At SSG Advisors, we believe in the work we do to deliver innovative development solutions that improve people’s lives, and we also believe in communities this creates, within our company and beyond. Looking back at our achievements in 2015, we’ve had a number of accomplishments we’re proud of, so we thought we would share with you our own reflections on the past year, both in terms of our work, and our people:
- Over the past year, our company has grown significantly. We welcomed on board more than a dozen new members of staff, in Burlington, Washington and overseas. We’re also moving into a bigger, brighter space in DC, to match our big bright office in Burlington.
- Throughout the year, we launched eight new projects across the world, including in Haiti, East Timor, Somalia, and Liberia – all new markets for us. We also moved into new areas of technical expertise, for example with two new projects in fish catch traceability innovation and integrated water management.
We helped clients launch and scale many new partnerships
- Together with Microsoft, USAID, the Government of the Philippines, and Tetra Tech, we won the 2015 P3 Impact Award for our TV Whitespace Partnership.
- We launched a partnership in the Mara Serengeti that will allow hoteliers to save water, and operate in a more environmentally friendly manner.
- We also ran three Rapid Partnership Appraisals, in Ghana, Timor Leste and the Mara-Serengeti region (in both Kenya and Tanzania.) In the process, we interviewed over a hundred businesses and other stakeholders and refined our discussions down to specific partnership ideas, which are now being explored.
- With the US Global Development Lab’s Center for Transformational Partnerships (CTP), USAID’s Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise (PCM), and USAID/Nepal, we conducted a private sector engagement assessment that identified opportunities to collaborate and partner with the private sector to help Nepal ‘build back better’ after the 2015 earthquake in the agriculture, tourism, and construction sectors.
- With CTP and USAID/Malawi, we identified opportunities to partner with the private sector to achieve food security, economic development, and climate change resilient outcomes to support ongoing program strategy development and programming.
We worked to counter violent extremism
- This year, we facilitated several workshops on development approaches to countering violent extremism (CVE) in Africa and the Middle East. Using an innovative participatory methodology, SSG guided U.S. government staff, development practitioners, youth leaders, and other stakeholders through training on CVE strategies and action planning to implement CVE programming in their communities and projects. SSG also guided participants through workshop sessions dedicated to exploring new thought areas, such as the role of women in violent extremism.
- Considering the tragic attacks that have taken place throughout the world over the past year, we recognize the need for greater discussion from a wide range of stakeholders on new efforts and innovative strategies to counter violent extremism. With this in mind, SSG facilitates the USAID-funded CVE Forum, which provides a platform for practitioners to collaborate, share lessons learned, and discuss CVE strategies. The Forum also posts project insights, highlights new research, and provides a weekly rundown of thought, news, and ideas related to CVE.
We supported sustainable investments
- We developed a billion-dollar pipeline of agribusiness investment opportunities in two markets in West Africa.
- We facilitated the launch of the PFAN-Asia platform, which will mobilize investment for small-scale renewable energy projects across SE Asia.
We provided deep insights
- We conducted an evaluation of the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) project this year and in doing so developed an online monitoring platform that will enable the State Department to glean real time programmatic insights.
- With CTP, we co-authored a ground-breaking paper on the role that local private sector partners play in development partnerships around the world.
- We conducted an evaluation of early grade reading programs in the Dominican Republic.
- We prepared a Case Study of a major USAID partnership with Coca-Cola.
- With the CTP, we wrote four How-To Guides that USAID Missions around the world are now using to integrate private sector engagement and partnerships into into their strategies, planning, and programming.
And on top of it all, our staff members welcomed three new babies, graduated from business school, started Master’s degrees and were accepted to top tier business schools.
We’re grateful for the year we had, for the hard work of our staff, and for the hundreds of experiences, interactions, and opportunities to learn that 2015 brought us. We know there is more to come in 2016!