Publications

By freely sharing what we learn, we have built a reputation as thought leaders who translate ideas into action and action into results. You can browse through recently published articles from all our publications ( Developments, Developing Alternatives, [email protected] ) below—or visit individual publication sites for a full archive.

How Digital Climate Risk Assessment Tools Help Unclog Climate Finance Flows in Emerging Economies

Digital

Traditional lending channels are blocking access to climate finance. The large commercial banks that receive funds from investment banks accredited by the Green Climate Fund typically seek smaller financial institutions in local markets to distribute these funds. However, these smaller institutions often lack the tools needed to appraise risk an…

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Reflecting on the Role of Digital Solutions in Tackling USAID’s Global Priorities

Digital

As most people in the international development community know, Samantha Power, former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations under President Barack Obama, was nominated and officially sworn in as the 19th Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on May 3. During her confirmation hearing testimony, she …

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USAID’s Partnership Approach Leaves Philippines’ Wildlife in Safer Hands

Developments

Approximately three-fourths the size of California, the Philippines is brimming with biodiversity. It is among the world’s 17 megadiverse countries that host more than 70 percent of the world’s plant and animal species. However, systems and local capacity to conserve, protect, and channel rich biodiversity and ecosystems toward sustainable devel…

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Q&A: Innovative Storage Solutions to Improve Energy Access in Emerging Markets

Developments

As global economies turn toward renewable energy generation, energy storage solutions are becoming a critical part of the conversation. For Sub-Saharan Africa, which faces the largest energy access deficit globally, and where 600 million people lack access to electricity, innovations in energy technology are critical. Battery technology has the …

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Request for Information: Exploring the Role of AI and Automation on Agrifood Systems

Digital

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications are rapidly evolving to include more complex and advanced tasks. As a result, the number of meaningful use cases relevant to the development sector are expanding and demonstrate significant potential to solve some of the world’s most prominent challenges.

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Power Grabbing in the Post-Pandemic Era Demands Targeted, Locally Driven Responses

Developments

In times of crisis—a natural disaster, political upheaval, or a global pandemic, for example—the social contract is often threatened. Governments must respond immediately despite operating with limited data, external groups with unknown agendas may choose to intervene, and vulnerable groups face greater risk of exploitation. “Power grabs” in tim…

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What We Learned From a Deep Dive into the World of Prizes and Challenges

Digital

A few months ago, our colleagues at the Digital Asia Accelerator buy-in under the Digital Frontiers project asked Alex Sekhniashvili and I to identify and synthesize lessons learned administering prizes and challenges across the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) portfolio. Given DAI’s long history implementing the Grand Challenge…

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Digital Platform Unites Afghan Activists

Digital

Since 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Promote: Musharikat program has been promoting the meaningful civic participation of Afghan women. To date, more than 7,000 activists and 370 civil society organizations (CSO), across all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces, have chosen to join DAI-led Musharikat to advance women…

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Apply Now to Implement the Next ICTforAg Conference

Digital

ICTforAg 2020 engaged a global audience of 1,502 participants across 26 sessions over the course of one day. The conference examined digital solutions in agriculture as a means of fostering resilience in the wake of disruptions, from climate-related disasters to COVID-19, and the intersections between them. Building on the momentum of this globa…

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What Job Postings from Mexico's Energy Sector Reveal About the State of Clean Energy

Digital

A significant challenge to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals has been measuring country progress in the transition to renewable and clean energy sources. While expert surveys or legislation enacted may provide some insight into how countries are progressing on the whole, they lack the granularity to inform us about subnational trends, …

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EU Forest Project in Liberia Tackles Deforestation and Paves the Way for Stability

Developments

Liberia is home to half of the remaining rainforest in West Africa. Covering more than 60 percent of the nation’s land surface, forests are the fourth-largest contributor to Liberia’s economy and an important source of income for one-third of its 4.5 million people. They also make Liberia one of the world’s hotspots for biological diversity, hos…

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Early Warning and Response System Increases School Enrollment and Retention

