Integra recently completed Phase 1 and 2 in support of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) information and communications technology (ICT) investment strategy. Started in June of 2016, Integra’s work is part of a three year, $1.2 million program designed to: (1) develop tools and business processes to identify and assess ICT opportunities, (2) create an ICT sector-based systems dynamic model, (3) and provide due diligence and program development support.

Phase 1 focused on developing tools to identify and assess ICT opportunities. Drawing on its expertise in the ICT sector, the Integra team prepared a Digital Ecosystem paper, describing how developing countries can connect with the global digital infrastructure system. The Integra team developed an ICT focused Typology of Interventions analysis, providing MCC with an understanding of the most likely public sector interventions in the digital space, and identifying any comparative advantage that MCC may have in delivering these.

Concurrently, the Integra Team is completing an assessment of core MCC business processes and tools. The team’s focus is on the application of the constraints analysis methodology, and preparation of opportunity and investment analyses that are complementary to ICT sector development.

Under Phase 2, Integra created a systems dynamics model for use by MCC and their country counterparts for ICT interventions. This first-generation model will assist in mapping out the effects of intervention decisions on the sector, which all components of the ICT ecosystem are critically dependent on.

Integra’s work under Phase 3 involves working with MCC and the Government of Togo on addressing binding constraints of the telecommunications sector, with an emphasis on voice and internet/broadband access, in preparation for a Togo Threshold Program. As part of this assignment, the Integra team teamed up with local consulting firm to conduct a Political Economy Assessment (PEA) in Togo to understand Togo’s ICT environment. The PEA mapped out the national ICT stakeholders that aided the MCC to engage Togolese government leadership as well as both public and private sector leadership in evaluating concepts for ICT sector reform. The Integra team continues to support MCC and the Government of Togo as they work towards developing a Threshold Program.

Integra recently conducted a midterm performance evaluation of the third phase of the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE III), USAID’s largest sustainable land management program in Africa, across six countries in the Congo Basin. CARPE III is the U.S. Government’s major contribution to the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, a partnership between member states, donors, international organizations and other stakeholders for coordination on conservation, development and other initiatives in the region.

The purpose of this assignment was to provide evaluation services that focused on: (1) program performance; (2) program design and implementation strategy; (3) program management and coordination; (4) the prospect for sustainability; and (5) lessons learned and practical recommendations for performance improvement. It was designed to help CARPE management, the Government of Norway and CARPE backstops in Africa Bureau (AFR) and USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3) to review and improve major strategic approaches, management systems and allocation of program resources. The evaluation focused on the program’s performance in climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management, combating wildlife trafficking and cross-cutting thematic areas like gender, indigenous people, property rights, resource tenure and governance. 

To conduct this evaluation, Integra used a non-experimental observational design involving a mixed-methods approach. Data collection methods included key informant interviews, focus group discussions, direct observation, and a literature review. Over the course of six weeks, Integra conducted in-depth reviews of program documents, previous CARPE evaluations and reporting, and relevant literature on climate change mitigation, conservation and wildlife crime. Interviews were also conducted with USAID CARPE staff, Africa Bureau, E3/GCC, FAB, and CARPE implementing partners in Washington, Kinshasa, Brazzaville and field locations across the eight CARPE landscapes.

Integra hopes the findings and recommendations from this midterm evaluation will assist CARPE III program managers to advance sustainable land management throughout the Congo Basin.

Integra is pleased to announce our receiving the award of a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for services to be performed under USAID’s Climate Integration Support Facility (CISF). CISF is the Agency’s new flagship climate risk management (CRM) program designed to ensure the resiliency of USAID development activities. This five-year, multi-award contract has an overall ceiling price of $49.9 million to provide technical and advisory services to USAID Bureaus and Missions, to integrate climate risk considerations into all of their strategies, projects, and activities globally.

Under CISF, Integra is responsible for delivering targeted technical assistance through climate risk screening and assessments, with focused adaptation and mitigation planning across the full spectrum of development sectors (e.g., agriculture, livelihoods, renewables, public health, water and sanitation, urban planning). CISF will produce country, regional, and program-level climate risk profiles; trainings and facilitation for USAID staff, city planners, and other key stakeholders; and the development of tools and methodologies designed to assess potential climate risks and selection of appropriate adaptation strategies. Integra will work with E3/GCC in its role to ensure the effectiveness and consistency of CRM implementation across the agency. This will include meta analyses of best practices, development of protocols and methodologies for CRM, development of indicators and advancing the monitoring and evaluation framework, providing thought leadership that champions innovation, learning, and research to broaden understanding of CRM.

