Organizational Assessment and Training
The international development world is changing, and the need for strong leadership for implementing organizations is important. Leadership is about coping with change. Strong leaders will be able to provide a strong vision and strategy that is evidence or data driven. It is through the analysis of patterns and trends that strong strategies are formed. Once the vision and strategy are firmly in place, leaders must work with their teams to get the job done.
Adaptive leaders know how to mobilize people to take on tough challenges. IBG works with senior leaders to build the skills for adaptive change; we take the best of the past and build on it for the future. It’s about learning, based on evidence, and experimentation. Too many organizations prefer their current situation, since making any change is considered unpredictable and highly risky. This can be the case, if leaders are unable to collect and interpret the necessary data for making change. In such cases, organizational leaders tend to use authoritative power to make incremental change, but too often the adaptive challenge requires changes in people’s beliefs, priorities and habits. IBG wants to help those organizations that are facing adaptive challenges and assist in the process.
IBG uses a ‘Sigma Lean’ approach, enabling organizations to speed up and focus experimentation in order to reduce wasted effort. Our approach is based on efficiency, and accelerates the process of eliminating ineffective ideas and validates those ideas with promise.
IBG looks at ‘planning’ through a different lens than most development organizations. First, there is an acknowledgement that planning is important, but by and large, it discourages experimentation and responsible risk-taking. When catalyzing promising interventions IBG encourages organizations to focus on outcomes, and to provide incentives to learn and adapt the program in order to become more cost-effective.
The following services are offered:
This assessment is to provide an understanding of where there might be challenges to improving program efficiency and in making change with an organization. The assessment looks at the organization:
i) Structure – to get a sense of what is important. What behaviours and attitudes get rewarded? How is the organization structured? This includes organizational charts, policies, and other factors that give direction to the organization.
ii) Culture – is different from structure, in that it is less formal, but nevertheless very telling of the ability for the organization to adapt to change. How does the organization describe itself and how does this compare to reality? Simple observations, such as how meetings are used can help in understanding culture. For instance, are meetings a time to share information or are they a time to make decisions?
iii) Problem-solving – what lenses are used in problem-solving? How does the organization look at new situations? Do innovative ideas become operational? What things are working and are therefore continually repeated?
The purpose of the organizational assessment is to identify what aspects of the organization facilitate change and which aspects will hinder. Based on the findings, the leadership can make decisions on how it wants to proceed.
Non-profit organizations are able to use a common approach for innovation that has been used within the business community and improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Sigma Lean enables organizations to speed up and focus experimentation in order to reduce wasted effort. Our approach is based on efficiency, and accelerates the process of eliminating ineffective ideas and validates those ideas with promise.
In addition, IBG can provide, through its partners, Lean Sigma training for Black Belt, Green Belt, Yellow Belt, Executive/Champion, Change Management & Change Acceleration from a proven turnaround executive.
Systems Change in Social Sector
As a systems entrepreneur, IBG wants to join forces and work with other organizations and individuals who are working to solve significant development challenges. IBG is a facilitator that works with organizations that are committed to working in a collective manner.
Although IBG agrees with other system entrepreneurs that the real issue in combatting development challenges is not funding, but the lack of coordination, the type of program financing is extremely important. This is often overlooked. Large-scale social change does require broad cross-sector coordination and IBG has these capabilities, but is also able to determine the most effective financing instrument that will encourage innovation and flexibility for better social results. In order to make solid social investment decisions a systems entrepreneur will require analytical expertise and ability to do financial and economic modeling, as well as financial, economic and risk analysis. IBG can provide this expertise.
These analytical abilities will then converge with the evidence-based monitoring and performance-based management systems that will be required for there to be genuine coordination and collaboration.
IBG is interested in how technology can improve program efficiency as well as equity. During the past few years it has become evident that technology is needed to genuinely revolutionize inefficient and ineffective systems, especially in the health and agricultural sectors in developing countries.
Although many development practitioners have used a statistical approach to processing large data, this conventional statistical analysis is often not able to program every possible combination to arrive at a desired outcome.
Algorithms allow us to maximize predictive performance. IBG works with the private sector and research institutions to use AI with implementing partners. In the case of diagnostic technology, partners are able to understand the spread of disease, as well as identify solutions.
Within the agricultural sector AI, combined with drone and GPS technology, can help increase the yield of farmland under tillage in developing countries. In addition to being able to improving planting and fertilizing, technology can also have an important role in recognizing healthy and unhealthy plants and respond appropriately and effectively.
Technology is able to harness data that can improve agricultural output, as well as, improve human health through AI diagnostic technology. It can also determine where resources are needed so that issues of equity can be improved, and the needs of the most vulnerable can be adequately addressed.
IBG builds “bridges” with technology companies who have a commitment to using their products to reduce poverty and address SDGs in developing countries. IBG encourages enquiries. Please contact IBG for more details on specific opportunities.
IBG is interested in how digital technologies can be used to reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor. Blockchain is one of the more recent technologies to be considered for improving development outcomes.
There is certainly great potential for blockchain in development. IBG's interest in blockchain stems from its quest to reduce poverty through improved efficiency and distributive justice. This will require implementing organizations to be focused on outcomes and maximizing net social benefits of community development programs. IBG wants to collaborate with those who are interested in using blockchain technology towards this end.
Social Development Programming Appraisal
Too many government and development bank funded programs are being financed that have either little or no evidence of the expected benefits or social well-being. Bilateral donors commit funding to a program as part of their policy instruments in pursuing their development objectives. Bilateral donors and regional banks should have projects that contribute to their overall strategy and that have been appraised to understand the costs and the benefits. Although there are some who do, unfortunately there are many, especially bilateral donors, that do not appraise any of their programs. Any time government donors finance large development programs it should be in the public interest, both for taxpayers, as well as for the recipient government and its citizens, to have the program appraised.
