Partnering to Support Youth Leadership

Earlier this month, MSI, the Qatar Foundation International and National Youth Leadership Council trained 34 young leaders and 14 educators from around the world to help them better understand community service learning. Youths from as far as Brazil, Hawaii, and Qatar competed for limited spots to attend the program held in Washington, D.C. We were invited to lead workshops about project management and policy change.

As part of our workshops, MSI’s Hisham Jabi and John Fluharty engaged the participants in activities and conversations to demonstrate how their ideas could be transformed into policies to invoke change worldwide. Conversations also focused on how project management can support policy implementation. Participants reflected on issues about which they are passionate and developed plans to create policies and projects to execute them.

“These youth are not the leaders of tomorrow, they are leaders of today,” said Jabi. “We were thrilled to partner with the Qatar Foundation International and National Youth Leadership Council to offer meaningful lessons on service learning to today’s young leaders, as well as inspire the next generation of leaders.”

Across our 30 year history, MSI has been working with and on behalf of young people worldwide. We incorporate a holistic approach that seeks a direct and positive engagement of youth in the development process, empowerment of families, communities and institutions connected to young people, and prioritization of youth needs across diverse sectors, including health, education, governance and economic growth.
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The E3 Project’s A-to-Z: From Supporting Project Design to Evaluating Impact to Scaling Up Support

E3 Cover PageMSI is the lead implementer of the E3 analytics and evaluation project, which supports USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3).

The project’s focus is the design and implementation of rigorous evaluations as well as analytic support for USAID project design efforts across E3 technical sectors including education, global climate change and biodiversity.  In the project’s first year, our teams provided methodological options for impact evaluations in Cambodia, Tanzania, India and Kyrgyzstan. The project expects to implement these evaluations starting in 2015.

Additionally, the project is carrying out performance evaluations for two landmark USAID programs: the Agency’s flagship environmental program in South America known as the initiative for conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA), and a joint USAID-NASA geospatial data initiative called SERVIR.  We also provide technical assistance, workshops and analysis to support Agency efforts to scale up promising development innovations.

To design and implement these activities, our team engages with USAID in a carefully documented and sequenced series of consultations, consideration of options and feasibility scoping to ensure that all project activities generate rigorous evidence. The project is designed to adhere to the highest technical standards so that USAID activity managers can thoroughly consider the pros and cons of various design options in order to facilitate better-informed decisions.

The project’s annual report highlights a diverse range of the more than 30 activities currently ongoing or completed to date. The report is available here.

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Considering Gender in Our Monitoring and Evaluation Work


In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015, MSI’s Director of International Production, Noah Wilderman, sat down with Technical Director Betsy Bury and Jennifer Mandel, Senior Advisor for Evaluation for our USAID-funded Monitoring and Evaluation Project in Pakistan, to talk about the importance of mainstreaming gender into our M & E work. They discuss planning to incorporate gender, from formulating an evaluation and data collection, to analysis and writing up findings with a special focus on their discussion on Pakistan.

While the M & E project in Pakistan provides several rich examples of the inclusion of gender, our overall approach to mainstreaming gender into our M&E work is illustrated in this infographic that we created for International Women’s Day.

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Sharing Our Story

sharing-our-story_thumbnailHere at MSI, we’ve embraced infographics as an innovative and effective tool for displaying our research and results. Words, images and numbers are combined to visually tell a complete story that sorts and arranges complex data.

For the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of our best infographics from past years. Follow along on this page and on our other social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.



Day 5: E3 Analytics and Evaluation Project

E3-analytics-eval-projectInfographics provide the creative opportunity to bring reports to life by illustrating specific areas like highlights and results. Here is an example from the 2014 Annual Report of the E3 Analytics and Evaluation Project, which supports USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment. The infographic supplies geographical reference points for particular project activities throughout the period of support.


Day 4: Scaling Up Development Projects Worldwide


Good ideas are not enough.  Scaling strategies need to include strategies for changing one or both of the only two platforms that can deliver solutions sustainably at scale – markets and governments.  MSI has spent the last 12 years fine-tuning methods and tools to improve scaling up strategies, and this infographic brings together the scaling up story through video, podcast and published material. Read more about our work on Scaling Up here.

Day 3: MSI Works to Simplify Doing Business in Iraq

business-registration-in-IraqFor the third day of our “Sharing Our Story” campaign, we thought we’d highlight one of our favorite infographics. All infographics should present information visually, but the really good ones are often metaphors for the story they’re trying to tell. In Iraq, entrepreneurs and business owners would have to go through numerous steps and hurdles to register their new businesses. Under USAID-Tarabot, our team partnered with the Government of Iraq to simplify the process, helping more Iraqis contribute to their economy. Where this was once like a game of Chutes & Ladders to register a new business, often leaving the registrant where they started off, the streamlined, one-stop shop approach provides a shortcut to becoming a business owner. The icing on the cake was adding interactive elements to provide a rich media experience though photos, videos and relevant resources.

