MSI Awarded Bangladesh Counter Violent Extremism Work

To help counter violent extremism in Bangladesh, a problem that has grown dramatically over the past three years, USAID awarded Management Systems International (MSI) a project to support civil society and communities to better understand why and how people become radicalized, and to combat those realities.

Activities of the project, named Obirodh (a Bangla term meaning “harmony and peace”), will include research into the drivers of violent extremism (VE) in Bangladesh, partnerships with local organizations to pilot countering VE activities, and positive alternatives to the narratives of violent extremist organizations. The three-year task order falls under USAID’s Programming Effectively Against Conflict and Extremism (PEACE) indefinite quantity contract.

As described in the publication Foreign Affairs, “[Bangladesh’s] deep secular traditions have never been more vulnerable thanks to Islamist extremists’ increasing inroads into society.”

For nearly a decade, MSI has been a recognized thought leader on countering violent extremism (CVE), and has undertaken CVE and/or CVE-relevant analytics, monitoring and evaluation, and implementation work for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, INGOs, the U.S Department of State and USAID. VE analytics have been carried out in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia, and we have implemented CVE and CVE-relevant projects in Mali, Syria, Lebanon and Morocco.

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Evaluation 2017 Conference is Here!

The American Evaluation Association (AEA) is holding its annual conference 6-11 November in Washington, DC. This conference is one of the premier events for evaluators around the world, and this year’s theme focuses on learning opportunities for better practices and outcomes.

For more than 30 years, MSI, a Tetra Tech Company, has helped clients solve complex development challenges through evidence-based learning. As the leading provider of country-level M&E services to USAID through 14 support projects around the world, MSI generates knowledge for more effective development outcomes. A large contingent of our evaluation experts is attending the conference to participate in more than two dozen sessions and workshops. Find an MSI expert to discover more about our innovative and collaborative work!

For more information about the conference, visit the Evaluation 2017 website. 

Enjoy this short video highlighting MSI, a Tetra Tech Company, at Eval2013, the last time the AEA annual conference was held in DC.

 

 

Click the thumbnail for a schedule of our presenters, a DC Metro map, and some dining options near the conference. 

 

 

 

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Supporting the Next Generation of Evaluation Experts in Jordan

MSI’s Jordan Monitoring Evaluation Support Project (MESP) helps the USAID/Jordan Mission assess and improve its programming, develop data-driven best practices, and effectively communicate the Mission’s commitment to accountability and aid effectiveness.

Part of this effort involves strengthening the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) community of practice in Jordan. Jordan MESP is addressing the persistent shortage of qualified entry-level M&E professionals through the development of a 3-month rapid Apprenticeship Program in Monitoring and Evaluation, managed by USAID/Jordan. The program provides targeted skills training courses for Jordanian young professionals and prepares them to join the M&E community within the development sector.

Throughout the program, participants take part in intensive classroom courses, complimented by practical, on-the-job training with USAID’s implementing partners. This innovative approach has already made an impact. From the first graduating class, 12 out of the 13 apprentices successfully found employment in M&E roles within a few months of completing the program. Watch the video below to hear from participants and learn more.

MSI has been one of USAID’s leading Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) service providers for more than three decades. We have successfully managed 23 USAID Mission-level support projects over the last 15 years, including in Pakistan, Jordan, Colombia, South Sudan and Afghanistan.  Our work contributes to USAID’s commitment to rigorous monitoring and evaluation to improve aid effectiveness and inform decision making about current and future programming.

Under these support projects, we deliver a combination of Mission-level strategy support;  performance monitoring technical and advisory services; and design and implementation of performance and impact evaluations.  MSI also designs and manages assessments and special studies; strengthens knowledge management systems; and implements capacity building activities for monitoring, evaluation and learning.

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Fighting Corruption on the Big Screen

 

Earlier this year, USAID’s CEGAH anti-corruption initiative worked alongside Indonesia’s Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) to launch an innovative film festival competition aimed at engaging more young people and creative professionals around issues of government accountability and transparency.

The launch included a five-city tour hosted by the BPK, featuring filmmaking workshops, screenings and interactive talk shows. In total, more than 1,400 students and filmmakers attended the events, and now have the opportunity to submit films, documentaries and public service announcements highlighting the importance of responsible state budget and asset management in Indonesia.

The festival’s organizers hope to use film as a medium to engage a younger and more diverse audience around anti-corruption issues often perceived as dry or inaccessible. At the competition’s launch event in Jakarta, USAID Indonesia’s Director of Democracy and Governance, Kevin McGrath, said, “This festival presents the opportunity for filmmakers, journalists, researchers, and other civil society actors to join the fight against corruption. With the addition of these communities, and by taking advantage of their creative talent, we hope to see films that appeal to a larger and more diverse audience with messaging about corruption.”

The film festival will come full circle, returning to Jakarta for Awards Night on August 29, 2017 as part of the commemoration of Indonesia’s Independence Day. The event will feature screenings of all of the winning films, which will go on to form part of a public awareness campaign around BPK’s future anti-corruption initiatives.

MSI is the prime implementer of the USAID-funded CEGAH program, which aims to reduce corruption in Indonesia by addressing its root causes and strengthening the community of accountability. In addition to our work in Indonesia, MSI also supports transparency and accountability programming in Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Sierra Leone, and Ukraine.

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Is Effective Messaging for Development More Critical than Ever?

With the international affairs budget facing a proposed 32% reduction from FY17 and little understanding among the American public that it is less than 1% of the federal budget, the Society for International Development – Washington (SID-W) recently convened a panel of communications experts to consider the importance of communications. In particular, the panel looked at how to frame international development successes and challenges, the need for more robust outreach, and the success of education efforts with members of the U.S. Congress and how it might be translated to a wider American audience.

The panel was moderated by MSI Vice President for Public Affairs, Ellen Yount, who also serves as a senior advisor to USAID on their overseas communications efforts. She was joined by Former Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID’s Bureau of Legislative & Public Affairs, Stephanie Bluma; Lester Munson, Vice President, International, BGR Government Affairs; and Moira Whelan, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Digital Strategy at the State Department and currently a partner with BlueDot Strategies.

“Many of us in the international development community have long understood not just the importance of effective project implementation, but as importantly, communicating the results and impact of our work,” said Ms. Yount. “But in today’s climate, it’s more important than ever that we not only show the very real human impact of our work, but also show how our modest investments in development alongside diplomacy and defense, help us advance America’s interests at home and abroad.”

MSI has a strong focus on strategic communications both as a partner to USAID on its flagship Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Training Program – which has helped Missions successfully raise awareness and understanding of foreign assistance among host country audiences – and by offering specific assistance to USAID Missions. MSI has also worked directly with government bodies and officials, to help them to improve communications and increase transparency.

In addition to Ellen Yount’s participation in the Annual Conference, MSI President Emeritus Larry Cooley was recently elected to serve as president of SID-International, after 13 years of service in various SID leadership positions.

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