Developments

In the years leading up to 2020, school enrollment in Honduras suffered a steady decline. In 2018, 81,000 students (4.06 percent) dropped out. In 2019, some 105,000 students (or 5.39 percent of the total) abandoned their education to seek work, join gangs, or migrate without documents to the United States. Approaching the opening of the new scho…

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Advances in ICT Connectivity Highlight Need for Digital Safety Preparedness in Pacific Communities

Digital

The Pacific Islands have the lowest rate of mobile internet penetration in the world and fixed broadband connection levels far below that of their neighbors. Recent and planned investments in building out undersea fiber optic cable and satellite services—including those financed by the United Nations, World Bank, and Asian Development Bank—are s…

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USAID Projects Work Together to Bolster Trade between Pakistan and Central Asia

Developments

Despite their proximity, South and Central Asia are among the least economically integrated regions. Intraregional trade is estimated to be between 0.2 and 4 percent of their total trade to all destinations—significantly below regional trade in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Most of the countries in the two regions h…

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What Are We Reading about Technology and Ethics?

Digital

Tech ethics have continued to claim the public spotlight as more accounts of bias and harm due to technology and artificial intelligence (AI) have appeared in the media. Stories from racial bias in health care algorithms to gender bias in hiring algorithms have uncovered the lack of neutrality in technology that has previously been assumed to be…

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World Bank Project Aims to Rebuild Gaza Solar Facility in Wake of Conflict

Developments

In the course of the latest conflict between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, one of the Gaza Strip’s brightest beacons of promise was almost extinguished. The $11.2 million GIE Solar Energy Project—funded by the World Bank Group and financed through the Palestinian Ministry of Finance’s Finance for Jobs (F4J) program—lost approximately …

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Digital Innovator Series: Talking Girls in Tech with Voneat Pen

Digital

Kate Heuisler recently spoke with Voneat Pen, the Chapter Ambassador for Technovation in Cambodia, about her work growing the successful all-girl tech entrepreneurship education program for the seventh year in a row. While juggling her roles as the co-founder of the tech startup 606, a programmer, and STEM advocate, Voneat has been instrumental …

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How Satellite Imagery and ‘Light at Night’ Helps Development Practitioners Estimate GDP

Digital

I am sure many of you have come across a map like the one below. I find that images of our planet are always awe-inspiring and this image is certainly not an exception. I can easily get lost in satellite imagery for hours if I am not careful. Most of those images are based on visual spectrum optical technology (LandSAT, Sentinel, etc.), thus req…

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New Senior Advisor to High Council for Women Looks Ahead to the Afghan Peace Process

Developments

With the departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan scheduled for this fall, all eyes are turning to the peace process, and in particular the place of women’s rights in those negotiations. With those rights in mind, we spoke to Sara Seerat, a leading women’s rights activist recently appointed by presidential decree as Senior Advisor to the High C…

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New Research Explores Digital Technologies and Their Impact on Social Accountability in Southeast Asia

Digital

Ian Cocroft, Karen Lee, and Connor MacKenzie are second-year master’s students in the international development program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). The SAIS International Development (IDEV) practicum allows students to work directly with public, private, and nongovernmental organizations as a …

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Fast Company's World Changing Ideas Awards Highlight Opportunities for Digital Development

Digital

Fast Company magazine has been around for decades…but is it relevant for digital development work? The publication was founded in 1995 at a time when business was changing the world in new ways. Today, 26 years later, we are still coming to terms with the ways that technologies are transforming the ways we work and live—especially during the COV…

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Health Equity is Key to Global Health Security Goals: Learning from COVID-19

Developments

We’ve all heard the adage that “disease does not discriminate.” The reality is very different. The current pandemic has, in fact, shone a light on stark health inequalities around the world. The consequences of COVID-19 are experienced differently by people depending on their circumstances, whether they are in North America, Europe, Asia, or in …

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Right to Repair is a Development Issue

