Private Enterprise & Economics Projects

ISTI’s Private Enterprise and Economics Division focuses on such areas as macroeconomic policy reform, capital mobilization, finance, capital market development, export and investment promotion, enterprise development, privatization, and energy and environmental economics. Assistance is offered in project implementation, conducting feasibility studies, preparing action plans, assessments and evaluations, and organizing training workshops and seminars and, study tours.

Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Program, Phase II (MEPP II), USAID (2006 – 2008):As a subcontractor to IBTCI, ISTI provides continued performance monitoring and evaluation of the programs managed by USAID/Iraq.  Under this IQC, ISTI deployed a three-member team in 2006 to conduct an evaluation of USAID-sponsored capacity building activities.  The team evaluated activities aimed to contribute to the Ministries of Finance, Electricity, Economic Planning, Municipalities and Public Works, central to USAID’s development strategy in Iraq.  In 2006, ISTI provided the team leader for an assignment to conduct a Data Quality Assessment to ensure that Strategic Objective (SO) teams in Iraq were aware of the strengths and weaknesses of Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) data used in the reporting, to provide recommendations to improve data quality and address key audit vulnerabilities, and also to meet the mandatory requirement that all data reported to USAID/Washington for the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) reporting purposes or for reporting externally on Agency performance should undergo a data quality assessment.

Reform of the National Savings Scheme in Bangladesh (NSS), IDA (2005-2007):Under this IDA-financed activity, ISTI deployed a four-member team, supported by a local project coordinator, to assist Bangladesh Bank to better achieve the objectives of the National Savings Scheme (NSS).  ISTI provided recommendations for reform to accomplish the main objective of the NSS to offer a fair return to small savers while efficiently mobilizing funds for the Government of Bangladesh.  ISTI provided recommendations for reform to better achieve the NSS mission while reducing its impact on savings and investment mobilization activities by borrowers in the Bangladesh financial system.

Second Financial Institutions Development Project (FIDP II), Tanzania (2005-2006): ISTI conducted a Study on Appropriate Legal Framework for Incorporation of Unit Trusts in Tanzania, under the World Bank-funded FIDP II Project for the Capital Market Authority of Tanzania. ISTI’s team of international and local consultants has rationalized the optimal legal framework to regulate the unit trust industry in Tanzania, based on its applicability to the current legal conditions and the capital market environment in Tanzania.

Development and Implementation of Issue Rules for Market Traded Debt Instruments & Regulations to Foster Secondary Debt Market Development, Bangladesh (2003 – 2004): ISTI will work with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Bangladesh to enhance the regulatory environment for fixed income securities, including corporate and municipal bonds in Bangladesh.  This IDA-funded activity will involve synthesizing current market practices, drafting a regulatory framework, preparing and implementing rules and regulations, and conducting local training.  Study tours will be organized for key market players to visit Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and Malaysia.

Financial Sector Assessment, Tanzania (2001): ISTI conducted an assessment of the rural finance, pension and capital market sectors in Tanzania. The study included review of the current status of these markets and recommendations for a long-term strategy. The Consultants also presented several workshops to communicate the findings and build consensus among stakeholders.

Armenia Social Investment Fund II Project (2000): ISTI introduced a cost accounting framework for World Bank funded Armenia Social Investment Fund II (ASIF II), which was designed to fund micro-enterprise projects for school rehabilitation, school heating, potable water, and minor irrigation works.  The assistance included technical advisory services and training to streamline the flow of relevant cost accounting information among the Management Information, Accounting and other departments of the ASIF Office, analyze such information, and to produce cost accounting reports.

Securities Regulatory Commission (SRC), Ghana (2000-2001): Under a World Bank Contract, ISTI developed the institutional and technical capacities of the newly formed SRC to be an effective regulator in par with international standards. Improving technical capacity involved review of and enhancement to the securities law, improvements to SRC’s activities in regulation, licensing and codes of conduct, and inspection of market participants.  Institutional improvements included preparing a corporate strategy for SRC, enhancement to the organizational structure, staffing and systems.  A full-fledged training program was also designed with in-country and overseas training activities.

Water Resources, Environmental/Sanitary, Civil and Industrial Engineering A&E Services Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC), Worldwide (1999 – 2004): This activity was designed to offer a comprehensive array of engineering and architect services to USAID Missions and Bureaus to improve environmental conditions, infrastructure for sustainable economic growth and a better quality of life in developing countries. As a member of Camp Dresser & McKee International consortium, ISTI is the primary team resource for services in engineering economics, economic analysis, institutional development, policy structuring and reform, alternative financing, training, and technology transfer.

Employees’ Provident Fund -Sri Lanka (1999-2000): ISTI, in association with Independent Fiduciary Services Inc. (IFS), enhanced the portfolio management capabilities of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka/Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). This World Bank funded project evaluated EPF’s portfolio to determine actual performance and recommended diversification strategies; and provided guidelines to utilize internal and external fund managers. ISTI also organized and delivered in-house training and arranged a study tour to five U.S. public pension funds. Later, the World Bank extended ISTI’s contract to continue in-house training.

