Tajikistan Water Users Association Support Program Assessment and New Project Design
The evaluation assessed the Water Users Association Support Program (WUASP) and prepared a program design for a new water management activity in Tajikistan. ME&A provided short-term technical assistance funded by a task order issued by the USAID/Central Asia Republics under the Integrated Water and Coastal Resources Management IQC (Water II IQC).
The ME&A Team assessed the impact and effectiveness of the program’s technical assistance, training and grants to water user associations. The team found that the program helped farmers establish water user associations, cleaned and rehabilitated irrigation infrastructure, and improved productivity through training in business, water management, and governance and democratic principles. Yields of traditional and high value agricultural products improved, farm income increased, and land under irrigation expanded.
The water management design built on the success of WUASP. It promoted efficient use of scarce irrigation water to revitalize the agricultural sector, encouraged the private sector services to farmers, and initiated and sustained river basin management. The assessment and proposed design were presented to USAID and design components were incorporated in a Task Order issued under another IQC.
Assessment of Future Assistance Gaps and Needs to Support Local Economic Development in Serbia
The purpose of this local economic development activity was to assess current local economic growth programming efforts in Serbia and to make recommendations to USAID/Serbia for programming in these areas for the next five years. ME&A provided short-term technical assistance for the assessment funded by a task order under the Sustainable Urban Management II IQC (SUM II IQC).
ME&A reviewed sample project activities funded by USAID/Serbia and met with implementing partners, ministry and local government representatives, think tanks, the business community, other donor and relevant stakeholders to identify lessons learned from past project successes and shortcomings, the impact of the political and economic environment on potential assistance outcomes, and potential assistance needs and gaps.
ME&A presented a report to USAID/Serbia with a detailed analysis identifying priority areas needing assistance within the future local economic development and made recommendations to USAID/Serbia on the potential of new assistance projects and approaches to provide such projects, including local economic development strategy and support, access to financing capital investment planning, municipal finance and revenue, workforce development, utility performance, public-private partnerships, and public property and asset management.
USAID/Russia Impact Evaluation of Local and Regional Governance Projects
The purpose of this local and regional governance evaluation was to assess the impact of USAID/Russia’s activities in promoting the decentralization of sub-national governmental units and to aid USAID/Russia in determining future programming involving local and regional governance decentralization and capacity development, citizen participation, and public finance and fiscal decentralization reforms. ME&A provided short-term technical assistance for the evaluation funded by a task order under the Evaluation IQC.
ME&A assessed the USAID/Russia governance projects with emphasis on the Russia Far East and the Volga Regions, as well as the impact of the organizations implementing the governance program. The ME&A Team visited project areas, Russia Federation offices, and official and non-governmental organizations to determine project impact and changes affecting legislative reforms of the Russia Federation at the regional and local levels.
The ME&A Team found the governance program was a true success story. Specific recommendations for future USAID/Russia programming were presented to the Mission for consideration with particular emphasis on the challenges to sustain the results and successes of USAID/Russia’s governance program in the dynamic Russian political environment.
University Linkages Project II
The objective of the University Linkages Project II (ULP II) was to strengthen the Egyptian university system’s responsiveness to the technology transfer and development needs of private and public sector institutions. ME&A provided long-term administration, technical assistance, and capacity building in grants management for the $18 million grant program, working with the Egyptian Foreign Relations Coordination Unit (FRCU), Supreme Council of Egyptian Universities and its grantees to bring grant proposals into compliance with USAID requirements; monitor grant performance; procure equipment; manage travel; and, exercise effective financial management and control of the grant portfolio.
ME&A staff provided extensive training in grants management procedures to more than 80 accountants and 108 Principal Investigators at 11 Egyptian universities. ME&A assisted in designing and developing grant protocols. More than 60 research grants were processed. The potential economic benefit derived from only twelve ULP-II grants outweighed the total costs of the $18 million invested by USAID in the project. ME&A was exemplary in their business relations with the lead implementing agency, the Supreme Council of Universities, and with the Egyptian and U.S. counterparts. ME&A developed and maintained excellent business relations with these counterparts and with USAID's technical officers.
