Native Palestinian MSIer Reflects on Trip to Middle East

2MTT West Bank - Hisham Jabi & Danna Zahran

MSI Technical Director Hisham Jabi, a native of Nablus, West Bank, just returned back from a one-week trip home. He met with various groups, including NGO representatives and young Palestinian leaders. Despite the negative news surrounding a new wave of violence and struggle, Jabi talks about the sense of hope that he found among a rising generation of young Palestinians. This short video clip captures his reflections upon returning back to the United States.

Check out this first video in our new Ex(perts) Marks the Spot series, featuring candid discussions with MSI experts about development topics.

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Infographic: The Road to Children Reading in Pakistan

We completed the largest early grade reading assessment (EGRA) ever in Pakistan as part of our USAID project. Through many obstacles, we succeeded in building local capacity and testing thousands of children on their reading.

Check out the infographic to see our journey.

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Syrian Civil Society Organizations Bring Knowledge Back Home

Between September 2013 and April 2014, Coffey provided intensive capacity building training and technical support to three civil society organizations (CSOs) and their local partners inside Syria.  The work was performed under the Building Syrian Civil Society project, funded by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO).

A cadre of MSI staffers led by technical director Hisham Jabi oversaw all aspects of technical capacity building, including three training workshops which focused on financial management, grants management, media & strategic communications, project management and conflict resolution.

This video incorporates footage captured by the CSOs and their local partners over the course of the project to highlight the impact of the project.

Click here to watch the Arabic version, or check out MSI’s SVP for Business Development, Andy Griminger, talking about the project in a short video.

We also developed and managed the project’s mentoring component, provided logistical support and coordination, and managed the grants for 30 small projects inside Syria. With our assistance, the CSOs developed grants applications for their initiatives.

The CSOs benefited from tailored workshops and continuous mentoring, which focused on building their internal capacity to serve as “hub” organizations that can efficiently implement service delivery projects within their communities.  The hub organizations also transferred the knowledge to smaller “spoke” organizations and communities throughout Syria.

Starting in January 2014, Coffey also disbursed grants to the three partner organizations to work with their local partners in implementing service delivery projects.

Each of the CSOs also received hands-on media training, allowing them to return to Syria and document their activities on the ground.

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Local Partners Appear on Lebanon’s Future TV Show, “Inter-Views”

The Lebanon Promoting Active Citizen Engagement (PACE) project supports Lebanese civil society organizations so that they may act as catalysts for change in Lebanon and the region. The project focuses on the strategic use of traditional and online media to publicize citizen concerns. The team actively uses social media, including a Facebook page and Twitter account, to reach out to civil society, highlight the accomplishments of its partners, disseminate good practices, and encourage dialogue between NGOs. Civic actors are also trained and encouraged to utilize social media as a tool for citizen journalism, mobilization and advocacy.

Recently,  a prominent local TV journalist in Lebanon, Paula Yacoubian, had conducted media training to PACE grantees.  Paula was so impressed with the work that the grantees were doing that she asked if she could host a special episode of her weekly political talk show, “Inter-Views” to feature some of grantees.

Many of the grantees she selected were implementing projects that had a “green” theme or involved environmental issues, including those highlighted under PACE’s social entrepreneurs incubator project. These projects included the recycling of old bicycle tires into fashionable handbags and the making of stylish furniture out of abandoned tires and old gates by former convicts and drug addicts.  The grantees were joined by a woman who is leading the Green Party in Lebanon.

Filming of this special episode took place on Friday, June 13, 2014, in Beirut, and aired on Future TV on Thursday, June 18, 2014.

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Infographic: Iraqi Business Pursuit, Trivial Delay vs. Same Day

In Iraq, new business owners would have to go through numerous steps and hurdles to become registered as an official business. Under USAID-Tarabot, our team set up a simplified process, helping more Iraqis contribute to their economy.

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

Visit the infographic at Thinglink to get a more in-depth look.

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