Solar Home Systems Project – Indonesia (1997-2003): Under the World Bank-financed project, ISTI provides consulting services to support the Government of Indonesia’s goal of ensuring that modern forms of energy become accessible to all rural households in a phased, least-cost manner. The GOI seeks to implement a strategy for decentralized rural electrification using solar photovotaics.

Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC) for Macro and International Economic Analysis Worldwide (1996 – 2000): Awarded for the third consecutive term in late September 1996, this indefinite quantity contract provided short-term advisory services and technical assistance in the areas of macroeconomics, balance of payments, international trade, international economy and less developed countries, multi-sector and sector policies, financial markets, public sector-private sector mix and the interactions between USAID programs and those of multilateral and bilateral programs in host countries.

A sample of recently completed activities under the Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC) for Macro and International Economic Analysis are:  

  • Tax Policy Analysis, Departments of Inland Revenue and Customs -Sri Lanka (1999 – 2000): At the request of the Department of Treasury, ISTI with Policy Research Center at Georgia State University provided technical assistance to the Departments of Inland Revenue and Customs. The assistance involved establishing tax policy analysis centers in the two departments and local training.
  • Deposit Insurance Scheme, Central Bank of Sri Lanka (1999): The Central Bank of Sri Lanka  commissioned ISTI to conduct a feasibility study to set up a compulsory Deposit Insurance Scheme for the commercial banking sector.  The study assessed the commercial banking structure, CBSL’s bank supervisory environment, and the institutional aspects (funding mechanism and insurance authority and functions) of the fund.

  • Capital Market Development Project Design, Egypt (1997): ISTI provided a nine person senior capital market team to design a five-year capital market development project for USAID/Egypt.  The team assessed equity and debt markets in terms of regulatory, licensing, and operational aspects. 

  • Evaluation of the Build-Operate-Transfer Center, Philippines (1997): Three senior technical specialists evaluated the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Center in the Philippines in terms of its operations in the areas of Power, Transportation, and Local Environmental Infrastructure.

  • Technical Assistance to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) in Improving Foreign Exchange Dealing and Foreign Reserve Management (1997 – 1998):  ISTI provided technical expertise to CBSL to modernize the foreign exchange department by automating the trading system; introducing a technical analysis system; streamlining research efforts and improving the institutional structure.

Financial Markets Development Project -Sri Lanka (1997-2000): Building upon the successes of Financial Markets and its predecessor Capital Market Development Projects, USAID/Sri Lanka retained ISTI to continue assistance to the development of equity and debt markets in Sri Lanka. The focus of intervention was shifted to Central banking operations with emphasis on open market operations, foreign exchange risk management and institutional issues of relevance to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  ISTI continued to provide technical support to Colombo Stock Exchange, Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Association of Securities and Investment Analysts, Association of Primary Dealers and the nascent Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board.

Trading, Clearing and Settlement System for Ghana Stock Exchange (1997-2000):Based on ISTI’s preliminary design, through USAID, of a comprehensive operating system for the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) in 1995, GSE selected ISTI to finalize a system design through this World Bank, Non-Bank Financial Institutions Project activity.  ISTI also developed systems and bid specifications for international procurement, evaluated the offers and will test-run the chosen system in concert with GSE management.  Additional institutional issues related to GSE’s efficiency and profitability will be addressed.

Financial Management Training Project (ICASL) (1997): An Asian Development Bank-funded project to assist the Ministry of Finance of Sri Lanka to undertake reforms in Government Accounting Systems and upgrade them to international levels.  The consultant assisted the Professional Development and Accreditation Committee (a national body) to rationalize the development and implementation of education and training programs in the financial management sector.

Banking Supervision, Sri Lanka (1996): Through a World Bank credit, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka retained ISTI’s services for a resident expert to strengthen off-site and on-site supervision, and to develop training manuals for the Bank Supervision Department.

Advisory and Consulting Services to Rural Electrification II POLA Project, Indonesia (1995 – 1998):  Working with the World Bank, ISTI provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small Enterprises in Indonesia to improve program management, policy, planning, and training to increase efficiency of rural electricity delivery through multipurpose village cooperatives.

Banking Supervision, Maldives, (1995 – 1996):  Under  contract to the Asian Development Bank, ISTI provided institutional support for the Maldives Monetary Authority to strengthen the Credit and Bank Supervision Department.

Review of the Financial Management System, Marshall Islands (1995): ISTI provided an economic and financial advisor to the Ministry of Finance to develop investment and financial management systems.

Financing Small and Medium Scale Renewable Energy Projects, Indonesia and Sri Lanka (1994 – 1996):  Working with the World Bank, ISTI provided assistance to the government of Indonesia to identify methods of financing privately-sponsored renewable energy projects with an emphasis on mini-hydro projects.  In Sri Lanka ISTI provided the design services for a $30 million credit line for renewable energy investment.