Manufacturing Technology Transfer Project (FABRYKAT 2000)
The objective of this technology transfer project was to help facilitate Polish technological innovation and ideas from concept to commercialization and acquire outside technology processes to enhance small and medium enterprise (SME) productivity and profitability in Poland. ME&A improved competitiveness, free market focus, and profitability of Poland’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs). ME&A transformed selected Polish Technology Transfer Centers (TTCs) into sustainable organizations that are the focal point of collaboration among SMEs, technologists, innovators, bankers, venture capitalists and corporate partners. Working in partnership with 5 U.S. subcontractors, a British subcontractor, and four pilot Polish TTCs, ME&A ensured these centers would become vehicles for delivering technology transfer assistance to Polish SMEs.
ME&A facilitated the establishment of new technology transfer centers in Warsaw and Krakow and trained staff and management of four TTCs in technology transfer operations and program management. ME&A provided assistance from U.S. and Polish industry experts to each Center’s SME clients, while mentoring center staff in identifying potential clients and marketing their manufacturing extension and technology commercialization capabilities to them. ME&A assisted the TTCs to promote themselves as engines of local and regional economic growth and undertook activities designed to enhance TTC resources.
Sudan Land Administration Project
ME&A implemented two related Land Administration projects for the Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) of the World Bank. These projects helped the Government of Khartoum assess existing land permitting operations and procedures, design new procedures and implement new processes to streamline land purchase and permitting for development purposes, including land allocation and site development permits.
ME&A assisted the Ministry of Investment, the Ministry of Physical Planning & Utilities, the Ministry of Agriculture and other agencies in the implementation of one-stop permitting centers and developed a Land Information Permitting Management System (LIPMS). Interventions included needs assessment, conceptual design, stakeholder coordination, training and mentoring during implementation stages.
Puerto Rico Training & TA in Local Economic Development Project
ME&A provided a two-day training module in local economic development related to the HUD Community Development Block Grant Program with online technical assistance. The program consisted of four major elements: 1) Design, development and implementation of a two day workshop on LED, provided in two locations: San Juan and Ponce, Puerto Rico; 2) Development of a training video for HUD and local government grantee use; 4) Development and operation of a website for technical assistance and advice to CDBG grantees in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; 4) Follow-up on-site technical assistance to the Municipality of Bayamon, Puerto Rico in implementing a downtown LED strategy utilizing CDBG and other HUD funding.
The training video provided included material on the following subjects, all covered in the training workshop: LED Strategic Planning; Organizing for LED; Public Private Partnerships; Capital Improvement Planning; LED as it relates to Overall Puerto Rico Economic Development Strategies; Using the HUD Section 8 Loan Guarantee program for LED; Using the HUD CDBG program for LED.
ME&A conducted a 14-month nationwide public awareness campaign (PAC) for the Government of Moldova’s Ministry of Privatization. The goal was to inform the Moldovan public about privatization and post-privatization issues and transition to a market economy. Specified task order requirements for the PAC included:
• Promoting public participation in the mass privatization effort for patrimonial bonds
• Conducting nationwide public opinion research
• Educating stakeholders/shareholders about corporate governance and shareholder rights, participation in secondary markets, and on land privatization and reform
• Informing privatized enterprise managers on post-privatization support programs
• Developing additional media relations programs
• Training Moldovan communications professionals
ME&A created a Moldovan communications infrastructure; one weekly and one monthly television program; four weekly radio programs; ten 60-second animated TV public service announcements; a weekly, bilingual (Moldovan and Russian) newspaper; and a monthly stock exchange bulletin. ME&A also produced pamphlets, posters, and flyers; held town meetings, conferences, and seminars on privatization; conducted nation-wide public information polling; and directed the activities of 13 regional public information officers and nine hot line operators.
The ME&A Team broke new ground in the development of formats and modalities to carry the privatization and market reform message to Moldova’s citizens.
Macedonia—Make Decentralization Work Project
The objective of this project was to strengthen the decentralization and local governance processes in Macedonia at a crucial turning point in the process. This USAID-funded project focused on preparing municipalities, through training and technical assistance, in new competencies, including fiscal and tax administration, local economic development, urban planning, citizen participation and a system of laws that will support the decentralization. ME&A’s role was to provide training and technical assistance in organizational development of ZELS, the municipal association, local economic strategic planning and development, tax policy and administration, and policy development related to the decentralization process.
