Our professional staff has deep and proven experience in providing strategic planning advisory support to include organizational assessments, performance measurements, system reports, and process mapping. The tools we employ include but are not limited to:
• Operational Dashboards and Strategy Maps
• Balanced Scorecards and Performance Management Plans
• Activity-Based Measurement
• Earned Value Management
Our demonstrated strategic methodology requires the development of a comprehensive framework that includes vision and mission statements, high-level objectives, and detailed performance management plans. Integration of this strategic plan will allow USAID to effectively manage its decision-making processes, articulate team roles and responsibilities, conduct risk management and mitigation, and institute activity implementation procedures. Our holistic approach to strategic planning reinforces automation, consistency, and effectiveness of operations, which aids USAID in the execution of its mandates at headquarters and overseas Mission levels. Examples include:
• We are currently coordinating AFR/SD/ED’s (Africa Bureau, Office of Sustainable Development, Education Division) high-level strategic planning effort to ensure cohesion with the USAID 2011-2015 Education Strategy. In developing this results-based accountability framework, AFR/SD/ED will be positioned to develop new efforts, monitor ongoing progress, and course correct as required through a fully integrated system. The strategy also integrates the range of support that MBC provides to the Division to include: program management, monitoring and evaluation, stakeholder administration, communication and outreach development, information and communication technology, and knowledge management systems development and execution. In addition, the long-term strategy contains clear governance guidance to delineate decision-making processes, roles and responsibilities, risk management and mitigation, and activity implementation procedures. In order to ensure applicability, the strategy will be revisited annually for the purposes of maintaining congruency and alignment to the Agency’s imperatives. The strategy also serves as the foundation for AFR/SD/ED’s support to overseas Missions during their respective annual Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) planning exercises.
• MBC provided strategic framework guidance on appropriate and relevant tools and methodologies to a team of African education specialists, comprised of staff and consultants that are working with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) to define their vision and mission statements. Support included how to effectively develop the vision and mission statements and tell the story of Africa education policy support provided by ADEA, linking to activities and results-based management approaches to guide implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Guidance on communications strategy development was also provided. ADEA is an international public organization based in Tunisia that provides a forum for policy dialogue and acts as a catalyst in promoting innovative education policies and programs. The vision and mission statements will be used as a platform for the 2013 – 2017 Medium Term Plan. MBC worked with the staff and consultants to prepare the groundwork for a vision and mission that will ground and frame the Medium Term Plan.
MONITORING & EVALUATION
To design, implement, and manage Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plans, our experienced staff work with our clients on what, how, and when to monitor project information for different stakeholders. We develop and utilize SMART(Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) indicators, as a combination of qualitative and quantitative tools in order to gather and interpret data. We establish clear baselines for assessing project impact and manage evaluations from both a process and human resources standpoint. We encapsulate and consolidate all findings to serve as a lessons learned for post-intervention knowledge and reflection. We work closely with USAID to develop an overarching M&E Approach and comprehensive Performance Monitoring Plan based on USAID’s global M&E Strategy. We support the USAID Forward Reform Agenda to ensure that activities are evaluated for impact and sustainability. When required, we adapt our M&E approach to specific project components by identifying precise metrics, aligning those metrics to primary strategic objectives, and developing comprehensive collection methodologies and mechanisms.
In strategically aligning metrics and targets, our M&E approach distinctively provides USAID with the benchmarks needed to demonstrate the breadth and depth of project impact.
We continue to provide USAID with M&E support through assessments of programs executed under the African Education Initiative.
• MBC completed a mid-term evaluation of the American Educators for Africa (AEFA) program of the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFESH) to review effectiveness and efficiency of the AEFA program. The evaluation provided IFESH with targeted and practical feedback to assist IFESH in creating a sustainable infrastructure to execute educational programming in Africa and reviewed the impact of AEFA activities in the field.
• A review of local organizations working with the Ambassadors Girls Scholarship Program (AGSP) has also been completed. The review highlights lessons learned and best practices in scholarship implementation as well as the lessons that can be learned from capacity building efforts with local organizations.
Our expert staff supports USAID with capacity-building efforts designed to strengthen human and institutional capabilities of local and international implementing partners. We specialize in improving business processes using Lean Enterprise, HPT (Human Performance Technology), and HICD (Human and Institutional Capacity Development) methodologies. In terms of HICD, we have a proven methodology in which we review the institutional context against a set of pre-established parameters to develop a stakeholder analysis map and human capital and resource performance assessments based upon the current and desired future states. Our technique also utilizes a highly specialized toolkit to perform extensive root and gap analyses to determine ways to increase capacity, improve operational performance, and institute innovative practices to leverage all available internal and external resources. In order to reinforce capacity-building efforts, our HICD approach employs the institutionalization of a holistic performance solution, which engages stakeholders at all levels to support knowledge and capability transfer. In addition, we create baseline performance metrics in order to monitor performance improvement and recommend relevant adjustments and innovations as required.