Digital

Who owns the device you are reading this blog post on? It may seem like a straightforward question until a power surge fries a key circuit or a stray elbow knocks a unit to the floor. At this point, the process of repairing what you thought was your (or your employer’s) property is likely to get a bit more complicated: The device turns out to be…

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STEAM Education Goes Online with Launch of Stemazone Platform in Oman

Developments

The stemazone initiative for Omani youth, funded by Eshraqa and designed and implemented by DAI, has launched in Oman. The innovative educational initiative is focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) for Omanis aged 7 to 15. Through the Sustainable Business Group and Center for Digital Acceleration, DAI partnered with…

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This Time It’s Different: A New Measure of Competitiveness, Now Including Nature

Developing Alternatives

This article is the first in a series that explores the relationship between competitiveness and sustainability through a new lens that seeks to account for the use and abuse of natural capital. In this series—titled The Nature of Competitiveness: a New Worldview for Corporate Sustainability—we endeavor to identify solutions such as new business…

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My Transition from a Tech Company to DAI

Digital

Before joining DAI’s Center for Digital Acceleration (CDA), I worked in the software development industry. For the majority of my 15 years in this field, I only worked for tech companies whose main business model was building software. To successfully build software, there are multiple practices and skills that companies need. These skills are, …

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Apply Now to Support USAID Missions through Digital Agriculture Ecosystem Assessments

Digital

Despite the incredible progress made over the last decade by the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security Feed the Future program, continued shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, make the work towards a more resilient global population and improved food security more relevant than ever. COVID’s impact on food security continues to be…

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In Case You Missed It: The Digital Journey in South Asia—Opportunities and Challenges for Small Firms and Women Entrepreneurs

Digital

DAI’s Digital Frontiers Project, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Indo-Pacific Office, recently hosted a thought-provoking webinar featuring views from the field in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal on opportunities and challenges for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women entrepreneurs in South…

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We Urgently Need to Build Skills to Bolster Trust in Digital Tools

Digital

As part of last year’s launch events for the DAI Center for Digital Acceleration’s flagship Frontier Insights research on user perceptions of trust and privacy on the internet, two panels of experts helped underscore and widen the discussion around issues raised in the report. In the South Asia panel, a theme that emerged very clearly was the ur…

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Zimbabwe Agriculture Project Finds Ways to Engage Smallholder Farmers, Despite COVID-19

Developments

March 30 marked one year since the Government of Zimbabwe declared the country’s first nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. The strict lockdown and enforcement measures have caused significant hardship for most citizens, but particularly for informal traders in poorer urban areas and communities that depend on agriculture for thei…

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Reaching the Needs of All Citizens in a More Democratic Pakistan

Developments

A government that citizens can trust with their hard-earned wages. A government that ensures its citizens feel their voices are heard. A government whose priorities reflect its citizens’ aspirations. Such a government is the bedrock of any nation. Yet far too many governments fall short of this goal. Seeking to support good governance specifical…

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Knowledge Sharing in ICT4D: Beyond Internet Searches and Panel Events

Digital

As we head into “event season”—albeit remotely—I’ve been thinking about how we share knowledge about what we do in the ICT4D space. In doing some recent research and sector mapping, I noted how different the levels of ICT4D development are amongst various sectors. In digital agriculture, it is generally accepted that there are numerous innovatio…

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2030: The Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy Must be Swift—and Fair

Developments

The next 10 years are make-or-break for our climate. To limit the rise in global temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius, we must achieve significant progress on emissions reductions by 2030. At the same time, as a global community, we must ensure that the expedited transition to a low-carbon economy is not only rapid but fair, with no one le…

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Good News: Dasgupta Just Raised the Bar for Your Company

Developments

The way we measure the success of a company has to change—and is changing. That was the message of the Dasgupta Review, a landmark study that confirms the paradigm shift we have all suspected for some time. The 600-page Dasgupta Review (the Review)—led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta and commissioned, tellingly, not by an environmental agency b…

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Q&A with Donald Lunan, Head of DAI’s New Climate Business Unit

