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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

International Solutions Group was selected to perform an evaluation of UNICEF’s Emergency Preparedness Systems worldwide. Over time, UNICEF’s role in emergencies has grown, a trend that will likely continue in the years ahead. In the late 1990s, disasters alone affected an estimated 66.5 million children a year; with the effects of climate change yet to be fully known, these numbers are projected to increase to as many as 175 million a year in the coming decade.

Given the higher frequency of emergencies due to intra-state conflict, climate change, and pandemics that are likely in the foreseeable future, with potentially higher impact on children, it is crucial that UNICEF be optimally prepared so as to minimize loss of life, reduce human suffering, and realize children’s rights when emergencies occur. Accordingly, UNICEF has made considerable investments to strengthen its emergency preparedness in recent years. In this context, the evaluation’s objective was to examine, as systematically and objectively as possible, the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, connectedness, sustainability and coverage of UNICEF’s current emergency preparedness systems across its global operations. Its main purpose was to help UNICEF become better braced for the wide range of emergencies it faces – and to blunt the effects of emergencies when they do occur – and thus help it save more lives and reduce human suffering in ever-better ways.

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Ethiopian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT)

Ethiopian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT)

The Ethiopian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) selected ISG to perform an impact assessment of their currently implemented e-Government System.

The evaluation worked with MCIT to realize a more effective and responsive e-Government services delivery. The project assessed the benefits, in terms of achievements and improvements, of the application of IT systems in more than 20 Ethiopian ministries, agencies, and authorities. The goal of the project was to identify future actions MCIT might take to increase the impact of the e-Government initiative and address current challenges.

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP selected ISG to design, develop, and implement a database solution for the Iraqi National Tuberculosis Program (NTP). In 2008, the Iraqi National Tuberculosis Program started the implementation of a 5-year program to fight Tuberculosis (TB) under a grant from Round 6 of the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). This Project came as a continuation of NTP’s efforts of previous years to control the spread of the disease in Iraq. UNDP-Iraq was the principal recipient of the GFATM fund in this programme, and WHO functioned as the sub-recipient.

In order to track and monitor progress towards the program’s objectives, NTP gathered and managed data on the national, governorate and district levels. Data included epidemiological, financial, procurement and M&E data.

ISG was selected to design, develop, and implement an information management system to provide NTP the ability to collect, monitor and analyze TB program-related data. ISG delivered a solution that provided NTP with the ability to access:

  1. All TB-related patient history information;
  2. Human resources information, including staff improvement;
  3. Inventory-related information for both consumables and non-consumables; and
  4. Supervisory review information.

ISG’s system also provided NTP with the ability to run a multitude of reports that provide instant analysis related to TB incidence and program management. Overall, the system provided a sound solution for better data management and control system ensuring quality, accuracy, and comparability of data.

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Secretariat of the Pacific Community

Secretariat of the Pacific Community

ISG empowered the Statistics Departments of the Fiji Islands, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Samoa through the implementation of ReadSoft’s Eyes & Hands FORMS software in association with customized database solutions. ISG’s solutions for these countries is used for the processing and transformation of Census data.

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United States State Department (USSD)

United States State Department (USSD)

The Ainkawa Center for Employment (ACE) was established to address unemployment and human resource capacity issues in Erbil, Iraq.  ACE provides customized training to individuals and organizations, connects job seekers with employers through a digital database, and provides mentorships to those with little or no previous work experience.

ISG designed, implemented and managed all aspects of the project, including the Center’s transition to a fully registered, independent Iraqi NGO in 2010.

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Abt Associates

Abt Associates

The Strengthening Family Planning Project (JAFPP), managed and led by Abt Associates, aimed to “expand the access, quality, and utilization of family planning services” and expected outcomes supported increased use of family planning.

The project conducted a quantitative survey of 300 respondents, including users, non-users, and former users of 17 JAFPP clinics. Findings from the survey have guided the Strengthening Family Planning Project team in identifying topics requiring further exploration through focus group discussions (FGDs). ISG deployed an Amman-based study leader and a FGD facilitator for Amman, Kerak and Baqa’a. ISG implemented FGDs in Amman and other parts of Jordan, each based on random samples prepared in coordination with the local community-based organizations that worked closely with ISG to prepare the FGDs.