ME&A’s work in support of ZELS significantly fortified the organization’s capabilities to represent the views of the local governments of Macedonia before the Macedonian legislature and the various Ministries that relate to local government issues. ME&A was a subcontractor to DAI on this project, and continued ME&A’s work from the preceding Local Government Reform Project. Macedonia Competitiveness Activity For this project, ME&A developed understanding and support for critical economic and policy issues by a broad spectrum of stakeholders within Macedonia. ME&A provided long-term technical assistance in the key areas of consensus building, public education, and national dialogue about project objectives, processes, and outcomes. ME&A assisted with the establishment of the National Entrepreneurship & Competitiveness Council (NECC), the tri-partite (private/public/civil sectors) body charged with leading Macedonia’s competitiveness agenda. The NECC created a forum for shaping a dialogue between national leaders to advocate and lead the implementation of policy changes critical to the development of more competitive Macedonian businesses.
ME&A assisted the NECC in its media relations and organized the first annual National Summit on Competitiveness on behalf of the Council. ME&A also developed a nationwide media and outreach campaign in support of the competitiveness initiative and small and medium-sized enterprise development, along with a public education/consensus building campaign targeting national decision-makers, the business community, local government and community leaders, NGOs and academic institutions. ME&A also assisted in identifying means to encourage cooperation among ethnic groups and worked with local media and communication firms to increase their capacity to carry out public education campaigns in support of economic reform and public-private dialogue. ME&A was a subcontractor to Booz Allen Hamilton on this project.
Serbia Local Government Reform Program
ME&A designed and managed the citizen participation component of this major municipal assistance program, which provided assistance to five Serbian municipal governments, the media, and civil society organizations in their jurisdictions. Assistance focused on expanding and improving citizen and civil society participation in municipal decision making, as well as information dissemination to citizens about municipal planning and programs, and provision of municipal services in a more citizen-friendly manner. ME&A's Citizen Participation Team Leader and his Serbian staff worked with the five pilot communities to formulate comprehensive plans for improving the citizen/municipality relationship. SLGRP staff then assisted the five pilot communities to implement their plans, which targeted a wide range of initiatives, including the establishment of advisory boards for various municipal functions, as well as communal enterprises. Other initiatives included strengthening the municipal neighborhood council system, establishing citizen-oriented municipal information offices, and developing One-Stop Permitting Centers and Citizen Assistance Centers. The five pilot communities were highly supportive of the process, and SLGRP targeted the program for expansion to at least 25 Serbian municipalities. ME&A was a subcontractor to Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) on this program.
Macedonia Local Government Reform Program
The Macedonia Local Government Reform program provided multi-faceted capacity building technical assistance to 12 pilot municipalities and to ZELS, the Macedonian local government association. The project provided assistance in a range of areas, including municipal operations, citizen participation, local economic development, association capacity building and advocacy assistance, procurement, citizen information centers and one-stop permitting centers, budget, finance and tax law, decentralization issues, and urban planning. This project was central to USAID’s work in supporting the Framework Agreement, signed in 2002, implementing a truce between Macedonian and Albanian factions. A key aspect of the implementation of that agreement was the passage of the Law on Local Self Governance. Much of the work program of this project was related to supporting that legislation. The work in support of ZELS provided by ME&A consultants significantly fortified that organization’s capabilities to represent the views of the local governments of Macedonia before the Macedonian legislature and the various Ministries that relate to local government issues.
As a subcontractor to Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), ME&A provided the Deputy Chief of Party for this project as well as short-term technical assistance in local government association development, small city economic development, and local government procurement.
Serbia Competitiveness was a USAID-funded program aimed at generating rapid, sustained, and broad-based economic growth in Serbia; increasing private enterprise growth, especially the growth of SMEs; and improving private sector competitiveness by improving the capacity of targeted sectors to penetrate and integrate into domestic and international markets through increases in productivity and improvements of the business enabling environment.
As a subcontractor to Booz Allen Hamilton, ME&A provided technical assistance in Marketing and Communication for this project. The purpose of this technical assistance was to forge international press relations for promoting specific Serbian industries/sectors, as well as Serbia as a place to do business in general. ME&A conducted training and capacity building activities for local staff communications advisors in international media relations, including check lists, contacts, trade publications mapping, etc. ME&A also worked with the project’s communications team to prepare promotional materials to be used at future trade shows and targeted to relevant international media, design a strategy for messaging results and success stories on sales, exports, etc.