Developments

Donald Lunan, DAI’s new Global Director for Climate, has worked at DAI since 2005. As head of the Climate and Environment team in the United Kingdom, he worked with governments, the private sector, and civil society to address climate and natural resource challenges. More recently, he led the Delivery Team for the U.K. Business Unit, overseeing …

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Opening the Tap: A Coordinated Approach to Facilitating Green Finance for SMEs in Frontier and Emerging Markets

Developments

We can bemoan the amount of finance committed to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the developing world. But the sobering truth is that even the funding we currently have in the pipeline is not getting from upstream lenders and funders to downstream users where it really matters—that is, to the small enterprises, agribusinesses, and manufa…

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When “Business as Usual” is not Good for Business: Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade in the COVID-19 Era

Developments

Through a combination of laser-focused tactical interventions and support for rapid trade policy reform, the Afghanistan Value Chains-High Value Crops (AVC-HVC) project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is enabling the Afghan government to address longstanding trade policy and trade logistics challenges, which for…

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Empowering Nurses to Strengthen the Mexican Health System

Developments

Mexico is facing numerous challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and, simultaneously, a historically high burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including some of the highest prevalence rates of hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. People with underlying chronic health conditions have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms or dying …

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Building Bridges to a Better Future for Vulnerable Young Salvadorans

Developments

With 16- to 29-year-olds making up a quarter of El Salvador’s population, young people have the potential to play a transformative role in the country’s labor market and contribute to economic prosperity in this Central American country, where economic growth has exceeded 3 percent only twice this century. Yet many young Salvadorans—confronted b…

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Keeping Essential Food Businesses Open During the COVID-19 Crisis in Afghanistan

Developments

COVID-19 has disrupted the way industries operate globally. Remaining commercially viable in the face of supply and demand shocks, while safeguarding workers, has been challenging for all businesses. In the low- and middle-income countries where DAI operates, the situation is even more severe because the reach of public emergency support to busi…

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Supporting Women’s Inclusion Through Community Development in Pakistan

Developments

Since the early 2000s, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), home to more than 30 million citizens in northwest Pakistan, has suffered from the effects of militancy and natural disasters. Taliban attacks from neighbouring Afghanistan and severe droughts and floods have displaced people, increased poverty, hindered access to basic services, an…

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DAI hosts ANDE West Africa Workshop: How Incubators & Accelerators Can Build Corporate Partnerships

Developments

Many donors, governments, and corporations have recognized the need to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but another group—entrepreneurship support organizations (ESOs), which help those same small firms—are also suffering from a lull in funding and assistance. In recognition of this knowledge and funding ga…

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Market System Lens Pays Dividends for Northern Haiti’s Cacao Sector

Developments

Once a major agricultural exporter with robust export industries in coffee and sugarcane, Haiti now accounts for a minuscule share of global exports for virtually all agricultural commodities—around 0.1 percent to 0.4 percent. Yet, strengthening agricultural exports—including cacao, the seed from which cocoa products are made—has long been held …

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Strengthening the COVID-19 Response and Protecting Health Services in Uganda

Developments

COVID-19 infections in Uganda are rising fast. The country recorded its first case of the coronavirus in March 2020 and in the early stages of the pandemic most cases were identified at the borders, among people travelling from other countries. Since then, however, the country has seen a rapid increase in community transmission and clusters of i…

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Fiscal Decentralization Builds Citizen Trust, Positions Ukraine for European Future

Developments

Sharing borders with four European Union (EU) member states—Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia—Ukraine is now a participant in the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, and thus a priority partner of the EU. Yet the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, begun in 2012 and concluded five years later, turned…

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Why Aligning with the SDGs Helps Energy Companies Position for Growth, and How to Do It

Developments

Companies are increasingly required to demonstrate the socioeconomic value of projects to gain operating approval from national governments, secure capital from investors and financiers, or uphold their brands in the court of public and consumer opinion. These requirements are only intensifying as many countries face unprecedented economic and d…

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Trade in the Time of COVID-19—Risk or Opportunity?