Mahaweli Enterprise Development Project, Sri Lanka (1990-1996): ISTI provided long-term advisors with expertise in small-scale enterprises, medium and large-scale enterprises and credit: focused on pre-investment programs, training, investment promotions and information dissemination, survey, monitoring and data collection.  Project objective was to raise earned incomes in the Mahaweli settlement areas by the creation of permanent jobs in the region.  Also, to strengthen the Government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to market-oriented approaches to promote sustainable economic development in the Mahaweli region.

Capital Market Development, Jamaica, Tunisia and Ghana (1993 – 1995):  ISTI provided technical assistance in Jamaica and Tunisia to establish the new capital markets regulatory and oversight institutions to effectively support the development of financial markets. In Ghana, two senior consultants reviewed the existing and proposed legislation on the operations of the Ghana Stock Exchange; developed the framework for a centralized Clearing, Settlement and Depository (CDS) system; reviewed and recommended the regulatory initiatives necessary for a broader capital market; and highlighted the need for a broad investor education and awareness program.

Study of Voucher Schemes for Privatization, Egypt (1994 – 1995):  ISTI provided four senior experts to assess the feasibility of conducting a mass privatization program through a voucher scheme, similar to programs in Central Europe.  ISTI recommended against the adaptation of a voucher scheme. Instead, reliance on pension and insurance funds was obtained as a means to stimulate demand for securities of enterprises earmarked for privatization.

Private Investment Expansion Program, Pakistan (1993):  Four training programs were implemented to improve the operational efficiency of the Karachi Stock Exchange and the regulatory oversight of the Corporate Law Authority.

Financial Markets and Capital Market Development, Sri Lanka (1989 – 1996):  The Financial Markets project provided technical assistance to improve the reliability of capital market information, increase the availability of financial instruments, and expand the Post Trade Automation and Central Depository System in Sri Lanka. The project instituted a Chartered Financial Analysts Program and developed a secondary debt market for government and corporate obligations.  In the Predecessor Capital Markets Development project, ISTI strengthened the Securities Exchange Commission (SLSEC) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE); and designed, procured and supervised the installation of a Post-Trade Automation system and a Central Depository for the CSE.

Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC) for Housing and Urban Development (1992 – 1995):  ISTI provides advisory services to USAID in the fields of housing policy, finance, economics, urban planning and policy.

IQC for Worldwide Architect and Engineering Services (1992 – 1995):  As a member of a consortium headed by CDM International, ISTI has provided specialized services for USAID in the Ukraine and Kazakhstan,  Central Asia in economic and financial analysis for the privatization of energy resources.

Accessing International Capital Markets, Sri Lanka (March – June 1994):  On behalf of the Ministry of Finance of Sri Lanka, ISTI originated and coordinated the refinancing with U.S. investors of two USAID Housing Guaranty Loans totaling $29 million.

Private-Sector Policy Support, Sri Lanka (1990 – 1993):  The University of Maryland and ISTI helped to strengthen policy research capabilities of business organizations.  The Project developed, supported, and managed 15 to 20 sub-grants, principally to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber of Commerce, to improve institutional capacity in policy formulation and implementation.

IQCs for Macroeconomic and International Economic Services, Worldwide (1986 – 1993):  ISTI, in two successive joint ventures, completed 53 task orders for USAID, including capital/financial markets assessments and development (five countries); venture capital identification and private-sector investment (eight countries); industrial sector, industry and specific factory studies (four countries); private-sector strategy, policy dialogue, and privatization (three countries); and a landmark study of socioeconomic impacts of structural reform.

African Management Services Company B.V. (AMSCO) (1989 – 1991):  ISTI provided liaison and technical support to assist AMSCO with its mandate to provide business training for indigenous managers and supplied managerial and technical personnel to African companies to increase long-term economic viability.

Private-Sector Initiatives, Latin America (1986 – 1990):  Through 62 discrete task orders, ISTI assisted USAID’s Latin America and Caribbean Bureau and missions with the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs.

Investment Packaging for Private Enterprise, Worldwide (1985 – 1990):  ISTI provided assistance to USAID’s Office of Investment (Bureau for Private Enterprise) Private-Sector Revolving Fund.  ISTI completed 140 assignments resulting in 56 loan facilities worldwide.

Equity Development Analysis, Latin America (1987 – 1989):  ISTI conducted country studies to analyze changes in socioeconomic welfare, including the evolution of employment generation and public/private-sector wage structure over a ten-year period.  These studies also assessed changes in overall income levels and distribution in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic.

Business and Investment Development, Africa (1985 – 1989):  Deploying teams of business and investment specialists, ISTI identified key market factors, proposed specific action plans to improve the business climate, and provided focused assistance to initiate economic growth activity in Africa through 51 task orders.