Going Big With Youth

On October 6, 2015, MSI had the chance to take part in the Global Economics Youth Summit 2015, held at the Westin Crystal City.  The summit was organized by Making Cents International.

Attendees from around the world watched a plenary panel session on “Scale in Practice” that included MSI’s Founder and President Emeritus, Larry Cooley on the panel. Other panel members included, David Elliott, Director of The Springfield Centre for Business in Development (UK) Paul Bloom, Senior Fellow of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University, and Katie Taylor, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau of Global Health and Deputy Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator for USAID. The panel was moderated by Helene Gayle, CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative. — at Global Youth Economics Opportunities Summit 2015. Larry Cooley also led a lab session on “Practical Considerations For Bringing Scale Into Your Work.”

A short video about the event will be posted in the coming days. Until then, please enjoy a few photos from the event.

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Scalable Solutions for the Natural World

MSI is helping organizations around the globe scale up programs and innovations for greater impact.

MSI experts draw on a variety of resources and tools, including a proven management framework, to assist clients in planning and implement scaling up efforts. This white paper provides insights and key lessons for organizations working on scaling up solutions to global challenges in the environment, conservation, and natural resource management.

We welcome any comments, questions, or inquiries. Please contact John Haecker at jhaecker@msi-inc.com.

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The Sustainable Development Goals and Ending Hunger

2015-9-29 IPSOS Devex GZ photo.jpgIn a commentary published on Devex, MSI explains how supporting public sector capacity and scaling innovative approaches is an important step in achieving global food security.

On July 25, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit begins in New York. There, high-level officials within the global development community will formally adopt the post-2015 development agenda, which includes goals such as ending hunger, ending extreme poverty and achieving worldwide inclusive education, among others.

In the run up to the Summit, MSI’s partner, Ipsos, conducted a 17-country survey that found overwhelming support for the 17 sustainable development goals, while also finding a majority of survey respondents wanting cuts in foreign aid spending.

Given the scale of the food insecurity challenge and the lack of public support for greater foreign aid spending, achieving the end of hunger as part of the post-2015 strategy will depend on cost-effective and innovative solutions that enhance the effectiveness of existing actors.

MSI argues in a Devex commentary that building governments’ institutional capacity to increase food security and supporting governments in scaling up innovative solutions are two areas where limited resources can be targeted to best achieve the goal to end hunger.

The Devex article can be found here.

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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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