CNN Spotlights Band-E-Amir National Park
6/26/2019
On June 26, 2019, CNN spotlighted Band-e-Amir, Afghanistan’s first national park. ECODIT worked with the Afghanistan National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) to establish this park in 2009 through the USAID Afghanistan Biodiversity Support Project (BSP).

The article describes the park as "Afghanistan’s Grand Canyon" and includes a slide show that touts the park’s "deep blue lakes," "picturesque red-hued cliffs," and "rocky natural dams." It quotes Richard Paley, the Wildlife Conservation Society's Afghanistan Country Director from 2013 to 2018, who said, "[Band-e-Amir] serves as one of the most notable places in Afghanistan where people from different parts of the country, different ethnicities, and different religious denominations can have family fun in an oasis of peace and tranquility. It's a very heartwarming sight to see."

The USAID Afghanistan BSP was a three-year (2007-2010), $6.3M project implemented by ECODIT, which worked to improve natural resources management (NRM) and environmental policy throughout Afghanistan. In addition to facilitating the establishment of Band-e-Amir, ECODIT provided legal and regulatory technical support for environmental laws, managed a $1M small grants program supporting watershed management and soil and water conservation projects, and trained more than 5,000 government officials and community members on a range of environment-related topics.

Since its establishment, the park has grown in popularity. It now attracts approximately 169,900, mostly Afghan, visitors each year. The park is yet another example of ECODIT’s legacy projects in the NRM, water and energy sectors, and a testament to the company’s successful efforts to realize the sustainability of USAID investments.
ECODIT Spotlighted as Small Business Success Story at USAID Conference
6/3/2019
On May 14, USAID recognized ECODIT for making a lasting impact in the development sector at the 12th Annual USAID Small Business Conference, which was hosted by USAID’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) in Washington, D.C. The event was a unique opportunity for small businesses to build relationships, share lessons learned, network, and gain insight about working with USAID and its partners. 

The conference’s theme centered around small businesses partnering to promote self-reliance, underscoring USAID’s commitment to ensuring that its development programs are supporting a country’s ability to implement solutions to its own development challenges.  The conference featured panel discussions and a networking reception hosted by the Small Business Association for International Companies (SBAIC), for which ECODIT served as a Bronze-level sponsor. ECODIT President Joseph Karam attended as a panelist in a discussion entitled “Overcoming Challenges- Small Business Success Stories.” 

“It is an honor to be recognized as a small business committed to creating a lasting impact in the lives of communities around the world,” said Mr. Karam. “Since its founding 26 years ago, ECODIT has partnered with USAID to address some of the world’s most pressing development challenges. Together, we’ve promoted clean energy, built the resilience of local communities, expanded energy access, and improved water, sanitation and hygiene services.” 

ECODIT was co-founded by Joseph Karam in 1993. At the time, the firm conducted environmental assessments, audits and training programs for such clients as the World Bank, UNDP, UNIDO, EU, Medcities, and USAID. In the years that followed, ECODIT’s business grew, and so did its impact.  Today, ECODIT is a trusted USAID contractor and leader in advancing environmentally- and socially-responsible development around the world, employing more than 100 professionals in the U.S. and abroad. To learn more about ECODIT, visit our website at www.ecodit.com and follow the firm’s accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

ECODIT and USAID Make A Splash on World Water Day 2019
04/09/2019
ECODIT teamed up with USAID to launch a multi-platform media blitz in honor of World Water Day 2019 on March 22. This innovative campaign brought information about USAID’s water programming to social media users worldwide, thanks to 25 country-level USAID Missions participating in online outreach across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. 

The campaign was engineered by the ECODIT-implemented USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management (CKM) Project, which creates outreach materials and facilitates learning on behalf of the USAID Water Office. The Water CKM Project created a communications and social media toolkit highlighting USAID water-themed content and messaging, which included pictograms, photos, podcasts, videos, articles, and case studies. This toolkit was then distributed to USAID Missions, Bureaus, and Offices to facilitate their social media outreach in support of World Water Day. Thanks to robust posting and sharing from not only USAID but also implementing partners, development professionals, and other U.S. government agencies, social media content affiliated with this campaign reached maximum potential audiences of more than four million Facebook users and more than six million Twitter users, surpassing 2018 levels by 39 percent on Facebook and 450 percent on Twitter. Meanwhile, on @USAIDWater, the Water Office’s official Twitter account and primary social media channel, content affiliated with World Water Day received more than 165 retweets and 340 likes, while the account gained 150 new followers, bringing its total follower count to more than 7,230.

