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  1. 1. Making a Difference BCG’s Partnerships and Projects for Social Impact
  2. 2. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global manage- ment consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our customized approach combines deep in- sight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable compet- itive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 66 offices in 38 countries. For more infor- mation, please visit
  3. 3. Making a Difference BCG’s Partnerships and Projects for Social Impact December 2008
  4. 4. © The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. 2008. All rights reserved. For information or permission to reprint, please contact BCG at: E-mail: Fax: +1 617 850 3901, attention BCG/Permissions Mail: BCG/Permissions The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. One Beacon Street Boston, MA 02108 USA
  5. 5. Contents Personal Reflections on BCG’s Social Impact Work: A Message from the CEO 5 Shaping the Future—Together 6 BCG’s Approach to Achieving Social Impact 6 The Social Impact Practice Network 8 How to Get Involved 8 The Goals and Content of This Report 11 PART I: PARTNERING FOR SOCIAL IMPACT 13 Partnering Globally 15 Fighting Global Hunger 15 Advancing Children’s Well-Being 19 Improving Global Health 23 Partnering Locally 26 The Environment 26 The City of Chicago: Moving Toward a Greener Metropolis 26 Poverty and Hunger 28 Feeding America: Tackling Hunger in the United States 28 Public Health 30 DKMS: Aligning Patients and Donors in the Fight Against Leukemia 30 Education 32 U.S. Public Education: Transforming the Learning Experience 32 Instituto Ayrton Senna: Creating Opportunity in Brazil Through Education 35 Community and Economic Development 37 Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship: Enabling the Enablers 37 Arts and Culture 39 The Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation: Building a Showcase for Chinese Contemporary Art 39 PART II: SHARING VIEWPOINTS 43 Tackling Malaria 45 Measuring Social Impact: Challenging but Critical 47 M  D 
  6. 6. PART III: PROFILING BCG’S WORK FOR SOCIAL IMPACT 53 The Environment 55 Poverty and Hunger 57 Public Health 64 Education 70 Community and Economic Development 80 Arts and Culture 87 BCG Contributors 90 Index of Organizations 94 For More Information 96  T B C G
  7. 7. Personal Reflections on BCG’s Social Impact Work A Message from the CEO The Boston Consulting Group has met with much success this year, despite a chal- lenging economic environment. We have expanded our consulting ranks, fostered deeper relationships with clients, and achieved revenue growth at rates that well exceed those of our competitors. But commercial success has never been BCG’s only goal. When our founder, Bruce Henderson, launched our firm more than 40 years ago, his ambition was to have a positive and lasting impact on society; indeed, he wanted to change the world. That aspiration remains strong in BCG today and is amply demonstrated in this report on our social impact activities. BCG clearly continues to make a genuine difference, both globally and on a local level. Today we are helping our partner organizations—which are addressing a wide array of critical challenges, such as hunger, infectious diseases, and illiteracy—be- come more effective, more efficient, and ultimately more capable of achieving their missions. It is gratifying to see the progress these organizations are making, and it is a privilege for BCG to play an active role in helping them achieve it. I thank these organizations for their trust and partnership. I also extend my thanks to the many BCG colleagues who have contributed to these efforts. Their passion, vision, and commitment to achieving real results are exciting and convey real hope. Their dedication is so important to our aspiration of helping to shape the future—together. I hope you enjoy reading this report and find it as compelling as I have. If you would like to learn more about the organizations we support or about BCG’s social impact work in general, including the establishment of our Social Impact Practice Network, please contact us at Hans-Paul Bürkner President and CEO M  D 
  8. 8. Shaping the Future— Together D espite rapid global economic develop- live. And we do so working together as a firm, because we ment, the world still faces a multitude of are convinced that we can achieve far more working col- challenges. Approximately 2.6 billion peo- lectively than any one of us could individually. ple, or 40 percent of the world’s popula- tion, exist on less than $2 a day, with We believe that the best way to achieve our objective is roughly 1 billion of them living on less than $1 a day. An by partnering with selected organizations in the social estimated 850 million people—more than the combined impact realm and, by applying our core consulting skills, populations of the United States, Canada, and the Euro- helping those organizations operate more effectively. We pean Union—live in “food insecure” households; that is, approach these relationships in precisely the same man- they do not get enough food to lead healthy, active lives. ner that we do our relationships with corporate clients: Meanwhile, diseases of the developing world continue to we