We have nearly three decades experience in making sense of developing countries, and in getting things done in ways that take account of local norms, but adhere to international standards of corporate governance and compliance. Here are a few examples
We worked with the EU’s Amman office on the development of a new €60m programme to support development of the private sector. The project involved analysis of the weaknesses of the Jordanian private sector, and assessment of where EU support might help. We then assessed the relevant political, social, economic and religious issues and then worked with the client to make recommendations about what set of activities would be most relevant, and how these might be made to work. In particular we had to design approaches to address weaknesses in the Jordanian Government, building on the work of the country’s Ministry of Public Sector Development.
The Greater Sunrise is a gas field lying between Papua New Guinea and Australia. We supported the field’s owners in understanding how to drive economic benefits to local communities from various options to develop onshore processing capacity in PNG. Our analysis explored the needs and expectations of local communities, and the ability of local firms and workers to benefit from various levels of investment. We made recommendations about how the investing company needed to act in both the short and medium term to ensure that local economic benefits could be maximised.
Advising one of the leading development projects in Nigeria, we examined the reasons behind low levels of tax payment in the country. Through interviews in a range of rural communities we identified high levels of resentment that payment of taxes failed to deliver any benefits for those paying them. We developed a pilot model to use a proportion of additional taxes paid in a local government area to provide specific benefits to that area defined by local residents. For example, in one market in Kaduna, additional tax revenues were used to provide latrines and running water. The result was a significant increase in the proportion of taxes paid.
We worked with Northrop Grumman, a leading aerospace firm to develop a global procurement policy to inform all buying decisions outside the USA. The project encompassed analysis of potential ethical, quality and other issues which might be associated with procurement from a range of countries around the world. The project also involved the development of processes to embed the policy into the company’s day-to-day practices, for example in how key procurement staff were remunerated.
A key question in many developing countries is how to leverage large-scale foreign investments to create jobs for local people, and contracts for local firms. This is particularly the case in fragile and conflict-affected states where the other options for economic development are few and far between. We worked with the IFC, and a group of companies and NGOs to develop a coordinated process to achieve this. The analysis focused on understanding the tasks that each stakeholder needed to focus on, and how these different sets of activity should be linked together.
We worked with Anglo American to help it respond strategically to the political, societal and environmental challenges they face, for example the impacts of activist 'fenceline' communities and governance problems in some African countries. We also facilitated a group of senior staff from across the business in developing the group’s long-term strategy to address the changing risks to their business emanating from social and environmental factors.
We developed a detailed industrial strategy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to diversify the export base; responsible for the identification of priority sectors, assessment of the policy, legislative and regulatory environment, incentive structures, and associated institutional capacity. The project included design of a detailed programme of reforms in industrial policy, institutional development, innovation systems and inward investment promotion, along with specific axes to focus on SMEs.
We worked with the OECD to help improve the investment climate in Iraq. We provided advice on the conflict dynamics relevant to foreign investment, and how these may be addressed. We focussed particularly on how foreign investment can best be used to leverage growth on the part of local companies and for indigenous job creation, and the potential role of special economic zones in achieving this.