In addition to the social media campaign, the project produced special editions of USAID’s Global Waters Stories magazine and Water Currents newsletter, a special World Water Day photo essay, and a World Water Day-edition Global Waters Radio podcast. This content collectively reached audiences in more than 25 countries.

“World Water Day 2019 was a great opportunity to bring attention to the critical work USAID is doing around the globe to lay the foundation for a healthier and more water-secure future,” said Mary Renwick, Water CKM Project Chief of Party. “ECODIT is proud of its strong partnership with USAID and our joint work to increase awareness of USAID water programs and facilitate learning through innovative communications and knowledge management approaches.”

For 25 years, ECODIT has worked with governments, businesses and local communities to advance environmentally and socially responsible development around the globe. To learn more, visit our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

President of Lebanon Embraces the LMT
04/01/2019
On Thursday, March 28, Lebanese President H.E. General Michel Aoun hosted an event at the Presidential Palace in Baabda during which he publicly voiced his support for the Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT) and its protection. The event was attended by ECODIT President Joseph Karam and colleagues from ECODIT LLC and ECODIT Liban, several ministers and parliamentarians, representatives of foreign embassies and agencies, and a large number of members, supporters and beneficiaries of the Lebanon Mountain Trail Association (LMTA). 

The LMT was established in 2007 by ECODIT, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); it is 470 kilometers long, spanning the length of Lebanon from north to south. The LMTA is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that was set up at project conclusion more than 10 years ago to ensure the LMT’s sustainability. Mr. Karam’s inspiration for establishing the LMT came from the Appalachian Trail in the U.S., and from memorable childhood walks with his father in his Lebanese hometown of Baskinta.  

For years, supporters of the LMT have advocated for  official protection of the trail, to prevent it from being damaged by unregulated development. In his opening remarks at the event, Mr. Karam emphasized the state’s responsibility towards protecting the LMT and noted that President Aoun’s support “breathes new energy and renews hope for a Lebanon that is brighter for our children and for generations to come.”  For his part, President Aoun appropriately summed up the LMT’s journey, stating that ““everything starts with a dream, and the dream turns into a word that is heard by people with initiative and determination, who then make the dream a reality.”  

Douglas Kerr Joins ECODIT as Vice President for Business Development
01/04/2019
ECODIT is pleased to welcome Douglas Kerr as its new Vice President for Business Development, effective January 2019. Mr. Kerr has worked around the world on international development projects and has served in senior business development roles for various organizations for more than 15 years. Mr. Kerr will lead ECODIT’s business development efforts, foster partnerships, and provide strategic input and guidance to inform ECODIT’s growth and enhance organizational development and management.

Mr. Kerr most recently served as the Senior Director of New Business Development at the National Cooperative Business Association, Cooperative League of the USA (NCBA CLUSA). Prior to that, he was Managing Director of New Business Development at the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), the Vice President for Business Development and Communications at the University Research Co. Center for Human Services (URC-CHS), the Vice President for Business Development at Social Impact, and the Director of New Business Development at Abt Associates. In these positions, he helped lead the growth of these organizations, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in new international development projects. 

“I am thrilled to be joining such a fast-growing and dynamic company,” said Mr. Kerr. “I look forward to working with the ECODIT team and its partners to help ECODIT continue to grow, and to advance its work to improve natural resource management, foster clean energy, increase access to water and sanitation, and promote good governance across the developing world.”

ECODIT is an American firm with 25 years of experience working with governments, businesses and local communities to advance environmentally and socially responsible development around the globe. To learn more, visit our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

ECODIT to Support USAID to Expand Energy Access in Niger
01/02/2019
USAID has recently awarded a prime contract to ECODIT to determine the viability of building and operating 69 mini-grids to support energy access for 100 villages in Niger. These efforts aim to achieve 20,700 new mini-grid connections with existing telecom towers, and increase the number of people with access to power in rural areas of Niger, which is one of the least developed countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The project is part of Power Africa, the U.S. Government initiative aimed at supporting economic growth and development by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in Africa. ECODIT is a prime holder of the Power Africa Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract (IDIQ), which allows for the provision of technical assistance and engineering consulting services to implement USAID’s energy activities across the continent.