collaborate closely with our partners to develop in- exact a terrible toll: malaria, for example, is estimated to novative ideas and approaches. And we are increasingly kill one African child every 30 seconds. focused on tracking our efforts to ensure that we are in- deed generating significant impact. (See Part II for some The challenges are not confined to developing countries. thoughts on measuring social impact.) Hunger, poverty, and a variety of other afflictions exist in many of the world’s wealthiest countries as well. In the We find that this approach not only maximizes our po- United States, for example, tential contribution, it also an estimated 35 million peo- challenges us intellectually ple, including about 12 mil- and helps us develop profes- lion children, live in food-in- sionally. Further, such part- secure households. nering fulfills us personally, as is evidenced by the large BCG’s involvement in the so- number of BCG staff—470 cial impact sphere is moti- employees, or approximately vated by such unacceptable 11 percent of our consulting truths. staff worldwide—who par- ticipated in our social impact BCG’s Approach projects over the past year. to Achieving And these numbers do not Social Impact include the employees who participate in the range of Through our social impact volunteer work discussed work, we strive to make a below in “Undertaking Ad- tangible and lasting contribu- ditional Social Impact Ac- tion to the world in which we A BCGer “on the ground” in western Africa. tivities.”  T B C G
  9. 9. The approach also strengthens us as a professional firm people. To pursue these objectives, we have formed long- by helping us attract and retain the best talent. And we term relationships with a small number of leading organ- can engage with some of our corporate clients and soci- izations in their respective fields: the World Food Pro- etal leaders on another level—in the common pursuit of gramme, Save the Children, and the Bill & Melinda Gates serving the needs of society. Foundation, as well as several other organizations in the global health arena. Our social impact work spans six topic areas: the environ- ment, poverty and hunger, public health, education, com- Our local activities address a broad range of challenges munity and economic development, and arts and culture. facing the communities in which we live and do business. (See Exhibit 1.) We view these areas as reflecting a hier- Each BCG office determines the type of work it engages archy of needs, ranging from the most basic, broadly in. Recent examples of local social impact work include shared, immediate needs—that is, a sustainable environ- improving the supply chain of a network of food banks in ment and sufficient food—to the more social and experi- the United States; helping a national cancer society in ential needs of arts and culture. We engage in efforts that Denmark develop a fundraising strategy; working with a span these areas by working in partnerships with dedi- nonprofit to expand educational opportunities for Bra- cated social-sector organizations, through our philan- zil’s youth; and helping to launch a modern art museum thropic work with foundations, and through our corpo- in China. rate social responsibility (CSR) work with corporations. (We have not included descriptions of our CSR work in This report provides many examples of our global and this report, for confidentiality reasons.) In 2007, BCG com- local work. pleted approximately 140 assignments across these areas, working with more than 80 organizations around the Undertaking Additional Social Impact Activities. Al- world. though we engage in the social impact sphere primarily through our project work, BCG also contributes in many Partnering Globally and Locally. BCG engages in social other ways, including our volunteer efforts and board ser- impact initiatives on both global and local levels. Our vice with nonprofit organizations, community service, global efforts are guided by the United Nations Millen- charitable giving, and fundraising. Our Amsterdam and nium Development Goals, which establish specific targets Tokyo offices, for example, support the World Food Pro- for 2015 in the areas of combating poverty, disease, illit- gramme’s annual Walk the World event, a five-kilometer eracy, and other challenges facing the world’s poorest symbolic walk for the benefit of the organization’s school- Exhibit 1. BCG’s Social Impact Work Covers a Spectrum of Human Needs Arts and culture Community and economic development sm Co rp eri Education ora nte te olu soci dv Public health al r an esp opy on thr Poverty and hunger sib ilan ilit Ph y The environment Source: BCG’s Social Impact Practice Network. Members of BCG’s Amsterdam office support the World Food Programme’s Walk the World campaign. M  D 