We customize training programs suited to support the implementation and procurement reform objectives of the USAID Forward Reform Agenda. Our training expertise includes Training of Trainers (TOT), strategic communications, leadership development, project design and management, and strategic planning and performance management. At the individual level, our training programs aim to provide on-the-job training, as well as the formal and informal skills required to accomplish tasks and solve problems professionally. At the organizational level, we focus our change management methodologies to ensure that internal human resources have access to information, technology, infrastructure, and other required resources. To support USAID’s efforts to build capacity through highly specialized training programs, we strengthen the capabilities of U.S., host country, and third country partners via strategic knowledge and skill interventions. These efforts include vocational training, workforce development, higher education, youth outreach, leadership development, and other technical training as required. Our approach institutes the breadth and depth of training formulation and implementation to include, but not limited to, planning and coordination, program design and implementation, participant selection, provider identification and on-boarding, programmatic orientation, reporting and documentation, monitoring and evaluation, and post-intervention review and continuation. We are confident that our methodology promotes modernization, multi-layered capacity development, and long-term sustainability.
Our approach builds capacity systemically, through cost-effective and performance-focused methods, to enhance productivity and maintain sustainability. We work with a broad range of organizations, including small businesses, universities, and non-profits, to create synergies across various USAID initiatives and enhance collaboration amongst the Agency’s implementing partners.
• We currently support USAID with a review of lessons learned and best practices in scholarship implementation from more than 100 local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have supported the Ambassadors’ Girls’ Scholarship Program (AGSP). MBC also reviewed capacity-building efforts with local NGOs and ways to incorporate these NGOs into future work with USAID in light of USAID FORWARD’s procurement reform.
• MBC supports the USAID partner institutions (five universities under the MSI/HBCU designation) responsible for designing, executing, and monitoring the USAID Textbooks and Learning Materials Program (TLMP). Data collection, synthesis, and analysis was performed by MBC to demonstrate TLMP’s significant impact on basic education challenges (in terms of material development and delivery) in sub-Saharan since 2005. MBC supported and facilitated conferences for TLMP at Elizabeth City State University in March 2011 and at Chicago State University in October 2011 to demonstrate program successes and establish a post-TLMP consortium respectively. The MBC Team constructed and delivered an initial TLMP White Paper after the March conference and provided several foundational documents and resources for building a post-intervention consortium as a result of the October conference. MBC will continue to support the institutions with consortium-building and operationalization efforts.
The MBC Team provides facilitation support, including working closely with USAID and meeting organizers to develop meeting goals, objectives, technical reference materials, and agendas. Facilitation support ranges from leading large-scale bi-lingual meetings overseas to leading technical discussions and program reviews with small groups of technical experts. The MBC Team’s facilitation and Meeting Preparation support includes the following activities:
• The MBC Team facilitated a series of workshops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, South Africa, Mozambique, and Kenya to engage the Ambassador’s Girls’ Scholarship Program’s (AGSP) implementing partners on lessons learned, best practices, and NGO capacity building achieved during the AGSP. In this capacity, MBC facilitated discussions with the local non-governmental organizations, provided translation services, assisted in preparing agendas and technical documentation, recorded minutes, and reported the findings from the workshops.
• MBC has also facilitated two workshops for the Agency’s implementing partners of the Textbooks and Learning Materials Program (TLMP), at which MBC delivered technical assistance to the Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) as they develop a strategy for moving forward as a singular Consortium. The MBC Team is continuing to facilitate the development of the Consortium by providing ongoing technical assistance for operationalization efforts and the development of foundational documents and resources.
LOGISTICS & MEETING PREPERATION SUPPORT
The MBC Team provides the full range of logistical support, including conducting workshops, coordinating large-scale events, as well as providing facilities support, document translation, procurement, and information and materials dissemination to field offices and partners. Logistics support efforts include:
• MBC supported the Africa Day Workshop, a one-day meeting following the USAID Global Workshop on Education and Development. With MBC’s assistance, the Division convened the Agency’s Sub-Saharan African Education Officers to discuss alignment to the new Agency Education Strategy and their own Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) planning.
• MBC is providing logistical and meeting preparation support for the 2012 Africa Regional Education Workshop (AREW). MBC is coordinating logistics with the local USAID Mission, and will prepare materials and documentation for workshop participants, record minutes, report findings, and help prepare proceedings documents for all attendees.