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Corporate Social Responsibility & International Development
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Independent research, analysis and consulting

Services



We engage in short- and long-term assignments with charitable foundations and other funders, Corporate Social Responsibility programs and cross-sector partnerships, as well as directly with NGOs and other implementing organizations working in the field. Our engagements have spanned from the U.S. throughout sub-Sahara Africa, and parts of Latin America and Asia, and are always custom-designed to meet specific needs. We generally take on one or more of the following objectives:

 

Learning assessment: We use both qualitative and quantitative methods, when possible, to evaluate the effectiveness of social interventions against their original objectives and beneficiary needs; assess the relevant social, economic and environmental impact; and/or benchmark them against similar efforts in the field. Through this process, we identify lessons learned, goals met and missed, help redirect resources if necessary, and make actionable recommendations to improve and further develop the impact. This helps funders and implementers to:

  • objectively monitor field progress
  • build the business case
  • increase program effectiveness
  • more effectively allocate or solicit future funding

 

Strategy:Our structured approach starts with defining the ultimate impact and outcomes expected, then works backwards to help determine: Are those objectives appropriately and reasonably framed? Is there a clear understanding of the theory of change – which activities will lead to the desired results, how and why? Are the activities designed to achieve outputs than can reasonably lead to desired outcomes? Are proper measurements in place and data collected to accurately understand progress made? Clients are enabled to:  

  • modify existing processes or structures
  • identify additional partners or resources
  • capitalize on new or unseen opportunities
  • improve organizational effectiveness

 

Documentation & Communication:  Through extensive field research – key-source interviews, surveys and other information-gathering techniques – we thoroughly research and synthesize input from all relevant stakeholders to solicit unbiased feedback and perspective. This process captures the political, cultural and socio-economic conditions, operational structures and relationships critical to success. Importantly, it also identifies the critical-path activities and processes responsible for driving desired outcomes. The findings are delivered in the format(s) most appropriate for the intended audiences – such as program evaluation reports, white papers, case studies, or media-ready articles or videos. Clients use this documentation to:

  • identify critical drivers and their impact
  • build institutional knowledge of existing programs
  • report progress to management, donors, employees, the public and other stakeholders
  • provide credible evidence for soliciting resources or scale-up by governments or other entities
  • identify and solicit partners

Due Diligence: We work in-country or remotely to understand the political, structural, economic and cultural landscape of existing or prospective projects. We can also investigate the capacity and reputation of prospective partners.  This research provides:

  • historical, economic and competitive context for a proposed program
  • understanding of the  political, operational and other risks to mitigate
  • benchmarking on competing or similar efforts
  • screened recommendations for prospective partners

 

New hybrids in Tanzania

School in Colombia

Village elders in Ethiopia
Top: New hybrids in Tanzania
Middle: School in Colombia
Bottom: Village elders in Ethiopia

Photos by Jonathan Levine
 
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