ECODIT will develop a framework for implementation to support the mini-grid investment by assessing potential energy demand, population size, and distance from the telecom tower for all 69 mini-grid sites. The feasibility study will be conducted over a period of 18 months. This initiative supports Niger’s ambitious goal of reaching universal electricity access by 2035, at a time when a mere 11.2 percent of its population now has access to electricity. To date, Power Africa has helped add more than 28,000 new off-grid connections to the country.  

“ECODIT is proud to partner with USAID to ensure Sub-Saharan Africa meets its critical energy needs, said President Joseph Karam. “ECODIT is a recognized leader in supporting energy programs worldwide, and we look forward to helping Power Africa advance its goal of bringing  electricity access to millions of people.” 

ECODIT is an American firm with 25 years of experience working with governments, businesses, and local communities to advance environmentally-and socially-responsible development around the world. The firm currently implements USAID energy projects worth more than $30 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Caribbean and Central America. ECODIT’s Consortium for the Power Africa IDIQ includes a quality group of energy experts and development partners that bring exceptional capabilities and experience in advancing sustainable development.

ECODIT Sponsors Society for International Development-Washington 2018 Annual Dinner
12/18/2018
On November 29, 2018, thirteen ECODIT team members attended the Society for International Development-Washington’s (SID-W) Annual Dinner, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. ECODIT was a Gold Sponsor of the dinner, which brought together academic institutions, nonprofits, the private sector and international development firms to recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals who are improving lives around the world.
 
This year’s 2018 Annual Dinner honoree was Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF and former Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Director of United States Foreign Assistance. Ms. Fore received SID-W’s award for Leadership in Development for championing public service, health, economic growth, education, and disaster relief for over four decades. The event also paid tribute to the late Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, founder of the Kofi Annan Foundation and co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Annan’s exceptional leadership and life legacy of mobilizing peace and advocating for human rights were commemorated. 

“ECODIT is proud to sponsor SID-W’s Annual Dinner,” said ECODIT President Joseph Karam. “As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are happy to join our colleagues in promoting partnerships and collaboration between key players in the sector, and facilitating the exchange of ideas and best practices to ensure sustainable development worldwide.”

ECODIT is an American firm working with governments, businesses, and local communities to advance environmentally- and socially-responsible development around the world. For 25 years, ECODIT has provided professional services through more than 250 projects/contracts to diverse clients in more than 50 countries. The firm is an institutional member of SID-W.

ECODIT Hosts Gala Celebrating 25 Years of Partnerships for Sustainable Development
11/9/2018
On November 9, ECODIT celebrated 25 years of working with governments, businesses, and local communities to advance environmentally- and socially-responsible development around the world with a gala held at American University’s Constitution Hall. ECODIT staff and development partners attended the event, at which they recounted key milestones from ECODIT’s history and celebrated its success at transforming the lives of vulnerable people globally.

At the event, ECODIT Co-Founder and President Joseph Karam and USAID Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Deputy Director Kimberly Ball delivered remarks underscoring ECODIT’s commitment to sustainable partnerships for development. “You know that [ECODIT is] a wonderful company when you see so many of their peers and sometimes competitors sitting in the audience to come and celebrate their success,” said Ms. Ball at the event. “You’ve done an extraordinary job and we hope to see you continue that.”

To date, ECODIT has conducted more than 250 short-term assignments and implemented a dozen complex long-term multi-million dollar development projects for donors, governments and other development partners, in the water, energy, environment, and governance sectors in more than 50 countries.  These efforts have improved the lives of millions of individuals around the world. 

“We are proud of our legacy of empowering communities, enabling economic growth, and promoting the stewardship of natural resources,” said Mr. Karam. “As ECODIT celebrates 25 years in business, I am confident that our growing team will sustain and amplify ECODIT’s successes and accomplishments over the next 25 years!”

ECODIT is an American international development firm that works around the world to create lasting positive impacts on communities and their environments. Throughout its history, ECODIT has prided itself on its commitment to quality, learning, innovation, and partnership. The firm boasts a seasoned and mostly home-grown leadership and management team, and a talented pool of more than 100 professionals working from its Home Office in Arlington, Virginia and its three project offices in Africa and Central and Southeast Asia.  

To learn more about ECODIT and its legacy, please visit the firm’s website and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

ECODIT Receives Accreditation for Quality Management Systems
11/14/2018
ECODIT is proud to announce that it has received ISO 9001 certification. ISO 9001 is an international standard used by organizations who strive to ensure their products and services meet customers’ requirements and that quality is continually improved.