IBG works with bilateral donors, multilaterals, regional banks, and developing country government ministries to appraise. The following are the abbreviated services provided in an integrated appraisal approach:
FINANCIAL APPRAISAL – the financial appraisal will largely determine the sustainability of the social services. In part, viability is very much determined by the timing of the cash flows. There are alternative criteria for determining the appraisal for a program. IBG uses the net present value (NPV) as it is largely accepted as the most satisfactory criterion for the evaluation of programs. Social programs, such as health and education, benefit from the financial analysis as a framework for presenting annual requirements of funds for continuing with the program.
RISK ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT – it is highly unlikely that the values of all of a program’s key variables, such as the rate of inflation, the market exchange rate, and the prices and quantities of inputs and outputs, will be projected with certainty throughout the life of the program. Hence, a program’s NPV and other summary measures are subject to uncertainty and risk. Adapting the analysis to cover uncertainty is thus an important part of an integrated program evaluation. The risk analysis is undertaken by identifying the key risk variables using sensitivity and scenario analysis. Once the risky variables are identified, an appropriate probability distribution is selected, along with the range of values for each risk variable. The use of a Monte Carlo simulation is used for generating a probability distribution of program outcomes.
ECONOMIC APPRAISAL – this deals with the effect of the project on the larger society and determines whether the program is likely to increase total net social benefits. Once the economic profile is constructed, the economic discount rate is used to estimate the program’s net present value. Like the financial appraisal, Monte Carlo simulations can be used to generate a probability distribution of the NPV of the program.
STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS – for the sustainability of the program it is important to know how the program will distribute benefits. The financial and economic analysis of the integrated program analysis provides the basic data for estimating the specific stakeholder benefits. The purpose of this distributional analysis is to see whether the benefits of the program will go to the intended groups, as well as to ensure that no specific group is subjected to an undue burden as a result of the program.
COST-EFFECTIVENESS ANALYSIS – although cost-benefit analysis will be used in some programs, it will be more appropriate to use CEA for programs where the benefits are difficult to quantify in monetary terms.
Innovative financing refers to a range of non-traditional financing mechanisms being used to fill the gap toward achieving the SDGs. IBG can provide technical assistance for the following financing mechanisms: i) public-private partnerships; and ii) Results-Based Financing.
IBG goes through several steps in assessing the feasibility of the program. The initial step is to do a relatively quick situational assessment that includes the following:
Review of interventions, other similar programs, country specific details
Review of the theory of change/logic model, indicators
Payment metric options – initial assessment of control, risk, and incentives
Impact evaluation methods
Set-up of cost-benefit model/cost-effectiveness model
Review financing considerations
Typical cash flows
Review financing options
After the situation analysis has been completed there will be a full presentation to the program team with recommendations. A Go/No Go decision will be made at this time. The following are indicative steps that IBG goes through in assessing the feasibility of a program.:
Selection of the financing instrument (RBF)
Social Impact Bond
Development Impact Bond
Humanitarian Impact Bond
Finalizing the Theory of Change
Determination of Optimal Size
Determine maximum net benefits
Determine optimal stakeholder impacts
Selection of payment metrics
Alignment with desired impact
Assessment of incentives
Measuring benefits and costs for both the financial and economic appraisal
Identification of stakeholder impacts
Assess payment structure
Evaluation and Measurement
Validating decision made in the situational analysis
Assess evaluation options against risk and objectives
Structuring of the deal – legal structuring, etc
Develop project risks and disputes mechanism
Assess risk sharing and mitigation strategies
Finalizing the business case
Finalizing the term sheet
Evidence-based monitoring systems
Performance management system
Data management and analysis
Selection of management team
It is important to know that not all programs need to have an impact evaluation. Impact evaluations are costly, and there are circumstances that do not warrant the cost. At IBG, we suggest the following criteria for deciding whether to carry out an impact evaluation.
i) innovative – using a new or revised theory of change
ii) verification – for programs that perhaps are mainstream, but have not been evaluated and the effectiveness is in question
iii) scalable – if the program is replicable within the country, region and elsewhere
iv) flagship – if the program is strategically important and will use substantial resources
v) advocacy – if the program is meant to inform policy makers and decision makers.
An impact evaluation will provide the benefits of the program that can be included as part of the cost-benefit analysis. At IBG, an integrated approach to cost-benefit analysis measures benefits and costs for both the financial and economic appraisal.
IBG provides the following services:
Theory of Change – will work with partners in establishing how the interventions will deliver the desired results. The theory of change is important as it is the key to undertaking an impact evaluation;
Results-Chain – will work with partners to set out the sequence of inputs, activities, and outputs that are expected to improve outcomes and ultimately the program impact;
Performance Indicators – the use of the results-chain will allow for selecting the indicators that will be measured along the chain. IBG uses SMART indicators;
Impact Evaluation Options – IBG works with partners to understand the tradeoffs of the various evaluation methods, which include:
Regression Discontinuity Design
Randomized Selection Methods
Implementation of the Impact Evaluation
Independent Evaluator – validating results for results-based financing programs
Spending of funds is confined to Impact Bridges Group approved programs and projects. Each contribution directed toward an approved program or project will be used as restricted with the understanding that when the need for such a program or project has been met, or cannot be completed for any reason as determined by Impact Bridges Group, the remaining restricted contributions will be used where most needed.