SDG 08 Decent Work & Economic Growth

Assessment of the social and environmental sustainability of a corporate supply chain in Bangladesh

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Strategy & Concept development: BMW decided to verify the social and environmental performance of the supply chain for a specific natural raw material in its country of origin. We created transparency about an informal and complex value chain and provided strategic advice not only regarding risks, but also regarding opportunities to fulfil the company’s social responsibility. We developed a value chain approach that allowed the company to assess risks along the entire supply chain of Kenaf up to the primary producers in Bangladesh. We additionally advised the client on approaches of stakeholder consultation and on methods of performance analysis appropriate to the various stakeholders involved.

Project design & Evaluations: Our analysis included agricultural practices, such as seed production, the growing cycle, harvesting techniques and interdependencies with other crops. Based on the results, we developed a concrete project proposal that addressed the main environmental and social shortcomings in terms of agricultural practices, organization of producers, traceability and income provision along the value chain. Soon thereafter, BMW contracted GIZ to implement the project: Capacity Building for the value chain stakeholders led to improved living conditions of smallholder farmers and increased the sustainability performance of all stakeholders.

Process facilitation & Training: In order to assess the social and environmental risks along the entire value chain, spanning farmers, middlemen and processors, as well as exporting firms, we worked with a bi-national team that implemented focus group discussions and interviews with different stakeholders and experts. We complemented this with a high-level expert workshop with local industry leaders and site visits along the value chains. This allowed us to map the value chain, to assess opportunities and challenges, and to estimate profit margins of each group of stakeholders. Project duration: 03-05/2013.

Developing a TVET approach for industrial parks in Ethiopia

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Project design & Evaluation: Ethiopia’s new industrial parks promise to provide sizeable employment opportunities for young people with limited formal education and skills. However, in a Programme Design study, we found out that the challenge of providing TVET and economic opportunities to refugee youth and host communities in remote areas goes beyond the opportunities that industrial parks can offer. We proposed a methodology for arriving at innovative solutions for the provision of TVET and assessed different possibilities of supporting the integration of refugees and youth from host communities into the TVET system. These included improving cooperation between public TVET institutes and industrial park companies in order to provide tailor-made training and the extension of TVET to areas close to refugee camps.

Process facilitation & Training: We organized a series of participatory multi-stakeholder workshops in Ethiopia to analyze private sector needs and inform the strategy of public TVET institutes. In a co-creation process, occupational profiles required in an industrial park were developed with local TVET authorities, TVET providers and private-sector actors. In addition, the broad stakeholder consultations resulted in a methodology to harness existing NGO experience for adapted modes of TVET delivery in regions close to refugee camps.

Innovative approaches for skills development and employment promotion for Africa

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Strategies & Concept developement: A young and growing population in Africa requires an increasing number of jobs. Therefore, employment promotion is pertinent, but how to best achieve it is often unclear. To provide orientation to our client, we analyzed broad economic trends and challenges in different areas of the African continent. We recommended to focus not just on employment numbers, but also on job quality: Valuable jobs are productive, safe, promote social cohesion and provide the basis for decent livelihoods.

Project design & Evaluation: As part of the study, we identified concrete project approaches that 1) strengthen framework conditions for employment, such as policy-based operations for jobs, 2) promote the private sector and innovation, such as venture capital, business development services or technical skills for SME employees and 3) support industrial zones as catalysts for regional growth as well as future-oriented labour-intensive sectors, such as the emerging “green” construction sector. We evaluated the different approaches regarding the broadness of their impact and different aspects of job quality.

Remote Ex-post Evaluation of a microfinance institution in Syria

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Project design & Evaluations: A Microfinance Institution in Syria was recapitalized to diversify its financial services. Then, the Syrian civil war started and decisively changed the programme environment. In this context, we conducted an ex-post evaluation and found that despite the challenges (high inflation, physical damages to branches, payment defaults), the MFI was still in business and serving its clients. Strikingly, it had even adapted its services to its clients’ changing needs (e.g. start-up loans for internally displaced persons, secure money transfers between branches).

Process facilitation & Training: Without being able to travel to Syria for security reasons, we remotely managed local consultants who conducted focus group discussions, field audits and interviews in different regions of the country. We assured the quality of this work through initial coaching, structured formats, close interaction and extensive debriefing. Among MFI staff, an online survey in Arabic shed light on the institutional changes and processes in the face of conflict.

Designing a Regional Migration Fund for the Horn of Africa

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Strategy & Concept developement: In order to address the pressing challenges arising from migration and displacement in the region, we supported the German government and IGAD in setting up a Regional Migration Fund. In discussions with target groups, government entities and experts, we identified as primary goals the improvement of economic opportunities in transit locations and inclusive socio-economic infrastructure in protracted displacement settings. The Fund’s innovative area-based approach and inclusion of local communities in investment planning enable a dynamic and needs-based response to local challenges.

Project design & Evaluations: In a design study, we developed the governance structure and operational set-up of the Fund. During this process, we had to balance the need for lean decision-making with sufficient control mechanisms in order to mitigate identified risks. In addition, we defined implementation modalities, with a focus on transparent location selection acceptable to all stakeholders. The central aspects of the Fund’s design were summarized in an Aide Mémoire signed by IGAD and KfW (see link).

Process facilitation & Training: To ensure ownership by IGAD and its member states, we facilitated several stakeholder workshops at the operational and management level. During various workshops, the workplan and interim results of our work were discussed, giving IGAD and KfW the opportunity to contribute their ideas and oversee the Fund development process. In addition, we compared guidelines and procedures of IGAD and KfW and negotiated harmonised rules for the Regional Migration Fund that we laid down in a Fund Manual.