IBI grew out of Dr. Lucie Phillips’ research and consulting, after she returned to the USA from twenty years spent mainly in Africa. Her studies had shown that development programs sometimes failed to take into account local realities, including traditional law and authorities, property rights and institutional histories. On the other hand, local economies faced constraints for lack of ability to get information and technologies that were well known in the developed world. Her idea was to bring the two together, using modern business skills and best international practices while adapting them to developing country contexts to find truly viable, local solutions. In the late 1990s, IBI’s initial clients for research and social impact studies and training included USAID, international financial institutions, and large corporations. As IBI grew it became an implementing partner on major long-term contracts and cooperative agreements.
On early projects IBI assisted West African Businesswomen to grow their business through networking and computer skills. It facilitated 15 ECOWAS countries’ application of a common external tariff as a step towards a Customs Union. IBI developed a niche practice in oil, gas and mining, working with both industrial mining companies and artisanal miners. In Tanzania it facilitated coexistence between artisanal and industrial mining. In Madagascar and Liberia, IBI improved gem markets.
Beginning in 2006, IBI assisted Liberia to rebuild its fragile governance capacity following two decades of civil conflict. Initially specializing in public financial management, with funding from USAID, IBI gradually branched out to support broad civil service reform, the expanded use of technology for e-government, and the Ebola epidemic response and recovery effort. Working with some 20 different ministries and state-owned companies, IBI helped to automate operations from the bottom up, providing user friendly solutions and training several thousand Liberian government staff. We supported the Liberian Institute of Public Administration and other local partners to ensure that capacity building continued sustainably.
IBI has also developed a thriving trade facilitation and customs reform practice. Working in Bangladesh to make accurate and timely information available to the private sector, while improving Customs risk management procedures, we helped Customs design and roll out a comprehensive trade portal, launch an authorized economic operator program, and establish a post-clearance audit program.
IBI uses information and communications technology creatively tailored to local contexts. Three of the highest impact uses have been (1) setting national ICT standards and computerizing the operations of ministries and agencies of government; (2) introducing mobile money as a solution for payments to under-banked civil service employees; and (3) using Geographic Information Systems to give planning and finance ministries the ability to plan public investments and attract private investors by analyzing the relationships between population density, productive areas, markets and trade flows, infrastructure, education and health, and natural resources.
IBI has grown steadily into one of USAID’s leading small business partners and was named the USAID Small Business of the Year for 2015. Since its inception, IBI has been headquartered in Arlington, VA, a fifteen-minute Metro ride from U.S. government agencies and the World Bank in downtown Washington, DC.
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IBI’s Board of Directors selected David Wall as its new CEO. Prior to this role, Mr. Wall served as IBI Vice President, and as a senior development professional in other firms and with USAID.
Read more about David Wall
David Wall Becomes IBI CEO
IBI was awarded USAID’s flagship global contract vehicle for technical and advisory services for monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), titled the EVAL-ME II IDIQ.
Read more about EVAL-ME II IDIQ
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
IBI Awarded Global Contract
The Strengthening Local Organizations (SLO) Activity held its virtual closeout event, formally concluding its collaboration with 10 Salvadoran civil society organizations (CSOs).
Read more about the SLO Project.
IBI Completes First Long-Term Contract in Latin America Strengthening CSOs in El Salvador
IBI is helping the Government of Pakistan improve the performance of federal and provincial organizations involved in public financial management
Read more about the PCDS project
USAID/Pakistan Selects IBI for the Capacity Development Services Project
Over this 5-year project, IBI provided regulatory analysis and technical assistance to identify and implement effective trade facilitation measures, including a customs risk management system and a post-clearance audit system for National Customs.
IBI Successfully Completes the Bangladesh Trade Facilitation Activity
The Public Financial Management II IDIQ was awarded by USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3) to address four factors that are keys to USAID’s goal of achieving broad-based, equitable economic growth: (1) increasing and expanding human capacity; (2) improving the policy environment to promote efficiency and economic opportunity for all members of society; (3) sound management of institutions; and (4) good governance.
IBI Awarded Global Contract to Improve Public Financial Management and Economic Growth
This 3-year project helped Liberia use a systems approach to harness technology for improved governance.
Read more about the Digital Liberia and E-Governance Project
USAID's Global Development Lab Selects IBI for the Digital Liberia and E-Governance Project
The GEMS Project was a flagship governance program to strengthen a large portion of the public sector in Liberia. GEMS used a systems approach to improve the performance of more than 16 government entities. While other USAID implementing partners fled Liberia in response to the Ebola Crisis, IBI remained, adapted, and pivoted to support the Ebola Crisis response and recovery.
Read more about GEMS.
