- Yuliya Malieieva and Reed Collins
Building on 2020 in 2021
2020 was a challenging year that pushed all of us to adapt and find new solutions to the unique challenges caused by COVID-19. IBI is proud to have managed its projects through the pandemic with only minor disruptions. Below are the 2020 highlights from our projects:
Launched in early 2020, the ASEAN Policy Implementation (API) project made progress in its first year, including conducting regular regional trends analyses to inform the USAID Mission to ASEAN on economic and trade-related changes; building partnerships with both the ASEAN Secretariat and USAID Bilateral Missions in the Indo-Pacific; laying the foundation for work on the ASEAN Single Window; and building a working relationship with the Philippines Bureau of Customs for future cooperation. Through research and subsequent knowledge sharing sessions, API outlined the status of policy implementation across multiple ASEAN Member States—work it will expand and continue in 2021.
The USAID/Timor-Leste Customs Reform Project continued to build on its track record of success and produced impressive results. In 2020, the project helped reduce the average time to process goods in Dili Seaport to just 2.24 days, a 75% reduction in time since the project started. Additionally, between June 2018-September 2020 the average revenue collected per declaration increased by 43%. Of special note, USAID-CRP technical assistance played a direct and critical role in helping the Government of Timor-Leste to maintain and operate critical cross-border supply routes, including Dili Seaport, in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. USAID-CRP’s impressive results built on three years of relentless work in partnership with the project’s government counterparts and will continue into its final project year, 2021.
In Pakistan, IBI's Capacity Development Services activity reached several important milestones in 2020. The project completed a comprehensive procurement analysis for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Procurement Regulatory Authority (KPPRA), providing recommendations for further improvement; developed an e-procurement solutions package for KPPRA; developed three customized software packages to bring efficiency to the development planning, public works, and monitoring needs of the Planning and Development Department (P&DD) of Sindh Province; and commenced design of a tailored e-procurement system for the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA). 2021 will see these IT-based improvements to transparency and effectiveness go into full implementation.
Throughout 2020, the USAID-Laos Business Environment Activity conducted research and supported events in line with its goals. A Value Chain Assessment revealed the opportunities for the activity to support SMEs in the ICT sector. The activity supported multiple workshops in 2020, covering topics that include Public-Private Dialogue and Digital Solutions for SMEs during COVID-19, and helped organize the Laos Handicraft Festival. Thanks to the team’s work in 2020, the activity will accelerate its work in 2021.