Support to New Government of Georgia Democracy and Governance
The main objective of this project was to assist and support the Georgian Offices of the President and the Prime Minister in their efforts to: develop an effective policy formulation process within the executive branch of the Government of Georgia (GoG); assist in developing a system that facilitates the efficient flow of information among the GoG executive branch ministries, Prime Minister's office and President's office; and strengthen internal communications within the staff of the Prime Minister's and President's Office as well as their day-to-day operations. ME&A’s specialist worked closely with the PM Press Office and helped them develop the organizational chart, structure, and system based on the recommendations in the assessment report with a specific focus on helping them develop an action plan for the different staff divisions and a “guide” to what to do in situation “A”, situation “B” etc. in a press office. ME&A’s specialist also provided training in drafting press releases and other types of correspondence, and was instrumental in conducting five seminars, which provided training and professional support to press officers in order to improve inter-governmental communication and public outreach. ME&A was a subcontractor to DAI on this support program.
Serbia Enterprise Development Project (SEDP)
ME&A provided long-term technical assistance for the Serbia Enterprise Development Project (SEDP) in the key areas of: consensus building, public education, and national dialogue about project objectives, processes, and outcomes. ME&A was responsible for designing, implementing, managing, and reporting on the success of the Public Relations, Institutional, and Social Marketing (PRISM) work stream of SEDP. This work stream ensured that the project had a comprehensive, integrated marketing and public relations campaign that supported SEDP’s strategic goals. The PRISM Manager was supported by a small team of Serbian experts, local contractors (e.g., public relations, multimedia, and market research firms), and short-term expatriate advisors in developing and conducting a national media campaign that overtly addressed the need to help shape national discourse, opinion, and attitudes about business and competitiveness related themes.
Among other activities, the PRISM Team developed and implemented strategies to promote the diffusion and acceptance of competitiveness and cluster concepts in Serbia by highlighting and promoting Serbian entrepreneurs who are innovating and competing successfully in domestic, regional, or global markets. The strategies were built on lessons learned from the USAID information model for privatization and post privatization and emphasize message development, preparation of counterparts, sustainability, and building productive communications links within clusters. ME&A was a subcontractor to Booz Allen Hamilton on this project.
Southern Sudan Capacity Development Needs Assessment
For this project in southern Sudan, ME&A provided comprehensive training needs and capacity assessment for the USAID Sudan Field Office (SFO). These training needs and capacity assessments focused on individuals and institutions in southern Sudan essential to achieving results identified in the USAID Sudan Interim Strategic Plan for 2004-2006. The assessment covered selected government, as well as private sector and civil society organizations. The needs assessment focused on five key development sectors currently supported by USAID: peace building/conflict mitigation, education, health, democracy and governance, and economic development.
The training needs assessment identified short, medium and long-term capacity development needs and provided up to date information on potential Sudanese, regional and international training institutions and innovative capacity development strategies. The assessment also provided an information base on training and institutional development needs from which USAID, other development agencies, and southern Sudanese partners could develop a comprehensive, cost-effective and innovative training program. ME&A was a subcontractor to DAI on this assessment.
In cooperation with the Supreme Court of Indonesia and the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Control of Corruption Project, USAID’s In-ACCE Project assisted the Supreme Court of Indonesia in achieving the reform objectives of the Blueprints for the Commercial Courts and Anticorruption Court. The primary focus of In-ACCE was to improve the performance of five District Courts as model courts, using approaches and systems that could be replicated in other courts and all types of cases. ME&A’s role in the In-ACCE project involved the public information and outreach aspects of court reform. ME&A’s public communications specialist was responsible for helping build and manage activities related to the design and implementation of communication and public outreach strategies. The public communications specialist played a vital role in enhancing communication and outreach between the Indonesian courts and the public.
Activities of In-ACCE included implementation of computers, networks, case management system software and court recording equipment; streamlining of court processes; revision of management of cases and recordkeeping practices; and improved communications and interaction with the public. The In-ACCE Project lead trainings for judges and court staff of the District Courts of Central Jakarta, Makassar, Medan, Semarang and Surabaya. The Supreme Court of Indonesia and USAID cooperated to improve court performance and increase the public’s trust and confidence.
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ME&A specializes in developing and implementing programs in Local Economic Development. Learn more about ME&A's LED Center here