  10. 10. feeding projects. Our Toronto office closes one day each tackling environmental issues, drawing together expertise year to support the Fred Victor Centre, an organization and experience from our offices around the globe. By le- that helps the homeless, by serving food and conducting veraging best practices, promoting knowledge sharing, job interview workshops. Our Madrid office supports an and building a global support network, we aim to acceler- annual Special Olympics event for mentally handicapped ate and maximize the effectiveness of our firmwide envi- people. Our New York office participates in a mentoring ronmental efforts. program for local high-school students, coaching them on everything from academics to the challenges of everyday These examples represent a small sample of the types of life. And in Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Sin- additional social impact activities in which BCG engages. gapore, approximately 250 BCGers each year support Most BCG offices are involved in a range of initiatives. business@school, an educational program launched by BCG partners, by volunteering as “school coaches” for ten The Social Impact Practice Network months. Beyond these examples, there are many more local activities taking place in our offices around the At BCG, we aim to be as effective and professional in world. our social impact work as we are in our commercial work. To facilitate this goal, we have launched the Social Impact Reflecting the growing importance of environmental is- Practice Network (SIPN) to organize and coordinate our sues, many BCG offices have also launched “BCG Green” social impact activities. The network has been designed initiatives, which focus on reducing the consumption of to be an integral part of BCG, allowing us to draw from natural resources and the production of waste, increasing our mainstream commercial know-how while simultane- recycling, and minimizing travel. Some examples: Within ously extending our expertise in the social impact sector. nine months of launching its BCG Green campaign, BCG’s London office reduced its paper consumption by nearly The SIPN functions on several levels. A small global team 50 percent and increased employee usage of the Eurostar coordinates and seeks to advance the social impact prac- train by 75 percent. Our Toronto office has reduced bot- tice. Then, in each BCG office, social impact nodes coor- tled-water consumption significantly by distributing reus- dinate our activities and serve as a gateway for participa- able bottles to staff, cutting consumption by 75 percent tion and communication about our efforts. Also, a during the first four weeks; it has also planted trees to number of topic interest groups and topic experts work offset some of the office’s carbon emissions. Our San to advance our knowledge and abilities across the topic Francisco office uses energy-efficient lighting and areas in which BCG is active. (See Exhibit 2.) employs a number of other innovative energy-saving How to Get Involved measures, including motion- activated hallway lights and BCG employees who wish automatic shutoff for light- to participate in our social ing, air conditioning, and impact work have several heating systems when the of- ways to do so. (See Exhibit fice is not in use. And our 3.) Project work is the prima- Chicago and Boston offices ry avenue for engaging in have both received the U.S. this work. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental Our staffing process for so- Design (LEED) certification, cial impact work operates in signifying that they meet or the same manner as our exceed the council’s highest staffing process for corporate environmental standards. work. A global staffing team seeks to ensure an equal dis- BCG is also currently devel- tribution of opportunities oping a unified approach for BCGers work with local schoolchildren in Singapore. across all office systems.  T B C G
  11. 11. Exhibit 2. BCG’s Social Impact Practice Network Coordinates Activities Around the World Topic Topic Topic expert expert expert Overall objectives ◊ Manage and coordinate our social Office A Local impact activities node ◊ Advance know-how and build our expertise in the social impact domain Region Office B Social Impact Local Practice Network node ◊ Increase and manage the participation of interested staff Local ◊ Improve internal communication Office C node and awareness of our social impact work Topic areas Source: BCG’s Social Impact Practice Network. Beyond project work, BCG offers several unique opportu- Exhibit 3. BCG Employees Can Participate nities for those seeking dedicated, longer commitments. in a Number of Ways Social impact secondments allow selected employees to work full-time with one of our global partners in social impact for six months to a year while remaining BCG employees. Positions vary depending on the needs of our client organizations. Recent secondments have included Social impact project work a position working as an international change manager for Save the Children’s Unified Presence initiative, and positions working as country coordinators in Mauritania and Laos for a UN-led partnership called REACH—End- Supplemental programs ing Child Hunger and Undernutrition. Secondment Social impact BCG also offers a social impact leave of absence, which al- program leave of absence lows employees to dedicate themselves to the social im- ◊ Work with one of pact work of their choice for up to 12 months. Recent ◊ Work with an organiza- BCG’s global tion of your own choice participants have worked in Latin America with Endeav- partners in social impact ◊ Duration of up to 12 or, an organization that seeks to transform the economies months of emerging markets by identifying and supporting “high- ◊ Duration of 6 to 12 months impact entrepreneurs,” and with the Center for Civil and Human Rights Partnership, which is advancing the devel- opment of a planned U.S. center for civil and human Volunteering and local programs rights in Atlanta. (For firsthand perspectives on BCG’s social impact secondments and leaves of absence, see the sidebars “Supporting Save the Children on Secondment” Source: BCG’s Social Impact Practice Network. and “Taking a Leave of Absence to Support Entrepre- neurs in Latin America.”) M  D 