To meet the wide range of services anticipated under CISF, Integra has assembled a team of world-class partners, including Cadmus Group, DigitalGlobe, Family Health International (FHI360), Four Twenty Seven (427), Research Triangle Institute (RTI), and Training Resources Group (TRG). Together we look forward to serving USAID in this project.

image003Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and 8(a) HUBZone Woman-Owned Small Business Join Forces to Form Complete Federal Contracting Team.

Washington, DC, December 19, 2016 – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently approved Integra LLC (Integra) and Snowbird Consulting Group (Snowbird) to participate in its new All-Small Mentor Protégé Program (ASMPP). The new program became effective on August 24, 2016, through the implementing provisions of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. Applications for the ASMPP started being accepted by SBA this past October, with Integra and Snowbird’s mentor-protégé agreement being among one of the first 20 agreements approved, and possibly one of the first partnering of two small businesses to take advantage of the new program’s expansion. Their application was accepted and approved by SBA on October 18, 2016.

Typically, large businesses serve as the mentor due to their broad experience and capacity to provide technical assistance to the protégé. However, Integra and Snowbird’s collaboration is unique since they are both small businesses, with complementary service offerings along with complementary small business certifications. Together, they hold a complete set of all small business certifications – SDVOSB, 8(a), HUBZone, and WOSB – that are important to federal agencies in meeting their statutory goals for small business procurement.

Integra is a verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). They have over 88 years of combined experience of staff members, managing development projects as a prime contractor in over 60 countries. Robert Otto, Integra’s President, acknowledges that it too was once a protégé. “We gained a lot from our mentor protégé relationship and now it’s time for us to pay it forward. Snowbird has done well in the private sector — if we can help them grow to the next level as a small business in federal contracting, we can together offer government agencies greater value for our services.”

Founded in 2010, Integra was awarded its first prime contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to deliver Information Communication Technology (ICT) and rural broadband development services throughout 12 developing countries. Two years later, Integra successfully competed for USAID’s Restoring the Environment Through Prosperity, Livelihoods and Conserving Ecosystems (REPLACE) IDIQ, the agency’s primary vehicle for delivering environment, natural resource management, and climate adaptation technical services to USAID Missions around the world. More recently, Integra has won a series of full and open competitions with the Millennium Challenge Corporation in ICT and agriculture sector development.

Snowbird is a woman-owned small business (WOSB) that also participates in the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program and is headquartered in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone). “Integra is one of the few small businesses that was able to immediately prime and manage contracts overseas for USAID,” said Melissa Ovard, Snowbird’s CEO. “This is one of the main reasons we approached Integra on being our Mentor—to learn from an experienced business, but also a small business who truly understands the necessary technical assistance we need to become a successful partner to the federal government in delivering solutions overseas.”

Snowbird provides strategic communications, human capital, and environmental services and marks their one year anniversary in the 8(a) Business Development Program this month. They were recently awarded two 8(a) contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service conducting an environmental compliance audit, and with USAID providing event planning and logistics services for the agency’s Europe and Eurasia Bureau. In January 2017, Snowbird will begin work on a contract with the Inter-American Development Bank, providing social and safeguard assessment services for environment projects throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Integra and Snowbird kicked off their partnership in early November 2016 with a business development trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, where they jointly participated and supported USAID’s first ever small business conference held outside the continental U.S.

To learn more about SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program, please visit https://www.sba.gov/navigation-structure/all-small-mentor-protege-program.

# # #

For more information Integra, please visit their website at https://www.integrallc.com/ or contact them via email at info@integrallc.com, or by phone at +1.202.898.4110.

For information for Snowbird, visit their website at https://www.snowbirdconsultinggroup.com, or contact them via email at contact@snowbirdconsultinggroup.com, or by phone at +1.202.817.2860.

15525581730_2433ab6b22_kIntegra is working with the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GBLCC) through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to better integrate science and management to address climate change and other landscape scale issues in the Northwest Basin of the United States. The Great Basin LCC is one of 22 LCCs in the nation.

Integra recently won this contract under its MOBIS schedule, to plan, organize, facilitate a workshop on “Scenario Planning” for GBLCC. During the period of October 2016 to September 2017, Integra will organize a 2-day workshop for around 30 key stakeholders in Oregon, in coordination with GBLCC staff. In advance of the workshop, Integra will conduct a series of webinars or a small number of interviews with key participants to explain some of the basics of the scenario approach and manage expectations of the Steering Committee and to hear about what participants think will drive future change in the region. In addition, Integra will also work with GBLCC staff to prepare key information on climate projections, survey of current strategies, and revise existing analyses for ready use during the workshop. During the workshop, tentatively scheduled for April 2017, Integra will provide full facilitation on the preferred scenarios, pre-selected through webinars and participant interviews. Following the session, Integra will submit a short summary report of the exercises undertaken during the workshop, and a snapshot of the way forward.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has selected Integra to conduct an AgCLIR Diagnostic in the Philippines. The AgCLIR diagnostic shall provide a comprehensive method to diagnose the root causes and inefficiencies of an underperforming agriculture and agribusiness sector in the Philippines. An analysis of the pertinent legal framework, implementing institutions, supporting institutions, and social and market dynamics shall provide the basis of a detailed report that reveals major cross-cutting themes, priorities, and opportunities for reforms across identified value chains. A key objective of this approach is to narrow the elements that matter most for improving competitiveness across value chains and for unlocking the greatest potential for economic growth. Ultimately, the AgCLIR diagnostic will inform the second Philippines Compact that MCC is developing with the Government of the Philippines, which will focus on issues of market failures in the rural economy.