In order to obtain this certification, ECODIT underwent a comprehensive audit of its human resources, contracts, quality, and project management systems. Companies receiving this certification are verified to have robust procedures that cover all key practices in the business; monitoring structures to ensure these procedures’ effectiveness; strong record-keeping systems; and a continuous quality assurance and improvement program, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. The certification is verified every year and renewed every three years. 

“Since its founding in 1993, ECODIT has prided itself on its commitment to quality, and the ISO 9001 certification is testament to this unwavering commitment,” said Roula Attar, Vice President of Quality, Learning, and Communications. “Our strong quality assurance procedures and standards have enabled us to establish trusted partnerships and to transform millions of lives worldwide. We look forward to continuing to refine and improve our quality management systems as we grow.”

ECODIT is a leading American international development firm with 25 years of experience working with governments, businesses, and local communities to advance environmentally- and socially-responsible development around the world. To learn more, visit www.ecodit.com.  

CASA-1000 Inter - Governmental Council Announces Award of $330 million High Voltage Transmission Facility Contracts
9/21/2018
The CASA-1000 Power Transmission Project countries, through the project’s Inter-Governmental Council (IGC), are pleased to announce the placement of an order of around US$330 million to ABB of Sweden and Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios of Spain to build two high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations in Tajikistan and Pakistan. These converter stations will enable the efficient transmission of renewable hydropower from generation sites in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to consumption centers in Pakistan via Afghanistan through the CASA-1000 electric power transmission system. These contracts are the largest component of the $1.2 billion CASA system. Line routing activities began on three of the eight transmission line corridors that comprise the CASA-1000 system earlier this year.

The CASA-1000 Project will have initial capacity to transmit 1,300 megawatts of electricity through its 800 km - long HVDC transmission line in Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and 500 km of interconnecting High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) transmission lines in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. The overhead lines in CASA-1000 have been designed with capacity to almost double the power transmitted.

The CASA-1000 Project supports a Pakistan government strategy to manage an increasing demand for electricity, and will also allow the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to better utilize their hydropower generation, with Tajikistan ranking eighth in the world for hydropower potential. The two countries have excess supply during the warm summer months, which cannot be utilized locally, while Pakistan has an increasing demand for electricity to support its growing economy. CASA-1000 further demonstrates Afghanistan’s role as an important energy transit country. This new, mutually beneficial transmission infrastructure will help create an economic and political bond between these neighboring countries and represents one of the first substantial economic ties between Central Asia and South Asia.

Signing of the contracts took place under the authority of the CASA IGC in the presence of Energy Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other representatives of the National Transmission Companies of the four CASA countries, as well as representatives of the International Financial Institutions providing the project’s financing.

Financing is being provided by a consortium of international organizations, including the World Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, USAID, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and UK Department for International Development. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has advised the CASA countries and supported the IGC in structuring and competitively tendering the HVDC converter station tender package.  The CASA Secretariat is provided by ECODIT through the USAID Central Asia Energy Links project.

For this project, ECODIT is working to help increase intra- and inter-regional energy trade, improve legal and regulatory frameworks and investment climate, improve corporate governance, operations, and commercialization of energy companies, and increase energy efficiency across countries in Central Asia, in order to move countries in the region toward an integrated, competitive regional energy market.  One of the project’s key components is providing a fully-staffed, high-performing CASA-1000 Secretariat, facilitating the drafting and execution of necessary documents for the planning, construction, and implementation of a new CASA-1000 electricity transmission system. 

CASA-1000 aims to facilitate electricity trade between the countries of Central Asia and South Asia by putting in place the commercial and institutional arrangements and the transmission infrastructure required for this trade. The four countries participating in the project are Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Water CKM Holds Webinar on Rural Water Infrastructure
8/28/2018
On August 23, 2018, the USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management (CKM) Project hosted a webinar on “Preventative Maintenance Models for Sustainable Rural Water Service.” The webinar was led by the USAID Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Systems Learning Partnership (SWS), which seeks to improve the sustainability of WASH services in rural areas and underserved communities through a systems-based approach that involves employing research and increasing understanding of local systems to overcome challenges to existing WASH infrastructure and services. 

