra Tech Company, hosted the 2nd annual conference of the Global Community of Practice on Scaling Up Development Outcomes at its headquarters in Arlington, VA on October 27th and 28th.

The event was attended by representatives from 27 organizations, including: USAID, GiZ, JICA, IADB, IFAD, Brookings, WRI, IFPRI, J-Pal, ODI, MasterCard Foundation, ELMA Philanthropies, Georgetown University, George Washington University, University of Michigan, Intel Corporation, ExpandNet, Evidence to Action, Millions Learning, Jphiego, TechnoServ, Save the Children Fund, World Vision, Room to Read, Sustainable Harvest, Results for Development, and MSI.

The CoP is designed to assemble, enhance and share information about scaling drawn from multiple sectors and including both public sector and commercial pathways to scale. MSI and R4D act jointly as secretariat to the CoP and Larry Cooley, MSI’s President Emeritus, co-curates the CoP with Johannes Linn. Complementing the activities of the core CoP, the community includes sectoral working groups on scaling up in education, health, and agriculture/rural development, a working group on monitoring and evaluation in support of scaling, and a working group on scaling up in fragile states.

10_27_16_scalingupevent10_27_16_scalingupevent_copy

10_27_16_scalingupevent_2 10_27_16_scalingupevent_110_27_16_scalingupevent_4 10_27_16_scalingupevent_3

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Managing OCI Risk

landscape

Managing OCI for 30 Years

Management Systems International (MSI) recognizes the importance of fairness and objectivity in government contracting and holds these values as central to our own corporate culture and philosophy. As one of a number of contractors that provide both implementation and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) services to the US government, this corporate perspective is evidenced in a robust set of MSI policies and procedures that allow us to proactively manage potential Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI).

MSI has developed its deep expertise on OCI by working extensively with industry experts, legal counsel and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). This collaboration has produced an OCI management system that is fully consistent with the requirements of the US government and provides a comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing any OCI concerns as they arise. Using a range of OCI mitigation measures long accepted by the US government, such as firewalls and the use of non-conflicted subcontractors, MSI ensures that the principles of fairness and objectivity are upheld while fully meeting the technical needs of our clients – needs that include the delivery of highly rigorous M&E services that are designed and implemented to be fully independent.

A recent decision of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms that our OCI policies and procedures meet the standards and expectations of our clients and the US government. In its denial of a protest of our award on a M&E contact for USAID/Indonesia, the GAO repeatedly throughout the decision validated MSI’s approach to managing OCI. After noting the in-depth review conducted by the USAID Contracting Officer prior to approving the MSI OCI plan, the GAO panel wrote that:

“the record reflects that the contracting officer reviewed the [MSI OCI] plan and… reasonably determined that its procedures–including the use of firewalls and subcontractors–adequately avoided, neutralized, or mitigated potential conflicts of interest.”Read full GAO decision here

Conflict of interest is a serious procurement issue that all USG contractors must understand and address. Our ability to identify OCIs early, the fact that we maintain full transparency with our clients, and our tested OCI procedures, make it easy for government Contracting Officers to mitigate or neutralize any OCIs that might arise under MSI’s M&E and implementation projects.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , | Comments closed