Developments

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a transformational impact on trade. The World Trade Organisation predicts trade will shrink by 9.2 percent in 2020 compared with 2019, while the International Monetary Fund has said that the pandemic “is the worst crisis since the Great Depression and that it will take significant innovation on the policy front, a…

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Oman’s Journey to In-Country Value: An Approach to Local Content that Works for Government and the Private Sector

Developments

For resource-rich countries looking to derive value from their extractive industries beyond tax revenues and production-sharing arrangements, promoting “local content” has become a mainstay of domestic policy in the past few decades. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, governments have adopted more than 340 l…

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Empowering Women: Lessons from COVID-19 and Beyond

Developments

COVID-19 and its associated lockdowns have seriously disrupted economic activity, affecting at least 80 percent of the global workforce, according to the International Labour Organization. While such instability threatens livelihoods across the board, women are disproportionately harmed by the pandemic because it exacerbates existing inequalitie…

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Q&A with Jeffrey Mecaskey: How Community Engagement, Regulations, and Incentives Build a Path to Improved Healthcare

Developments

Jeffrey Mecaskey is the Team Leader of the Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa (TDDA) programme, a project designed to strengthen health security in Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, and Uganda. TDDA is funded by UK Aid and led by DAI Global Health. We recently sat with Jeffrey to discuss measures to strengthen primary healthcare system…

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A Digital Tool to Get the World Moving Again

Developments

This week’s news from Pfizer and Moderna about the efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccines offers a tantalizing glimmer of hope for all of us longing to get back to our lives and our work. But even if these and other vaccines are as good as advertised, global authorities will need a comprehensive and universally trusted system to confirm COVID-19 te…

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A Shift in Mindset: Distance Learning during COVID-19 Boosts Participation in Honduras

Developments

Like many countries, Honduras was forced to close its schools by COVID-19. As a result, the Asegurando la Educación (Securing Education) project—a U.S. Agency for International Development project to support safe schools—was forced to give up its face-to-face interaction with educators, students, and parents. But necessity is the mother of inven…

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Gender-Based Violence on the Rise in the COVID-19 Era

Developments

A Liberian mother choked back tears as she recounted how a police commander refused to accept her report about a neighbor who raped and impregnated her 13-year-old daughter. The officer didn’t believe her. This is just one recent example of gender-based violence gleaned from DAI’s project work, but unfortunately, it is all too common, and—for mu…

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Commercializing Agricultural Innovations in the Age of COVID-19

Developments

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, Sub-Saharan African countries have been gradually reopening thanks to largely successful efforts to combat the spread of the virus. Though scientists don’t fully understand why the continent has had low incidence and fatality rates compared to the rest of the world, most agree that quick action on the pa…

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Development During Quarantine: Lessons from Four USAID Projects

Developments

Mobility is fundamental to global development work. People, materials, and information must reach areas that can be geographically remote or underserved by communication infrastructures. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed an industry that can no longer rely on access to travel and face-to-face engagement. With COVID-19 a global reality for the fo…

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Mobilizing the Haitian Diaspora to Invest “Back Home”

Developments

In Haiti, more than 60 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day; in 2019, approximately 14 percent of Haitians were unemployed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggle to access the capital they need to grow, create jobs, and offer valuable products and services. “If you go to Haiti, you realize that one of the country’s …

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Stay the Course: A Decade of Focus on Economic Reforms Pays off in Ukraine

Developments

Few countries have experienced as much change in the past 30 years as Ukraine: independence, a switch to a market-based economy, the Euromaidan Revolution, foreign occupation of its territory, and a heavy currency devaluation, to name just a few of the events that have characterized this unsettling era.

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How Donor-Funded Economic Growth Projects are Adapting to the Challenges of COVID-19

Developments

Around the world, the advent of COVID-19 has been transformational for market systems-focused development projects. Many of the countries in which DAI works have implemented shelter-in-place orders, creating countless operational challenges as staff reduce or cease in-person interaction with partner firms, households, and other staff members. In…

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How High-impact Businesses in Emerging Markets Are Pivoting in the COVID-19 Crisis

Developments

INVEST talks with advisors from USAID partner network members about the short and long-term needs of SMEs in emerging markets as these businesses attempt to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. This post originally appeared in Impact Alpha.

