Our Work

Institutional Capacity Strengthening

Strengthening institutions is fundamental to all aspects of IESC’s work in catalyzing private sector growth—from Access to Finance and Investment to Workforce Development, and everything in between. We sustainably build the technical, managerial, operational, and financial capacity of public and private organizations, including enterprises, farmer and trade associations, and government institutions. At times, we also implement programs that have an explicit capacity strengthening objective, such as strengthening the capacity of specific public sector institutions, or equipping local organizations to implement international donor-funded programs that comply with donor requirements and achieve results.

Program Examples

Dominican Republic

Trade Safe (TraSa)

Funder: USDA Food for Progress

Program Overview: TraSa is expanding trade in agricultural products by strengthening public and private institutions and coordination mechanisms that intervene in local sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) policy to facilitate the adoption of science-based and technically sound SPS regulations and measures; and by providing technical capacity to public and private sector institutions involved in SPS to streamline collaboration and implement transparent, risk-based SPS regulations and practices. The project is also leveraging private sector investment to further develop cold chain systems that meet international standards for food safety.

Relation to IESC Expertise: IESC actively supports the Dominican Republic’s goal of becoming a prominent trade hub by providing technical support and extensive training to key public sector entities such as the Ministries of Agriculture and Health, Customs Directorate, and border control agencies. Through capacity strengthening initiatives, IESC empowers government employees at all levels to implement and enforce new regulations, ensuring the smooth and secure movement of agricultural goods across borders. IESC also supports and collaborates with the Ministry of Agriculture to conduct public safety risk communication campaigns during major outbreaks, safeguarding consumer health and protecting the livelihoods of producers.

Afghanistan

Capacity Building and Change Management Program-II (CBCMP-II)

Funder: USAID

Program Overview: CBCMP-II strengthened the human and institutional capacity of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL). CBCMP-II reinforced the linkages between MAIL and the Provincial Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock offices (PAILs), and provided support to the PAILs, which enabled these offices to effectively deliver agricultural services to farmers and herders. The program provided technical services to administrative and technical directorates within the ministry headquarters, 20 PAILs, and 50 District Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock offices (DAILs) in Afghanistan’s agricultural regions.

Relation to IESC Expertise: On the CBCMP-II program, IESC established new management technology at provincial and district level remote offices to create a more efficient work environment. The technology allowed staff to prioritize, plan, budget, and secure approval and resources to support extension services. These included electronic attendance and timekeeping systems, inventory and asset management systems, and basic IT infrastructure. IESC trained personnel to assist in implementing this new technology and increased their computer literacy. IESC also strengthened the plant protection and quarantine services to develop risk management strategies for food safety issues.

Paraguay

Trade–Facilitating Agricultural Systems and Technology (T-FAST)

Funder: USDA Food for Progress

Program Overview: T-FAST is simplifying, modernizing, and harmonizing processes for the export, import, and transit of agricultural goods in Paraguay through implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The program is also strengthening Paraguay’s National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) to foster sustainable improvements in trade facilitation.

Relation to IESC Expertise: Under T-FAST, IESC has strengthened the technical and managerial capacities of Paraguay’s NTFC to facilitate solution-oriented work groups around agreed upon priorities. As part of this effort, IESC conducted an extensive, stakeholder participatory export-import mapping study that engaged more than 500 public institutional and private sector organizational representatives. This was a landmark effort, unprecedented in the region. Together the stakeholders identified 250+ bottleneck to trade-related issues and then prioritized reforms to improve systems and processes related to trade. Overall, IESC has supported nine public institutions to accelerate fulfillment of obligations and realization of WTO TFA benefits.

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