Business Economic IntelligenceTM

Clients and Case Studies

All client information is Strictly Confidential. Geoffrey Ferster Associates does not authorize any contact with past or current clients with regard to Geoffrey Ferster Associates' services. Click on any example below to expand a full description.

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) Jakarta, Indonesia

Scope / Assignment:

Senior Disbursement Specialist and member of three person team (also including senior specialists in Monitoring & Evaluation and Auditing) advising AusAID on issues to expand the use of Government of Indonesia (GOI) systems for the next mid-term (2009 - 20013) Australian - Indonesian Partnership (est. $A 5.5 billion) focused on project loans and grants in education and health sectors in Eastern Indonesia.

Desk review of current AusAID, World Bank Asian Development Bank (ADB), USAID materials on selected recent projects'/experiences. Meetings with senior Indonesian colleagues in Ministries of Finance, Planning, Health, Religion and managers and projects staff in AusAID, World Bank and ADB to discuss various institutional and pragmatic issues, planning - budgeting methods and disbursement procedures.

Assessed selected projects' and recent experiences from AusAID, Asian Development Bank, USAID and World Bank and provided pragmatic recommendations for efficiency and effectiveness working within the Indonesian systems in the complicated and timely processes of: (i) bringing projects into GOI five-year and annual priorities ('Blue Book'), (ii) donor-GOI project preparation, (iii) GOI annual budgeting and disbursement; (iv) realistic functioning within decentralized environment and (iv) linkages of key departments / directorates in line ministries (Health and Education), Ministry of Planning and Ministry of Finance.

Results:

Based on abovementioned foci (i - v) prepare sections (with flow charts and timelines) used in the Team's two main reports. First, Roadmap for AusAID - Indonesian Partnership 2009 - 20013 and second, Development Practitioners' Guide for AusAID Jakarta managers, staff and project managers.

The two reports from early 2009 will support AusAID Jakarta staff in conjunction with Indonesian Ministry/Agency senior members and technical staffs formulate and conduct projects under the new policy orientation while expanding usage of the GOI systems during the Australian - Indonesian Partnership (AIP) 2009 - 2013.

Lessons Learned:

Undoubtedly many lessons will be learned as the AIP progresses expanding usage of the Indonesian systems especially in health and education project formulation, their operations and impact on the targeted vulnerable populations in the selected Eastern Indonesian Provinces. Policy makers and project managers will be able to use the Development Practitioner's Guides as they design, implement and monitor respective projects in the AIP. As experience is gained on the projects this may lead to refinements for enhanced planning, operations, monitoring, results and impact to the targeted populations.

Benefits to All Clients:

The reports will support the AIP design and implement Grants and Projects, benefitting greater understanding and usage consistent with the Indonesian systems. The experience gained during the AIP will enable decision-makers at national, Provincial and local levels to make modifications in aspects of the systems to strengthen project formulation, operations and impact. As the AIP continues, sets of key indicators will be able to be monitored in the Eastern Provinces' health and education infrastructure, communities and families, and local economic development.

United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) / Ministry of Health/Turkey

Scope / Assignment:

Team Leader providing management consultancy services for the Turkey Health Transition Project, a 50 million Euro (Phase I) World Bank project and loan. The Health Transition Project seeks to strengthen institutional capacity for a wide range of health reforms, including: new laws for the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Labor and Social Security; develop family medicine and referral system, information systems, Universal Health Insurance; and strategic planning and evaluation. Provided leadership to a team of Turkish procurement, financial management and training experts focused on strengthening managerial capacity. Assess the management operation and constraints in implementing the project and health sector reforms; prepared multiple project reports and technical notes for the government; and liaised with the World Bank on the project.

Results:

The UNOPS Team strengthened managerial capabilities in procurement, financial management and, training plan formulation and evaluation of trainings in stakeholders' units to near-self sufficiency. Internal discussions with senior managers clarified specific managerial constraints of the project's implementation; then provided recommendations for pragmatic corrective measures to accelerate the project and health sector reforms.