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Local and National, Public and Private: Resilient Education Systems in the COVID-19 Era

Developments

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the fragility of global education systems, as many schools have temporarily ceased in-person instruction and left students with unequal, inconsistent access to learning opportunities at home. Traditional education provision may not be possible for the foreseeable future. This crisis—and the threat of potential …

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How Can Digital Financial Services be Utilised in Response to COVID-19?

Developments

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly disrupted the provision of financial services worldwide, with many regular practices now impossible. Consumer banks have closed as part of lockdown measures, and where banks are still operational, distancing measures have constrained services and diminished provider contact. Travel restrictions in many countr…

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How Knowledge Management Helps Make Remote Work, Work

Developments

COVID-19 has transformed the global workforce. Many organizations, including DAI, have transitioned to almost wholly remote working. And while collaborating across locations has always been necessary at DAI—we work in more than 100 countries—the scale of remote collaboration, with so many staff working from home, has never been this great.

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How a Place-based Approach Built Climate Resilience in Indonesia

Developments

Indonesia knows climate and disaster risk: a vast archipelago of more than 18,000 islands and 230 million people, the country faces earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, drought, and rising sea level. Climate change is exacerbating these risks and compounding the vulnerabilities of the Indonesian people. As recently as 2019, for example, 11…

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In Ethiopia, Keeping Land Rights on the Agenda Through the Pandemic

Developing Alternatives

During the COVID-19 health crisis, land might not appear to be an urgent issue. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the pandemic is more than a health emergency—it’s an economic and social emergency too, which threatens to worsen the economic outlook for many people who are already extremely vulnerable. We know those most at risk, in Ethi…

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It’s Getting Easier to Do Business in Nigeria: How DFID’s Award-Winning Policy Development Facility Supported Reform

Developments

Nigeria has Africa’s largest economy and population. But as recently as 2016, the country ranked near the bottom of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index, which measures business regulations and their enforcement worldwide. Nigeria’s low ranking that year—169 out of 190 countries—reflected the difficulty businesses faced in dealing with …

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How EuropeAid’s Pakistan BRACE Programme is Engaging Communities in the COVID-19 Era

Developments

At a time when social distancing and other restrictive measures are forcing almost all of our interactions to take place virtually, the European Union (EU)-funded Balochistan Rural Development and Community Empowerment (BRACE) programme in Pakistan is harvesting responsiveness from already established networks to stop the spread of COVID-19. The…

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USAID-Supported Enterprise in Ukraine Repairs Lung Ventilators for Use in COVID-19 Crisis

Developments

At the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, Vasyl Mazurin, an entrepreneur from Druzhkivka in eastern Ukraine, approached city doctors with an offer to help repair equipment that could aid patients suffering with COVID-19. Medical staff took him up on the proposal and presented him with their old, non-functioning lung ventilators. “It was our …

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COVID-19: Public Financial Management Solutions for the Immediate and Longer Term

Developments

Any effective government response to crises such as COVID-19 will rely on good public financial management (PFM). As the International Monetary Fund makes clear, PFM systems will play an important role in tackling the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, which include estimating and finding the financial resources needed to confront the d…

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Here’s How We Push Ahead with Inclusive Education

Developments

Since discussions began around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the global community has agreed that education is the right of every child, regardless of socio-economic status, religion, ability, culture, or geography. Yet even as the idea of inclusive education garners support, we struggle to move beyond talk to action. DAI hosted a pan…

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How Can We Support the Private Sector in Vulnerable and Developing Economies Following COVID-19?

Developments

While the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing countries continues to unfold, it seems clear that the public health response of lockdowns and business closures is having a profound effect on developing economies. In the face of dwindling revenue, private companies with limited working capital reserves are forced to lay off staff an…

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Curbing Irregular Migration: Shifting Focus from the American Dream to the Honduran Reality

Developments

Honduran parents often pull their young children out of school to accompany them on the perilous journey to the United States because of rumors suggesting that the presence of youngsters will ensure visas for families. Older students, seeking what they perceive as a safer or more prosperous future, drop out on their own to undertake the journey….

