April 18, 2011

DAI Selected as Top Innovator in Global Poll of International Development Professionals

Bethesda, Maryland—DAI has been named a Devex Top 40 Development Innovator, one of only 10 consulting firms so honored globally. The award was based on a poll of 100,000 Devex members, who comprise the world’s largest network of aid and international development professionals.

Employee-owned DAI implements approximately 100 development projects in 60 countries. 

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the fresh thinking and resourcefulness we try to bring to the world’s development challenges,” said Dr. James Boomgard, DAI President and CEO. “This award reflects the investment we have made in innovation over the years but above all it speaks to the spirit of our people and their commitment to our development mission. As employee-owners, we have a very personal stake in the ideas, products, and services we are bringing to the marketplace in service of that mission.”

Recent DAI innovations include:

  • Using results-based financing to incentivize water service providers in Cambodia to pipe clean water into poor areas—resulting in sustainable connections to more than 11,000 households and 67,000 people at a fraction of the cost of most donor-funded piped-water initiatives.
  • Promoting household nutrition gardens to provide food security and improved incomes for HIV/AIDS-affected women and children in Ethiopia’s urban centers—reaching more than 100,000 orphans and vulnerable children.
  • Uniting the climate change, forest preservation, and biodiversity agendas by increasing private sector involvement in orangutan conservation in Indonesia—leading to more than half a million acres of industrial forests managed using best practices for orangutans.

Betsy Marcotte, DAI’s Senior Vice President for Technical Programs, emphasized that these successes could only have been facilitated through local collaboration.

For us, the most powerful catalyst of innovation over the next decade will be the emerging leadership of host country development professionals and institutions,” Marcotte said, noting recent DAI investments in this area.

For example, in 2010 DAI founded the Center for Development Excellence, which is dedicated to building the capacity of local consulting firms, NGOs, and governments to win and effectively manage development programs. In its first year of operations, the CDE has led training seminars in 18 countries. DAI in the past two years has also established local offices in Mexico, Pakistan, and Jordan, and bolstered its presence in South Africa and Palestine under the leadership of Dr. Julian Lob-Levyt, based in London.

Boomgard and Marcotte will attend The Devex Innovators Forum on April 21 at The Sweden House in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the achievements of the Top 40 Development Innovators.