This AgCLIR diagnostic will take place over the course of a year and in two phases. The first phase, taking place from September 2016 to June 2017, will conduct the main diagnostic, while the second phase, from June to September 2017, will dive into three of the reform areas identified during phase one. The findings of this work will help the Government of the Philippines to understand the enabling environment for agribusiness within the country. Further, this project will be conducted concurrently with a separate MCC project, awarded to Integra under Integra’s GSA Schedule, to conduct an agricultural markets assessment, as well as a value and supply chain analysis, to help the Government identify which agricultural products it should support and focus on.

Integra is pleased to announce that it has been selected to lead the mid-term evaluation of the third phase of the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE III). The intention of the CARPE Program is to maintain a healthy forest ecosystem and conserve the Congo Basin’s unique biodiversity, while mitigating climate change and improving the livelihoods and food security of the surrounding communities. Accordingly, the Integra team is currently visiting targeted forest landscapes in the Congo Basin to evaluate the sustainability of the way the area is being managed, identify potential threats to biodiversity, and assess the Program’s capacity to monitor forest cover change and greenhouse gas emissions.

Within the Congo Basin, the team will travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo to conduct interviews with key informants and CARPE III stakeholders. Our strategy is focused on evaluating the program’s performance, design and implementation strategy, management and coordination, and long-term sustainability. The team will review lessons learned to provide practical recommendations for performance improvement and strategic planning for the ongoing CARPE III.

7439225346_b17131d317_oIntegra is proud to announce it was recently awarded an agricultural markets assessment project from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under Integra’s GSA schedule. Integra will conduct a markets assessment and value/supply chain analysis in the Philippines to identify agricultural products with high potential for return on future investment.

In summary, the project consists of the following three tasks:

  1. Conduct a market assessment that analyzes the current market and identifies future opportunities for agricultural products produced and exported from the Philippines;
  2. Perform a value and supply chain analysis for 6 raw and 6 processed agricultural products demanded on a domestic, regional and global scale;
  3. Recommend high potential value chains and their constraints for further analysis, as well as a methodology for how to do so.

This Philippines Market Assessment will take place over six months from September 2016 to February 2016. The findings intend to help the Government of the Philippines identify particular value and supply chains to focus on and support. Further, this project will be conducted concurrently with a separate MCC project, awarded to Integra under MCC’s Finance, Investment and Trade Blanket Purchase Agreement to conduct an agribusiness commercial, legal and institutional reform (AgCLIR) diagnostic in order to better understand the enabling environment for agribusiness of the Philippines.

29054180674_4d6fd00985_oIntegra and Clark University, on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), revealed findings from the Pathways to Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Africa study on September 13th at the Wilson Center. The event was open to the public, as well as broadcast live as a webinar.

The Senior Advisor on the project, Ed Carr, presented the study’s findings. The study concluded that CSA presents a unique and urgent opportunity for a larger and more systematic view of the constraints in agriculture in Africa. Additionally, there are key disconnects between farmers and practitioners in terms of factors of adoption. Finally, there are key differences between believed barriers and incentives, indicating that practitioners do not seem to have traced the value of such incentives back to particular barriers they might address.

After this presentation, a panel of experts on CSA discussed the barriers and incentives to CSA adoption by farmers in Africa. Accompanying Ed Carr on the panel was Ademola Briamoh, CSA Coordinator for the Africa Region at the World Bank, Caitlin Corner-Dolloff, CSA Program Manager at the United States Department of Agriculture, and Seth Shames, Director of Policy and Markets at EcoAgriculture Partners. This panel was moderated by Roger-Mark De Souza, Director of Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience at the Wilson Center.

Integra would like to thank the Wilson Center for making this event such a success.

To view the webinar, and learn more about Pathways to Climate-Smart Agriculture in Africa, click here: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/pathways-to-climate-smart-agriculture-africa

thumb_DSC_0589_1024Integra is showcasing our Pathways to Climate-Smart Agriculture in Africa findings at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. Read more

Copyright © 2020 Integra Government Services International LLC