Lessons Learned:

Sets of UNOPS Team on-the-job and structured trainings with 'Best Practices' in procurement, financial management and developing training plans for the project to staff built functioning internal capacity. Processes of continual diagnosis of managerial issues constraining the project's operations with practical remedial action need to be synchronized with on-the-ground monitoring. Effectively applied, this approach will lead to important and planned sequential policy driven reforms in the health and social security systems reach their targeted objectives and goals within the estimated time frame. Complex health sector and systems reforms need to be carefully monitored while phasing in institutional building initiatives. Senior management taking timely and realistic corrective measures; monitor these interventions; and communicate their intent to the stakeholders and public.

Benefits to All Clients:

The UNOPS Team management consultancy trained a cadre of staff in basic World Bank practical procurement and financial management; and methods to develop training plans and evaluate trainings for the Turkey Health Reforms (Phase I). Recommendations for project management to accelerate the project were presented for further assessment by senior decision makers in the Ministry of Health. Strengthened project management will lead to successful health reforms across Turkey yielding benefits directly experienced by the public, including disadvantaged rural locales and large urban conurbations.

UNOPS Team technical notes included: (i) an approach and methods to justify and prepare training plans linked the project's indicators and evaluating the trainings and (ii) presenting scenarios of the project's financial performance over the remaining time frame - has wide application in other reform initiatives, projects and newer sector wide loans, other sectors and worldwide.

Mid-Sized High Technology Manufacturer / USA

Scope / Assignment:

Distill economic trends and make quarterly forecasts affecting the company's markets. Identify selective economic indicator for company to monitor as 'early warnings' for their market growth and declines.

Results:

Used by senior management team for profitable decision-making strategies and operations to control manufacturing costs and adjust marketing plans.

Lessons Learned:

Incorporated into company's 'knowledge infrastructure' to assess and make profitable decisions including new markets and products.

Benefits to All Clients:

Quarterly economic overviews, forecasts and key indicators to track are specified to each client's need, markets and initiatives. Specific knowledge can be transferred to management teams in the client business/organization. These sets of analytic tools lead to measurable benefits to the company's bottom line.

Mid-Sized Executive Recruiting Company / USA

Scope / Assignment:

Distill economic trends and make quarterly forecasts affecting the company's markets. Identify selective markets and industries to target for executive recruiting.

Results:

Used by senior management team in a period of economic down turn and consolidation with profitable results and satisfied customers. Expand the base of satisfied customers for repeat business as economic sectors expands.

Lessons Learned:

Incorporated into company's 'knowledge infrastructure' to assess and make profitable decisions including new targeted industries in US and selected countries in Europe and Asia.

Benefits to All Clients:

Changes in main trends, quarterly economic forecasts and key indicators to track for targeted markets and products are added to the company's strategic plan and operations. Specific knowledge can be transferred to management teams. These specific Business Economic Intelligence models lead to timely and measurable benefits to the company's bottom line.

State of Minnesota, Department of Employment and Economic Development and a new manufacturing technology Alternative Energy Company/ USA

Scope / Assignment:

Design a strategic business plan to finance and market a new technology that uses waste to recycle into convenient products that produce energy for local power grids and at domestic level. Conduct market assessments for selective regions in the US and internationally, including The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and targeted developing countries.

Results:

Prepare documentation used for early stage financing of the company. Used by senior management team in discussions with financing agencies and banks.

Lessons Learned:

The robust Business Economic Intelligence model developed for this company has been used by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to formulate and assess economic and financial viability of initiatives from large, mid-sized and small companies, the Department itself, in manufacturing and other sectors focused on US and selected international markets.

Benefits to All Clients:

Business and organizations management teams/Boards and financial institutions can use these Business Economic Intelligence models to get critical third party assessment for domestic and international initiatives which can be used to support financing decisions through banks and institutions.

State of Minnesota, Department of Employment and Economic Development / USA

Scope / Assignment:

Design a strategic feasibility and business plan to finance and market a public/private agency that was loosing crucial government financing.

Results:

The strategy, while incorporating existing agency's 'best practices', refocused the organization to add significant value with international production and market opportunities in Asia, Europe and Latin America for businesses in the 'partnership'. Benefits would lead to profitable growth for the businesses using the agency's services and for high paying sustained employment growth in regions of Minnesota.