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International Republican Institute

International Republican Institute

The International Republican Institute (IRI), a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting democracy worldwide, contracted ISG as an independent Evaluation Team with a background in performance measurement in the democracy, civil society and governance fields. The purpose of this evaluation was to conduct a qualitative impact assessment of IRI’s current grant, by assessing the progress and results of IRI’s post-election work in Iraq within the framework of the existing grant and to offer recommendations to increase the impact and effectiveness of the program.

The results of the evaluation helped IRI determine the longer-term outcomes of its current program, whether changes needed to be made to the current model of programming, and which, if any, of the activities have the potential for replication in other countries and regions in which IRI implements similar work.

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United States Institute Of Peace (USIP)

United States Institute Of Peace (USIP)

The United States Institute of Peace led a three-phase approach to building coalitions, creating space for dialogue, crafting a shared vision, and providing tangible skills for female leaders in Iraq. The three-phase approach brought together women from national leadership, provisional councils, and civil society members.

This three-phase approach is the USIP Toolkit for Collaborative Problem Solving which provides meaningful solutions for conflict resolution and development, and leaves participants with the experience and tools to continue addressing their own needs. The Toolkit consists of three phases:

  • Phase 1: The Strategic Economic Needs and Security Exercise (SENSE), is a an interactive workshop that helps participants understand why collaborative problem solving is essential, and provides a positive common experience to jump start success.
  • Phase 2: Through a visioning process and workshop participants clarify which issues and challenges are most important and decide together what to focus on first.
  • Phase 3: Through an ongoing process, participants learn how to strategically address a problem and utilize third party facilitation to maximize productivity and efficiency. The Cooperative Advocacy process builds coalitions around a common cause. Coalitions then learn to engage with powerful decision-makers using collaboration and dialogue to create sustainable policy solutions, mutually beneficial social change, and long-term partnerships across sectors.

ISG was selected to provide a comprehensive program review with recommendations on results and best practices.

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Relief International

Relief International

Relief International – Schools Online (RI-SOL) aimed to fill gaps in access to education and development opportunities for vulnerable communities in Jordan. RI-SOL’s programs focused on strengthening Community Learning and Action Centers, located in areas of high vulnerability, which function as education service providers, community hubs and safe spaces accessible by children, youth and adults. The centers have provided beneficiaries coming from various backgrounds with an integrated response to education, development, and psychosocial needs.

ISG was selected to perform the monitoring and evaluation of RI-SOL’s LEAP program. This work entailed a comprehensive look at programming across the integrated program components that focus on the development and support of Iraqi youth and their families who have sought refuge in Jordan.

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Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation

Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation

IMMDF’s mission is to promote economic development and rehabilitation in Iraq by providing capital to small and medium-sized businesses unable to secure debt financing from conventional sources on commercially reasonable terms. IMMDF was able to provide loans of $35,000-$5 million to anyone single borrower. Loan proceeds could be used for project or contract financing, purchase of machinery equipment and other fixed assets, supporting inventory and other working capital needs, and construction or renovation of facilities.

From 2005 – 2008, ISG’s multiple on-site consultants provided a broad spectrum of services to the foundation including:

Loan origination. Our work related to identifying loan prospects and marketing the foundation’s loan products. This included meeting face-to-face with perspective borrowers inside and outside of Iraq to explain the foundation’s policies and lending practices. The foundation had a robust and arduous application process that required borrowers to submit full business plans, full projected financials, specific details about assets to be purchased for construction to be performed and assurances of compliance with US government requirements on safety, the environment and human resources. During the origination process, ISG’s consultants were tasked with performing due diligence on pledge collateral, including fixed assets.

Underwriting. After an application was initially accepted, ISG’s consultants responsible for completing an arduous underwriting process that included a cash flow analysis, ensuring funds were tied to specific uses and that pledged collateral was sufficient to satisfy the foundation’s collateral requirements. Upon completion of credit memo, ISG’s consultants were responsible for presenting the credit memo to an independent board for approval.

Portfolio management. After a loan was approved, ISG’s consultants were responsible for overseeing and managing a continually growing portfolio. This included performing regular checkups and field visits to clients to ensure loan funds were being used for the correct purposes. ISG’s consultants were also tasked with performing a “business consulting” role for the foundation’s clients in order to help them improve their business practices and streamline their operations.

Administration. ISG also contributed significantly to building the internal capacity of the foundation. When Admiralty began working with the foundation, it had 6 full-time employees. When ISG completed its final contract term with the foundation there were more than 25 staff. We were instrumental in developing the foundations internal information technology and structure, policies and procedures, portfolio management tools and field operations.