Project Profile

MEO IDIQ: Supporting the Transformation of USAID's Global Operations

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Project Name

Management Excellence for Operations (MEO) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ)

client

Bureau for Management’s Office of Management Policy, Budget, and Performance/Performance Division (M/MPBP/PERF)

Prime Contractor

Resonance

Partner Organization

Social Impact, Development Gateway

Countries to date

USA, Colombia

Time Period

January 2017 – December 2021

Challenge

USAID is undergoing a significant transformation to enhance its implementation of sustainable development projects worldwide. Through this internal restructuring, USAID is redesigning its operations and programming to become more field-focused, functionally aligned, and nimble. Change on this scale has profound implications for USAID’s people, systems, and development programs. USAID, therefore, recognized the need for a deliberate and conscientious approach to change management.

Solution

Under the Management Excellence for Operations (MEO) IDIQ, Resonance has worked with USAID to successfully implement its transformation. Through discrete MEO Task Orders, we support USAID with analytical and technical services, training, and change management support. We help USAID enhance its operations performance culture, to more efficiently and effectively achieve its global mission.

Key activities under the MEO IDIQ include:

  • Analyzing USAID operations data and processes to improve USAID’s efficiency and effectiveness;
  • Supporting change management through expert analyses, facilitation, and coaching;
  • Providing surge capacity and technical assistance to help USAID teams worldwide upgrade their operations;
  • Advancing USAID’s internal and external communications as well as monitoring and reporting on operations performance management.

Key Results

Resonance has implemented three Task Orders under the MEO IDIQ:

Task Order 1: Management Excellence in Operations (MEO) USAID-Centric Redesign
(May 2018 – May 2019)

Resonance and our partner Social Impact (SI) worked with USAID’s Transformation Task Team (T3) to oversee the institutionalization of USAID’s operations redesign proposal. This Agency-wide redesign (USAID’s Transformation) centered on five pillars – Journey to Self-reliance, Empower People to Lead, Respect Taxpayer Investments, Strengthen Core Capabilities, and Advance National Security.

Resonance and SI helped the T3 team to implement high-level changes to achieve these five pillars by:

  • Collecting USAID staff feedback & tracking redesign progress. Resonance and SI completed a dynamic, user-friendly design for a T3 data tracking system that provided T3 leadership with a central location to monitor project progress and document processes, problems, and advancements. T3 used the data tracking system to inform redesign reports delivered to USAID and Department of State leadership and to Congress.
  • Developing metrics and templates to guide redesign implementation. When the redesign’s initial phase came to an end, Resonance designed a Project Handover Plan Template and Guidance Document. This document served as a roadmap for leaders of each of the five pillars as their projects transitioned from the redesign team to operational units.

Task Order 2: Management Excellence in Operations (MEO) Restructuring Management Unit (RMU) Change Management
(October 2019 – October 2020)

Resonance and SI have staffed the Transformation Change Management Support Team (TCMST) that supports USAID’s efforts to institutionalize the non-structural aspects of the Agency’s Transformation. This approach focuses on the “people” side of change, as thousands of USAID staff members transition into new offices within six new global development Bureaus.

The TCMST has been working with the Agency’s Restructuring Management Unit (RMU) – the office overseeing the process – as well as three USAID Bureaus to help guide and implement effective change management for their staff.

Key Results:

  • Developed an Agency-wide change management plan that outlines an actionable approach to planning, implementing, and monitoring change management activities.
  • Created a menu of change management services for USAID Bureaus, including co-designing change management plans and change management trainings and coaching.
  • Designed and implemented a Nine-Step Team Building Process with USAID’s new Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI) to assist the merger of various offices into the new Bureau, helping to create common vision and a cohesive team culture.
  • Designed and delivered change management trainings to USAID staff involved with the transformation as well as the DDI leadership team.
  • Helped USAID Bureaus design staff surveys on the transformation, to gather data to better inform change management needs and future activities.
  • Working with USAID’s Bureau for Management to design and implement a complex communications plan and USAID staff trainings to promote the Agency Approach to Field Services (AAFS), a new standardized process for USAID to provide efficient and effective technical support to its Missions abroad.

Task Order 3: USAID/Colombia Consultancy Services for the new Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS)
(February 2020 – May 2020)

As it emerges from over 50 years of armed conflict, Colombia faces serious development challenges. These include a lack of state presence in conflict-affected regions, increased violence against human rights defenders and social leaders, more than eight million conflict victims, over seven million internally displaced persons, and a burgeoning illicit economy centered on coca production and illegal mining. In response, USAID/Colombia recently developed a new five-year Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) to help the Government of Colombia overcome the nation’s most pressing obstacles to development.

In line with this new CDCS, Resonance supported USAID/Colombia to determine how to reorganize its internal operations to best meet its new strategic objectives.

Resonance fielded a three-person assessment team to conduct key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and qualitative data analysis to inform USAID/Colombia’s reorganization design and implementation plan. The assessment and resulting design covered:

  • Optimal Mission organizational structure;
  • Optimal Mission leadership structure, staffing levels, and hiring categories; and
  • Opportunities to strengthen collaboration and accountability between the Mission’s technical offices

USAID/Colombia is now initiating changes in line with our assessment analysis, reorganization design, and implementation plan.

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