IBI Completes $50 million USAID/Liberia Governance and Economic Management Support (GEMS) Program
IBI opened a branch office in Accra, Ghana, further demonstrating its commitment to economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Read more about the office in Ghana.
IBI opens New Branch Office in Ghana
USAID/Kosovo contracted IBI to conduct a longitudinal impact evaluation of the Transformation Leadership Project’s (TLP) scholarship component and a performance evaluation of the TLP partnership component.
Read more about TLIPE.
IBI Awarded its First Long-Term Monitoring and Evaluation Contract in Kosovo
Recognizing IBI’s ability to work effectively during the Ebola Crisis, the Department of State turns to IBI to implement the JAMS project to improve the performance of the Ministry of Justice
Read more about JAMS.
IBI Awarded Liberia Justice Administration and Management Support (JAMS) Project by the State Department
IBI was awarded a contract for USAID's Human and Institutional Capacity Development for non-Critical Priority Countries (HICDpro for non-CPCs) and subsequently implemented two long-term task orders.
Read more about IBI's Contract Vehicles.
Global Human and Institutional Capacity Development Contract Awarded to IBI
IBI conducted research throughout Burundi’s mining communities and with the private sector to help the Ministry of Mines address gaps in the mining code. Findings led to improvements in mining taxation, environmental protection, and small scale mining.
Read more about IBI's project in Burundi.
IBI Helps Burundi Improve Governance in the Mining Sector
Cited by the World Development Report in 2011 as an example of successful post-conflict recovery, GEMAP improved Liberia’s public financial management to the extent that the IMF agreed to forgive some $4 billion in sovereign debt. Winning outstanding praise from Liberian and international stakeholders and counterparts, IBI completed all technical activities and contractual obligations under GEMAP on time and on budget in September 2010.
Read more about GEMAP.
IBI completes the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Project in Liberia
IBI applied its Dynamic Geospatial Analysis (DGA) tool in Gabon to identify future development corridors based on economic flows and natural resources, generating a national economic growth plan.
Read more about IBI's DGA tool in Gabon.
IBI Uses Dynamic Geospatial Analysis to Conduct a Strategic Environmental and Social
In the wake of a new procurement law, IBI developed a procurement manual and training officials across government on conducting compliant and transparent procurement.
Read more about IBI's work in Ethiopia
IBI Improves Public Procurement in Ethiopia
IBI designed and installed a rural market information system (MIS), through which stakeholders in rural areas are provided with timely market information on prevailing food crop prices.
Read more about IBI's Cameroon Market Information System.
IBI Assists Farmers and Buyers in Cameroon to Develop a Market Information System
IBI contributed to the World Bank’s DTIS by conducting a comprehensive study of the mining sector in CAR.
Read more about IBI's Diagnostic Trade Integration Study.
IBI Assists Central African Republic with Diagnostic Trade Integration Study
Under the USAID/Uganda Strengthening the Competitiveness of Private Enterprise project, IBI analyzed and helped to improve the coffee, cotton and fisheries value chains.
Read more about IBI's work in Uganda.
IBI Strengthens Value Chains in Uganda
IBI studied six governance areas that affect rural development – land use, taxation, regulatory and oversight bodies, market systems, extension services, and local governance. The research served to facilitate public private dialogue in stakeholder workshops around the country.
Read more about IBI's agriculture project in Ukraine.
IBI Assists Ukraine to Develop Rural Reform Program to Boost Agriculture Sector
IBI was the only small business selected for award of the Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Alleviation and Economic Institutions and Analysis (MACRO II) Technical Assistance Services Contract under the Support for Economic Growth and Institutional Reform (SEGIR) Program.
Read more about IBI's projects under MACRO 2.
IBI Awarded MACRO II Contract
The EAGER project successfully produced research results used by decision-makers in fourteen Sub-Saharan Africa countries to improve public policy and accelerate economic growth. Over the five year project, IBI produced three book-length reports, six policy papers, and eight briefs. IBI designed a successful policy dialogue process whereby policymakers were involved from the inception in each project. Stakeholders were able to test reforms -- in many cases while the research was still in progress – to monitor impact and adjust policies.
Read more about the EAGER project.
IBI completes the Africa-wide Equity and Growth Through Economic Research Project
IBI developed and implemented a communications strategy designed to give government, private sector and civil society stakeholders access to accurate and timely information about this major energy sector infrastructure project.
Read more about the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Project.
IBI Partners with ExxonMobil to Provide Accurate and Timely Communications on the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline
IBI mapped the processes used by Gambia’s Customs Department to find ways to improve trade facilitation and risk management.
Read more about IBI's work in The Gambia
IBI Strengthens Customs Procedures in The Gambia
After 20 years as an international development professor, practitioner, and consultant, Dr. Lucie Phillips founds IBI with the goal of combining global insight with local solutions.