U.S. Ambassador Recognizes Lebanon Community Resilience Initiative

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Elizabeth Richard, praised the commitment of youth to drive positive change in their communities after visiting MARCH, a Lebanese NGO promoting conflict resolution and peacebuilding through the performing arts among youth in Tripoli.

With support from MSI and the USAID Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), MARCH worked with youth from two rival neighborhoods in Tripoli to craft an interactive play about their daily lives and struggles. The play and subsequent documentary, Love and War on the Rooftops, toured Lebanon and were met with standing ovations all over the country.

The international success of this work allowed MARCH to leverage funding for the construction of the Ahwetna Café, a dual purpose coffee house and performance venue situated on Syria Street, the former frontline for clashes between rival neighborhoods in Tripoli. With support from MSI and USAID/OTI, the Ahwetna Café now provides youth workforce development training in hospitality management, bookkeeping, inventory management, marketing, and graphic design.

MARCH’s youth performers welcomed the U.S. delegation to Ahwetna Café with food, break dancing and free style performances. Ambassador Richard reaffirmed the U.S. Embassy’s commitment to continue investing in the youth of Lebanon.

USAID/OTI’s Lebanon Community Resilience Initiative program aims to capitalize on windows of opportunity to strengthen resilience in Lebanese communities so they can more effectively cope with destabilizing factors of the Syrian crisis. Started in September 2014 and ending in September 2017, the program seeks to strengthen the most vulnerable Lebanese host communities by promoting peaceful alternatives to violence and reducing marginalization and isolation of community groups. USAID/OTI strengthens youth empowerment and civic participation, increases moderate space, and supports moderate actors. Together, these outcomes promote increased resiliency and community stability.

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Integrating Science, Technology, Innovation and Partnership into USAID’s Work

On April 11-13, MSI hosted the USAID Global Development Lab’s pilot training on integrating science, technology, innovation and partnership (STIP) into USAID’s work. This new course, co-designed by MSI and Lab staff, introduces USAID staff to STIP principles and terms, and familiarizes participants with STIP tools and resources. Participants shared examples and learned from USAID’s rich experience applying science, technology, innovation and partnerships to develop solutions to global development challenges.

Enjoy these photos from the training:



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Study Reveals How Organizations Can Improve Performance

MSI Technical Director, Suzanne Bond Hinsz, is helping USAID rethink its approach to capacity development and sustainable performance improvement. Ultimately, this could help USAID achieve greater results.

MSI recently completed a large-scale study, From Capacity Development to Sustainable Development, for the E3 Bureau. This study has implications for USAID management and staff, as well as for development practitioners and funders globally. This research revealed that small, low-cost changes in the way practitioners approach performance improvement can help them achieve far greater results.

Organizational development helps organizations, teams and individuals increase their impact and effectiveness, even in the face of unexpected challenges. It is a difficult task in the best of circumstances, made even harder for institutions working in complex environments. After two years of evidence-based research, the study uncovered 50 Promising Practices to create sustainable, long-lasting results.

Hinsz will present an overview of the study findings at the International Society for Performance Improvement conference in Montreal later this month with Jeff Shahan, Human and Institutional Development (HICD) Advisor at USAID. The presentation will make the linkages between sound organizational development practices and USAID’s HICD approach. To view a preview of their presentation, watch the video below.

To learn more, read this article highlighting the study findings.

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Contributing to Aid Effectiveness

2017-4-12 Kevin War SMPI post-01

Read more about Evaluation Utilization at USAID.

For more about how MSI contributes to evidence-based decision making, click here.

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MSI President Emeritus Elected to Lead SID-International

IMG_1705_web GOMSI President Emeritus, Larry Cooley, is taking on a new challenge as President of the Society for International Development (SID).

SID members form a global network of international development practitioners, scholars and policymakers spanning 17 chapters, the largest of which is located in Washington, D.C. (SID-W). Since 1957, SID has facilitated the open exchange of ideas and innovations across the development community, driving dialogue around issues like environmental sustainability, gender equity and global partnerships. MSI and its parent company, Tetra Tech, have long been active members of the SID community.

In the coming years, Cooley believes SID-International will play an increasingly important role as a platform for collaboration and discussion. “In these turbulent and challenging times, we need more than ever a venue for civil discourse, honest debate, and constructive engagement about our common future,” said Cooley. “That has been SID’s contribution to the development discourse for 60 years and the role I hope we can continue to play in helping to shape and advance a global conversation about issues like globalization and protectionism, inequality, financing for development, and global climate change.”

Cooley steps into his new role after 13 years of service in various SID leadership positions, including seven years on the board of SID-W and six years on the Governing Council of SID-International. Cooley takes over from Ambassador Juma Volter Mwapachu of Tanzania who served as President of the Society from 2011, and whose exemplary leadership is deeply appreciated.

Previous SID presidents include former U.N. Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and Mahbub ul-Haq, renowned economist and creator of the human development approach.

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