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Avoiding Credit Risk Contagion in Frontier and Emerging Economies

Developments

COVID-19 has hit economies around the world, with devastating effects on businesses. Businesses in frontier and emerging economies may face the worst debt crisis since the early 1980s. Since the advent of COVID-19, more than US$100 billion in capital has flowed out of these markets—three times as much as in the first two months of the 2008 globa…

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Transitioning a Supply Base from Offshore Oil and Gas to Marine Renewables

Developments

The past few decades have seen an intense effort to encourage investment in forward-looking renewable energy technologies, principally in onshore solar and wind generation. Over this time, a global supply chain that involves both large businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has emerged to service these onshore projects. More re…

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Q&A: A Conversation with Jenny Baker, DAI Global Health Senior Vice President

Developments

Jenny Baker was appointed to lead DAI’s Global Health business in March of this year. Given all that has happened in the health arena since then, it has taken us longer than usual to catch up with the incoming Senior Vice President. Here we get her perspective on health and development challenges in the era of COVID-19.

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USAID Local Governance Activity Supports Health Systems to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 in Honduras

Developments

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Honduras Local Governance Activity (HLG), is supporting the prevention and early detection of COVID-19 in 41 municipalities, 8 municipal associations, 18 nongovernment-managed health centers, 6 hospitals, 4 shelters for victims of gender-based violence, and 7 youth groups in this…

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“Now More than Ever”—Safeguarding in a Time of Crisis

Developments

Crisis or no crisis, gender-based violence—including sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH)—takes place where there is a combination of opportunity, rationalisation, motivation, and power imbalance. But crises tend to exacerbate the inequalities that favour these conditions. Depending on the nature of the crisis, we may see different …

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What We Have Learned through Land Reform Implementation in Malawi

Developing Alternatives

In 2016, the Government of Malawi enacted a Customary Land Act (CLA), enabling smallholder farmers to convert their customary land rights to private land rights with registered title. Crucially, the CLA gives land holders increased tenure security, which in turn is hoped to lead to increased investment in land improvements.

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How COVID-19 is Highlighting Inequality, and the Role for Social Protection

Developments

Alongside priorities of healthcare and slowing the rate of infection, almost all governments have identified a range of fiscal and monetary instruments to mitigate the economic impacts of the virus.

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USAID Projects Assisting Small Firms Affected by COVID-19

Developments

Even the strongest economies are struggling to cope with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. China saw its first drop in gross domestic product since 1992 and Germany, Europe’s largest economy, could contract by up to 5.4 percent this year. While it’s too soon to predict how less developed countries will fare, all indicators point to s…

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Iraq’s Prisoner Dilemma

Checkpoint

The rise of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization presented civilians caught in IS-controlled areas with limited choices. While a small percentage joined the group as combatants—either willfully or under coercion—more sought other ways to survive and provide for their families. In these situations, ordinary people can easily become compl…

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Market-Driven Cash-for-Work Projects Show Promise in Somalia—and Beyond?

Checkpoint

Editor’s Note: This post expands on a report originally prepared for the Centre for Development Results. The Somali peninsula—home to 14.32 million people—suffered a devastating drought in early 2017, leading to widespread crop failures and livestock losses that have dangerously affected the region’s food security. The Food and Agriculture Organ…

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Report: Youth and Violent Extremism in Mindanao, Philippines

Checkpoint

Development responses to violent extremism are challenged by a lack of methods for rigorously testing assumptions about and determining the relative importance of different drivers of extremism. DAI’s Center for Secure and Stable States designed and implemented a mixed-methods research methodology for addressing these challenges on the Enhancing…

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The Money Trail, Part I: Safe Charitable Giving in Pakistan

