MSI Combines Rule of Law and Government Accountability to Address Today’s Most Pressing Challenges

MSI, A Tetra Tech Company, is proud to announce a new practice area that consolidates its rule of law, anti-corruption and accountability work in a single integrated practice area. It will combine Tetra Tech DPK’s legacy as one of USAID’s premier rule of law implementers with MSI’s 25 years of experience in executing judicial systems strengthening and anti-corruption programs.

The consolidation will help our clients obtain premium rule of law, justice systems strengthening and anti-corruption expertise from one entity. It will also offer innovation by working from the perspective of justice sector users (i.e., “people-centered” justice), while also providing best practice and emerging solutions from an institutional perspective.

“I’m excited about bringing forth this enhanced practice area which will be led by Robert Underwood and combine the expertise of anti-corruption experts like Phyllis Dininio and Svetlana Winbourne, who have worked hand in hand with USAID in some of the toughest political environments over the last decades,” said Allison Poyac-Clarkin, PhD, MSI’s Senior Vice President for Programs.

“Together, we’ll be able to offer clients an integrated set of tools and 360-degree perspective to promote good governance, establish the rule of law and help citizens and governments to fight corruption,” said Poyac-Clarkin.

Robert Underwood, a former senior-level director of rule of law for Tetra Tech DPK is leading the practice area. He brings more than 20 years of experience as an international development professional and corporate lawyer with a strong management background. In addition to rule of law and justice sector reform, his technical qualifications include legal and regulatory transitions, institutional and policy development, commercial law infrastructures and business climate reform.

“Around the world, we see worrisome trends related to the rule of law, government accountability, and human rights – making this work more important than ever,” said Robert Underwood.

Underwood continued, “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic offered opportunities for authoritarian leaders to take over the rule of law space to try and gather and marshal their resources in order to pull back from those fundamental rights that were so hard won, in many cases by citizens. There are many issues hanging in the balance, like the constraints of government power and the fundamental rights of citizens.”

MSI is proud of three recent wins in this area:

MSI was awarded the five-year USAID/Mexico Por la Protección de los Defensores y Periodistas (Defenders and Journalists Protection) Activity. The project is a follow-on to Tetra Tech DPK’s ProVoces activity, which similarly strengthened security and safety for journalists and human rights defenders. Learn more about the activity here.

MSI was awarded the four-year USAID/Jordan Public Accountability and Justice Strengthening Activity (PAJ). The project will strengthen accountability systems, procedures, and mechanisms within the Government of Jordan (GOJ) and judicial institutions and enhance their ability to serve and communicate effectively with the public.

MSI was also awarded a one-year cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State, the Iraqi Terrorism Prosecutions and Information Management Program. This project aims to strengthen Iraq’s terrorism prosecutions and enhance the integrity of judicial institutions.

More information about MSI’s Rule of Law practice and other expertise can be found here.


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