Lessons Learned:

The Business Economic Intelligence model developed for this private/public partnership is sufficiently robust to be used by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to formulate and assess economic viability of initiatives from large, mid-sized and small companies, the Department itself, in manufacturing and other sectors focused on US and selected international markets.

Benefits to All Clients:

The Business Economic Intelligence model used in this case can be adapted to consider a business and organization reengineer their mission, strategic reorientation, markets and financial justification and viability with selected pragmatic options among public and private partnership arrangements.

World Bank / Indonesia

Scope / Assignment:

Part of a $60 million project: design comprehensive budget classification for the Indonesian health care system for focused planning decisions and financial accountability.

Results:

Classification system used by the Finance and Planning Ministries and other agencies for well over a decade. Strengthened budget and financial analysis and planning resulting in significant cost savings, additional sources of funding of projects and coordinated with improved operations, transparency for the managerial operations and impact of the health system throughout Indonesia.

Lessons Learned:

The Business Economic Intelligence model developed for developing the classification system of planning and budgeting the health care system was adapted by the Ministries of Finance and Planning for other ministries including agriculture, water, and education, Further, this transparent budget system was incorporated in international development agencies like The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and USAID, hence, leveraging Indonesian finance and expanding health care development throughout the country.

Benefits to All Clients:

The Business Economic Intelligence model used can be adapted to other governments and development agencies in among specified sectors and projects to: assess alternative policy and operational operations, to monitor, modify programs and evaluate impact on targeted populations, markets and objectives.

World Bank / Malawi

Scope / Assignment:

Part of a $50 million project: design a cost-sharing and fee collection system to strengthen the delivery of health care services throughout Malawi.

Results:

A set of innovative approaches and operations were designed consistent with Primary Health Care with the special focus directed to maternal and child health care. Operational measures for exemption form cost-sharing were adopted for preventative services and the very poor households. Fee income generated from the cost-sharing system was redirected to strengthen operations of priority Primary Health Care activities in the localities where fees were collected.

Lessons Learned:

The cost-sharing system developed for Malawi was sufficiently robust to be applied in several African countries and other developing countries worldwide. The successful operations of a transparent cost-sharing system has led to strengthened Primary Health Care at community level.

Benefits to All Clients:

The Business Economic Intelligence model used to design the cost- sharing system can be adapted to assess different policies their financial and operation feasibility in most economic development and social sectors (e.g. agriculture, water, health, educational, transport, communication) combining public and private resources.

Asian Development Bank / Pakistan

Scope / Assignment:

Part of a $10 billion project: develop estimation models to transfer financing and management of health care and education services and economic development from the central level to provincial government units.

Results:

The recommended financial framework was designed consistent related policies and operations for cost-effective implementation and greater managerial transparency for Pakistan and multi-donor resources.

Lessons Learned:

The Business Economic Intelligence model and financial framework developed for the multi-sector project was innovative and focused on managerial transparency for multi-sector and multiple donor resources. This robust model and financial framework with operational and managerial transparency could be adopted in other countries with large scaled, multi-year and multi-sector projects.

Benefits to All Clients:

This robust model and financial framework with operational and managerial transparency could be adopted in other countries with large scaled, multi-year and multi-sector projects.

United States Agency for International Development / Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Scope / Assignment:

Part of a $30 million project: conduct a pre-feasibility study and sets of recommendation for a new national health system. The strategic focus was directed to a risk analysis encompassing policy, financial and resources, and the essential operations for a new national health system.

Results:

The sets of recommendations presented to the Minister of Health who distributed these to a wider decision-making consensus body throughout Jordan.

Lessons Learned:

The pre-feasibility model and sets of recommendation was adopted by the government and The World Bank and further developed into a large multi-year projects to implement Jordan's health insurance and health care deliver system.

Benefits to All Clients:

With the imprimatur of The World Bank adopting this pre-feasibility model to a full fledged national health insurance system clearly the pre-feasibility model can be adapted with specific differences to other (predominately) mid-level income countries. The Business Economic Intelligence pre-feasibility model can be used to assess other major policy and institutional reforms at national, regional, and local levels.