Checkpoint

Counter-threat finance—the efforts to reduce the flow of money that funds terrorism and organized crime—has been a key component of the international community’s struggle against terrorism since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. When we think of counter-threat finance, international banking, money laundering, and oil smuggling come to mi…

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Q&A: Complexity-Aware Planning for Stabilization Programming

Checkpoint

In complex and unstable environments, standard performance monitoring is often insufficient to ensure activities remain relevant and adapt to the evolving ecosystem in which they are implemented. DAI’s complexity-aware planning (CAP) cycle is designed for situations where the understanding of a country’s conflict is narrow, conditions are consta…

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Alternative Dispute Resolution: New Evaluation Shows Its Impacts and Limitations in Reducing Violence

Checkpoint

In conflict-affected countries, formal legal systems often are limited, with department or agency staffs absent or overloaded or both, leaving communities with few or no dispute resolution mechanisms. In their place, communities tend to rely on informal processes or institutions to resolve disputes before they escalate to violence. Development p…

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Trauma Awareness and Healing: A Step on the Path to Peace

Checkpoint

I recently traveled to South Sudan to investigate efforts to address trauma in a region that has experienced nearly 27 years of war since the 1980s. As a global development professional and trauma educator, I don’t need to be convinced of the need to address trauma as part of a portfolio of peacebuilding activities. Encouragingly, an increasing …

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A Good Facilitator is Hard to Find: This Might Help

Checkpoint

As measures to counter violent extremism (CVE) are complex and unproven, development practitioners must pay attention to any and all variables that even appear to be important. One of those key common factors is the importance of a good facilitator. Luckily, the field of public health has much to teach us on this topic.

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A Tool in Progress: The Sub-National Fragility Index

Checkpoint

Is it possible to build a fragility index that is truly useful as a tool for day-to-day development programming on the ground? That’s what we’re trying in Nigeria.

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Words Matter: Pastoralists and Identity in the Sahel

Checkpoint

It is broadly understood that language—especially generalizing and dehumanizing language—can play a central role in fostering communal violence. William Donohue has shown how the language of classification was a key early warning in the Rwandan genocide, for example. Such instances should remind the development community to be mindful of the wor…

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Will the Real Bad Guys Please Stand Up?

Checkpoint

A review of “Conflict, Violent Extremism and Development: New Challenges, New Responses” One of the most acute challenges of working in conflict zones is differentiating between “legitimate” conflict actors and extremist groups. In countries such as Libya and Syria, state collapse has led to a proliferation of armed groups and institutions—all c…

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Engaging Women in PVE Programming

Checkpoint

Recent research by DAI’s Enhancing Governance, Accountability, and Engagement (ENGAGE) project team in Mindanao demonstrates that while membership in violent extremist groups is overwhelmingly male, there is limited evidence to suggest that support for violent extremist ideologies differs fundamentally between the sexes.

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What To Do About Fake News? Ask Kenya

Checkpoint

So-called fake news is an issue du jour in Washington and beyond. While it has undoubtedly been hyped for political reasons, fake news is real, its dangers clear and present—especially in unstable environments. Even in the United States, the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and subsequent Comet Ping Pong shooting in Washington, D.C., in December 2016…

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Mopti: A New Front in the Struggle for Stability in West Africa

Checkpoint

Since the Bamako Agreement of 2015, the international security and development community has invested in significant stabilization programs for Northern Mali, and specifically the Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal regions. Northern Mali and its roughly 1.3 million people are more engaged and resilient as a result, but now “the center” of the country—home…

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Welcome to Checkpoint

Checkpoint

The social critic and author Christopher Hitchens wrote: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” Research, applied learning, and fierce debates about measuring success and failure, about embracing new ideas and technologies, and about adapting concepts and practices from both the development and national defens…

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Good, Timely, Affordable Research: Can We Hit the Trifecta?

Checkpoint

Anyone who has worked in transition or stabilization environments knows the value of good research. But good research tends to have two drawbacks that constrain its applicability for professionals working in unstable environments: it takes time and it’s expensive. Even the best research, if it comes too late, is of little use if you’re working i…

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