Nearly 90 international development practitioners, water experts, and researchers participated in the webinar. Ella Lazarte, Senior Water and Sanitation Advisor at USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment’s (E3) Water Office, moderated the webinar, which featured presentations by Duncan McNicholl, General Manager of Whave Solutions Ltd., and Rob Hope, Associate Professor at the School of Geography and the Environment and Director of the Water Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. 

Recent studies, including USAID post-evaluations conducted by the Water CKM Project, have shown that investments in WASH programming often have not led to long-term sustained improvements. The webinar shed light on the importance of using preventative maintenance approaches to improve the sustainability of USAID WASH interventions. The webinar also highlighted recent learnings from preventative maintenance models used in Uganda and Kenya, which can inform future USAID WASH planning and investments. For example, Whave Solutions, a Ugandan non-profit social enterprise, provides local maintenance services in partnership with the Government of Uganda and local communities. Whave Solutions works to provide a financially sustainable water service system in rural communities and also leverages local partnerships to improve the reliability of rural water access in Uganda. 

The USAID Water CKM Project organized the webinar to boost information sharing on water sector programs. The project is implemented by ECODIT and supports the USAID/E3 Water Office and its partners to increase water sector program knowledge sharing and data collection, both internally and externally. The Water CKM Project regularly conducts research, analysis, and collaborative learning events to improve the sustainability of WASH programming. 

ECODIT is a trusted USAID partner with 25 years of experience working with governments, businesses, and local communities to advance environmentally- and socially-responsible development around the world. More information is available at www.ecodit.com. (Photo credit: Whave Solutions Ltd.)

USAID Awards ECODIT STARR II IDIQ
7/20/2018
USAID has awarded a prime contract to ECODIT for the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.  The STARR II IDIQ allows for the provision of technical assistance to USAID’s Office of Land and Urban (LU) in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3). These services will support LU to improve land and resource governance and strengthen property rights for all members of society, especially women.

The STARR II IDIQ has a five-year ordering period and an aggregate maximum value of $650 million, shared among a total of four large business and three small business awardees, one of which is ECODIT. Projects under the contract will take place worldwide and focus on the following four technical areas: (1) Securing Resource Rights and Improving Resource Governance; (2) Evidence and Learning; (3) Training; and (4) Knowledge Management and Communications.

“Strong and secure land and resource governance is a necessary precondition of inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” said ECODIT President Joseph Karam. “These issues are at the heart of our work and we are excited to be collaborating with the LU Office to achieve development objectives worldwide.” 

ECODIT is a trusted USAID partner with 25 years of experience working with governments, businesses, and local communities to advance environmentally- and socially-responsible development around the world. With this new award, ECODIT now holds seven prime IDIQ contracts with USAID in the energy, water, environment and governance sectors. 

Water CKM Project Hosts Webinar on the Sustainability of Water Projects in Indonesia
6/27/2018
On June 27, 2018, the USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management (CKM) Project, implemented by ECODIT, and USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment’s (E3) Water Office hosted a webinar entitled “Sustaining Urban Water Utility Services: A Look Back at USAID’s Indonesia Environmental Services Program (ESP) Activity.” 

The webinar featured a presentation by Leslie Green Hodel, Senior Technical Specialist at Social Impact and Senior Advisor for the Water CKM Project, on findings from an ex-post evaluation of ESP, implemented from 2004 to 2010. ESP partnered with the Government of Indonesia, NGOs, the private sector, and other stakeholders to increase access to clean water and strengthen the responsible management of water resources in Indonesia. The ESP evaluation is the second in a series of six independent evaluations of closed USAID-funded water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities, conducted by the Water CKM Project. The series of evaluations will help inform future development programming, sustainable project design, and implementation.

The webinar discussed the evaluation’s findings regarding the sustainability of the water utility capacity building, microcredit, and financial stability initiatives supported by ESP in eight former intervention areas. The evaluation used a mixed-methods design, integrating qualitative interviews and quantitative data collection and analysis to assess which interventions were maintained since 2010.  Seven years after the close of ESP, findings show water utility access progressed in most areas, however, financial and microcredit outcomes were generally mixed. The findings also reveal that financing local water utilities remains a challenge. 

Webinar attendees, who consisted of USAID staff and other water and development practitioners, found the evaluation and associated webinar helpful for informing and boosting the sustainability of future programming. "The completed webinar marked an end to a very good process of ex-post ESP evaluation,” said USAID/Indonesia Senior WASH Program Specialist Trigeany Linggoatmodjo. “USAID/Indonesia is learning from ESP to design and implement follow-on WASH projects in urban areas in Indonesia. We are hopeful that the results from this evaluation will be useful for colleagues at USAID and other development partners to design and implement more sustainable WASH activities.”