Check out the interactive infographic that we made to illustrate the stark difference between the old and new ways to register a business.


Day 2: Mainstreaming Gender into Our Work

2015-3-30 Gender infographic 2To commemorate the end of Women’s History Month and the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, MSI is proud to present an infographic on our approach to mainstreaming gender in monitoring and evaluation work. The infographic illustrates how gender is considered and included at every level of the monitoring and evaluation process, not just in the final report.

For more information, listen to a podcast where Technical Director Betsy Bury and Jennifer Mandel, Senior Advisor for Evaluation for our USAID-funded Monitoring and Evaluation Project in Pakistan, discuss how gender is incorporated in the Pakistan M&E Project. To learn more about our gender work, click here.


Day 1: USAID/Zambia – Local Partners Capacity Building Program

home-zambiaFrom 2008 to 2013, MSI worked as a sub-contractor to FHI360 to strengthen the organizational capacity of civil society organizations on the front lines of fighting HIV/AIDs in Zambia through the Local Partners Capacity Building Program or LPCB . Zambia has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world. In the final year of the project, MSI producer Noah Wilderman traveled to Zambia to help capture the project’s results as project participants talked about the unique work of their organizations and the project’s impact. Participant’s enthusiasm about their progress was not hard to find.

This interactive infographic uses a stylized map to share the project overview video as well as a few of the stories that were captured with our local partners in various parts of the country. Through the infographic format, the graphic is able to share these colorful stories and provide a basic overview of the project, it’s implementing partners and funding donor organizations.

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MSI Announces Leadership Staffing Changes

MSI President Keith Brown today announced several leadership staffing changes that will take effect immediately.

These changes follow on the heels of last week’s announcement of Keith Brown assuming the role of President; and Larry Cooley transitioning to a role as President Emeritus and Senior Advisor.

“I am excited about the changes we are announcing today to further round out our management team. All of these individuals share MSI’s historical commitment to exceptional professional and technical standards, and their respective areas of expertise will support MSI’s continued expansion into new markets and clients,” said Keith.

Andy Griminger, who has served as a Senior Vice President at the firm since 2011, has been named Executive Vice President for Business Development. He will continue to oversee MSI’s business development operation with an emphasis on expanding MSI’s presence in new markets in the U.S. and globally. Andy is a specialist in improving government systems and has spent more than fifteen years leading complex development projects for MSI and other U.S. firms. He also has extensive experience in the Middle East, spending twelve years in the region doing business development for local firms and leading projects for USAID and the WHO. He began his career with the Department of Defense, working on regional issues in the Middle East.

Marina Fanning will continue overseeing operations and human resources as Executive Vice President for Operations. Marina has been with MSI for nearly three decades, helping to establish the firm with President Larry Cooley in the 1980’s, overseeing the firm’s most important operations and initiatives since that time. She has more than 30 years of experience as a senior trainer specializing in management and entrepreneurship skills development, and has managed hundreds of projects for U.S. and foreign government agencies, international organizations and private sector firms in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Fred Mills, who recently joined MSI, has been named a Senior Vice President, filling the position that Keith held until assuming his new position as President on March 1st. Fred will oversee several of the firm’s practice areas, including Strategic Management and Performance Improvement, Food Security and Natural Resource Management, Public Sector Management, Education, and Youth Programs.  He has more than 25 years of experience in the international development and U.S. federal sectors. Specific areas of expertise include strategic and performance planning, results-based management, organizational design and analysis, workforce planning, strategic human capital management, and institutional capacity development.

He joins Dr. Lynn Carter, who has served as a Senior Vice President since 2011. She focuses on MSI’s democracy, governance and conflict mitigation programs. Lynn has been with MSI for more than two decades and has led the establishment and expansion of the firm’s work in these sectors. She is a comparative political scientist with experience in maternal and child health, rural development, education and, since 1992, DRG, conflict mitigation and countering violent extremism. She has worked extensively in the Middle East and South Asia and has lived in Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan and India.

Keith also announced today that Sandra Amis will be moving into the role of Vice President. Sandra has been with MSI for 25 years. In her previous role as Director of Cost and Pricing, she managed MSI’s cost proposal and financial management teams, and maintained working relationships with in-country finance and project staff on all matters pertaining to the financial management of field projects. As Vice President she will retain these responsibilities, but now will also oversee MSI’s Office of Personnel Management, the Compliance Department, and the Businesses Support Services Unit.

MSI_LOGO_Red_nw for video

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