ECODIT has implemented the USAID Water CKM Project since 2015. The five-year project supports USAID’s E3 Water Office to enhance data collection and information sharing on water-related programs. The project works to increase awareness of USAID water programs and strengthen research and analysis to improve development interventions and outcomes. (Photo Credit: USAID ESP Project)
 

ECODIT Sponsors Annual Society for International Development-Washington Conference
5/31/2018
On May 31, 2018, nine ECODIT team members attended the annual Society for International Development-Washington (SID-W) conference in Washington, D.C. ECODIT was a Silver Sponsor of the conference, which brought together top development practitioners from the government, nonprofit, and private sectors to network, learn from each other, and exchange ideas.

The theme of the conference was “The Future of Development in a Rapidly Changing World.” ECODIT staff attended all panel sessions, which focused on such topics as private sector models of development, harnessing technological innovation to foster development, and requirements of the future international development workforce. Speakers included senior government officials, academics, and private sector leaders. In addition to attending the panel sessions, ECODIT was present at the Exhibition Hall where staff engaged with conference attendees about the firm’s work to improve management and use of water, energy, and environmental resources worldwide.

“ECODIT is committed to continuous learning,” said ECODIT Vice President of Quality, Learning, and Communications Roula Attar. “We are proud to sponsor the SID-W conference, and greatly value this opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices with colleagues throughout the development sector.” 

ECODIT is a leading firm in the sector with 25 years of experience working with governments, businesses, and local communities to advance environmentally- and socially-responsible development around the world. The firm is an institutional member of SID-W. 

ECODIT to Serve as Core Partner for the USAID CEL Project
5/23/2018
On May 23, 2018, USAID awarded the five-year Communications, Evidence, and Learning (CEL) Project to a consortium led by Training Resources Group, Inc. (TRG). ECODIT is a core member of this consortium, which also includes the Urban Institute, Landesa, Forum One, and NORC at the University of Chicago. 

The new CEL Project supports the USAID Office of Land and Urban (LU) to create, expand, and disseminate evidence-based knowledge in land tenure, property rights, and resource governance, as well as in urban development, urban-based programming, and sustainable cities. It will do so through such activities as impact and project evaluations, scientific research, assessments, pilots of new technologies, and communications, outreach, and knowledge management. Project outputs will inform USAID program design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, policy discussions and decisions, and help to optimize resources to advance USAID's core development objectives.

“ECODIT is proud to be a part of the outstanding TRG-led CEL Project consortium,” said ECODIT Director of Governance Steve Anlian. “We are looking forward to contributing our expertise in urban issues, land governance, evaluations and assessments, and communications and knowledge management to help USAID foster sustainable development in rural and urban areas.”

ECODIT is a trusted USAID partner with 25 years of experience working with governments, businesses, and local communities to advance environmentally- and socially-responsible development around the world. ECODIT is currently implementing the USAID Support of the Urban Policy (SOUP) Project, which provides training, research and analysis, and communications and knowledge management support on urban issues to USAID. The CEL Project will expand on work conducted under the SOUP Project to date.

ECODIT Wins USAID Power Africa IDIQ Award
2/16/2018
USAID has awarded a prime contract to ECODIT for the Power Africa IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract).  The Power Africa IDIQ allows for the provision of technical assistance and engineering consulting services to implement USAID’s activities in support of Power Africa, the U.S. Government initiative focused on increasing access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa. The IDIQ will facilitate the achievement of Power Africa’s targets of increasing installed power capacity by 30,000 megawatts and creating 60 million new electricity connections, to double electricity access in the region.

The Power Africa IDIQ has a five-year ordering period and an aggregate maximum value of $900 million, shared among a total of four large business awardees and five small businesses (including ECODIT). Projects under the contract will take place throughout sub-Saharan Africa and focus on the following 14 service areas: 1. Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Transactions; 2. Finance; 3. Legal; 4. Engineering; 5. Planning; 6. Electric Utility Reform and Restructuring; 7. Electricity Access; 8. International Power Exchange and Power Trading; 9. Demand-Side Management and Energy Efficiency; 10. Cleaner Energy Technologies; 11. Gas; 12. Governance; 13. Legal and Regulatory Framework; and 14. Coordination and Cooperation.

“We could not be more thrilled to have the opportunity to support the U.S. Government in its crucial work to electrify Africa,” said ECODIT President Joseph Karam. “ECODIT is proud to be a trusted USAID partner, and excited to deepen this partnership through capacity building, innovation, and effective technical support to help Power Africa reach its targets and accelerate growth and development.”

ECODIT has a proven record supporting USAID’s energy programs worldwide. The firm currently implements USAID energy projects worth more than $40 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Caribbean and Central America. ECODIT’s Consortium for the Power Africa IDIQ includes seven U.S. and regional partners that bring robust and complementary capabilities and experience in the IDIQ’s service areas. 

ECODIT Appoints Dick Edwards as Vice President for Business Development
12/21/2017
ECODIT is pleased to welcome Dick Edwards as its new Vice President for Business Development. Mr. Edwards has more than 30 years of experience in business development and in managing, designing, and implementing major energy and environment programs in more than 25 countries. In his new role, Mr. Edwards will lead ECODIT’s business development efforts and provide strategic input and guidance to inform ECODIT’s growth and enhance organizational development and management.
Mr. Edwards previously served as a USAID Foreign Service Officer. In this capacity, he held a number of positions in which he managed complex programs, cultivated relationships with local partners, and oversaw multicultural teams. He has served as Director of the Office of Energy at USAID/India, Director of the Offices of Environment and Education at USAID/Egypt, and the Director of the Office of Economic Growth and Tsunami Reconstruction at USAID/Sri Lanka. From 2015-2017, he served as Director of USAID’s Regional Pacific Islands Office.
Mr. Edwards first encountered ECODIT in 1996, when he was the Environment Officer at USAID/Morocco, where ECODIT was implementing the USAID Water Resources Sustainability Activity. “I was impressed at how ECODIT embraced innovation and worked with Moroccans to develop cutting-edge, locally appropriate water and sanitation solutions,” he said.
In addition to his work at USAID, Mr. Edwards previously served as Vice President responsible for business development, strategy, and clean energy at Nexant, Inc. He has also worked with the World Wildlife Fund, the Peace Corps, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
 “Over the years, ECODIT has cemented its reputation as one of the most forward-thinking purveyors of development solutions in the world, and I could not be happier to join the team,” said Mr. Edwards. “I look forward to helping ECODIT build on its success, expand its reach, and create an even greater global impact,” he said. 

Vietnam Opens Country’s First Elephant Reserve
9/7/2017
Vietnam has a new nature reserve, created to protect the few remaining Asian elephants in Vietnam. These “gentle giants” face the threat of extinction, and have become so rare that few Vietnamese have ever seen them. Fortunately, seven elephants were recently found in Quang Nam Province, and in September the province’s Forest Protection Department opened Vietnam’s first elephant reserve to protect them, with support from the USAID Green Annamites Project, which is implemented by ECODIT. 

The USAID Green Annamites Project helped organize a celebration on opening day. More than 100 local people from Phuoc Ninh and Que Lam communes in Nong Son district, where the reserve is located, attended the event. Dignitaries in attendance included the Vice Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee (PPC), Mr. Le Tri Thanh, and the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, His Excellency Mr. Ted Osius. 
“Improving the lives of local communities, conserving biodiversity, and supporting provinces to implement sustainable economic growth programs is an important part of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. We are proud to partner with the Quang Nam provincial leadership to provide a critical habitat for the endangered Asian elephant, while finding ways to improve the incomes of local farmers,” said Ambassador Osius at the launch.

During the day-long launch event, the PPC and leaders from USAID/Vietnam and the USAID Green Annamites project led activities to introduce local people to their new elephant neighbors. A mobile tent included a Terrestrial Giant exhibit to educate people about the elephant’s life history. School children joined a painting contest, a “magical hat” event, and other games to learn about elephant conservation. 

The elephant reserve advances the larger goals of the USAID Green Annamites project. The project works with local governments, the private sector, and communities in Vietnam’s Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam Provinces to reduce deforestation, increase conservation, and to increase the incomes of vulnerable people, including ethnic minorities, through improved farming practices. The project will work with communities surrounding the nature reserve to engage them in conservation efforts and help them find sustainable ways to boost their incomes. In addition, the project will work with reserve staff to protect the elephants and to educate visitors from throughout the country about the importance of elephant conservation. 

Read more about the USAID Green Annamites Project here.

USAID Water Launches new website
7/26/2017
ECODIT is proud to announce the launch of GlobalWaters.org, USAID’s new knowledge-sharing and collaboration website. The site was created through the USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management (CKM) activity, which is implemented by ECODIT.

Globalwaters.org is a global knowledge resource for USAID staff, implementing partners, and the broader community working in the water sector. Supported by the USAID Water Office, this site is about sharing knowledge and ideas to solve global water and sanitation challenges.

The site offers water and development practitioners a wide array of learning materials, technical resources, project evaluations, and multimedia content covering the depth and breadth of USAID water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs and related topics—water resources management, water for food, cooperation over shared waters, drought, and resilience. The objective is for Globalwaters.org to become a place for development practitioners to help identify and refine better practices, and to inform USAID’s technical direction in areas of information gaps.

USAID Awards First Grant for Clean Energy in the Caribbean and Central America
2/4/2017
USAID awarded the first grant as part of the Clean Energy Finance Facility for the Caribbean and Central America (CEFF-CCA) project to Rekamniar Capital Limited! The grant will support start-up costs to build Eight Rivers Energy Company, a 37-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Jamaica. When it is up and running, the solar farm will connect to the national grid to provide clean energy at a lower cost to Jamaicans all over the island. Learn more about the Clean Energy Finance Facility implemented by ECODIT and how to apply for grants at www.ceff-cca.org.
USAID Releases Water Report
1/28/2017
ECODIT is proud to announce the release of Safeguarding the World's Water for Fiscal Year 2015, USAID’s annual report about its water-related activities and accomplishments. ECODIT produced the report for the Agency through the USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project.
Safeguarding the World's Water for FY 2015 describes a wide range of programs consistent with USAID's Water and Development Strategy’s focus on maintaining human health and growing food through water. It is organized by region and shares Fiscal Year 2015 achievements and investments as well as illustrative examples of country-specific programs related to these key issues and other Agency priorities.
The Agency invested more than $499,995,179 towards water-related programming in 54 countries in FY 2015. These programming investments were driven by two strategic objectives defined by USAID’s Water and Development Strategy (2013-2018). Those objectives are first, to improve health outcomes through the provision of sustainable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and second, to manage water for agriculture sustainably and more productively to enhance food security.

USAID Energy Links Builds Standards for the Energy Sector in the Kyrgyz Republic
11/1/2016
On November 1, 2016 Energy Links team participated in the meeting of the Science and Technical Commission of Intergovernmental Council on Metrology, Standardization and Certification and presented the Energy Links achievements in introduction of the IEC standards in the Kyrgyz Republic. To increase energy security for the region, ECODIT currently implements the USAID/Central Asia Energy Links Project, which addresses key challenges facing the energy sector. The Kyrgyz participants recommended adoption of international data exchange standards in energy sector by other countries in Central Asia region to simplify the data exchange between the energy systems and to support regional cooperation. 

In total, 40 representatives from respective agencies from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Belorussia, Moldova, and Russia, participated at this regional meeting. Energy Links (EL) team facilitated the session’s discussion on adoption of international data exchange standards by countries-members of the CIS Intergovernmental Council on Metrology, Standardization and Certification. EL representative described the process of acceptance of international data exchange standards in Kyrgyz Republic energy sector and outlined achieved results. Kyrgyzstandart and JSC Severelectro made presentations on their roles in this process. JSC NEHC and JSC Severelectro representatives described the importance and practical benefits of adoption of data exchange standards. The introduction was followed by more than an hour-long discussion with active participation of all delegations which demonstrated the strong interest from the parties for the subject. As the result of discussion, the meeting attendees committed to conduct consultations in their countries and reflected their intentions in the meeting minutes. National standardization agencies agreed to do the following:
Inform Ministries and companies of all stakeholders in their respective countries about success in implementation of international data exchange standards adopted in Kyrgyz Republic
Conduct a survey in their countries on the interest to implementation of international data exchange standards adopted in Kyrgyz Republic
Notify Kyrgyzstandard by February 2017 on the activities related to the standardization of data exchange processes in their countries and the interest to the adoption of the standards implemented in KR as intergovernmental standards.
Preliminary feedback from the national standardization agencies inspires on positive acceptance of the IEC standards in their respective countries and lays hope for adoption of these standards as CIS interstate standards.