  12. 12. Supporting Save the Children on Secondment Olfert de Wit, a project leader in BCG’s The work itself is exhilarating and draws on a range of Amsterdam office, is on a 12-month skills—strategic, organizational, and interpersonal. I’m secondment with Save the Children, charged with bringing together a number of separate or- working as international change man- ganizations and helping them function as one; so far, I’ve ager for the organization’s Unified led unification efforts in Nicaragua, Colombia, and Viet- Presence initiative. He discusses the nam. The work is effectively a postmerger integration work, its satisfactions, and what moti- project, with all of its many facets, but it’s conducted on a vated him to pursue it. different scale and in an arena where results are meas- ured not in profitability but in lives touched. Working with Save the Children through BCG’s second- ment program has been an extraordinary experience. It’s been highly gratifying to see the difference we can I had been looking to broaden my professional horizons make. I’ve also found it enlightening to see how the skills with a different type of challenge and simultaneously we develop as consultants transfer to the nonprofit realm. engage in something targeting the greater good. This We really are bringing something special and valued to program has more than satisfied both objectives. Also, the table, regardless of where we apply it. being able to pursue these goals in a concentrated way and for an extended period is a very special and unique opportunity. I can really devote myself wholeheartedly to the task, and I will have the chance to see and experi- ence, firsthand, the fruits of my efforts. I’m very grateful to BCG. Taking a Leave of Absence to Support Entrepreneurs in Latin America Sylvain Franc de Ferriere is a consultant companies in mature economies, I’m helping entrepre- in BCG’s Paris office. He recently took a neurs launch and develop businesses in a much less sta- social impact leave of absence to spend ble environment. This focus draws on my existing skills a year working with Endeavor, an or- and knowledge base—and is broadening them as well, ganization that supports entrepreneurs particularly on the operational side. I’m oen called on in developing economies. for guidance on such decisions as whether to accept a par- ticular new client, whether to move a plant to a new site, As I write this, I’ve been working and whom to hire. The work is also very satisfying person- with Endeavor in Buenos Aires for six months. During that ally, since I feel I’m having a direct impact on an entrepre- time, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some very chal- neur’s business and, in the process, helping the develop- lenging cases in a range of sectors. In my first case, I ment of a country. I also really enjoy building close helped a medical-equipment manufacturer define its relationships with the management and founders of these strategic direction and, specifically, develop an entry strat- organizations. egy into the U.S. market. I also helped the organization secure $3 million in venture capital funding. In subse- I strongly recommend this experience to my fellow BCGers quent projects, I helped an Argentinean fashion designer for all the reasons I’ve noted above. Last but not least, it’s optimize its operations and redefine its strategic position- a great opportunity to spend time in some very vibrant ing, and I helped a soware company develop its interna- countries. tional growth strategy. I’ll be going to Chile in the next few months to support entrepreneurs there. This work has been rewarding on several levels. It’s ex- tended me professionally: rather than working with large  T B C G
  13. 13. Volunteering and local programs present still another way Part III provides concise summaries of many of the social to get involved in social impact efforts. Many BCG offices impact projects that BCG engaged in from September have developed rich volunteer programs and offer other 2006 through December 2007. For reasons of client confi- locally relevant activities for interested staff. dentiality, we have not included summaries of all of the projects. We have grouped organizations by topic area The Goals and Content of This Report and listed them alphabetically, and we have specified the country or region targeted by each initiative. Organiza- Our objective in preparing this report is to provide a de- tions such as Save the Children, which span several topic tailed overview of our social impact efforts for our staff, areas, are listed in the one that we believe best captures those interested in joining BCG, and others interested in their overall mission. BCG’s activities. To facilitate an understanding of our work, we have included a broad range of materials and The report concludes with a list of all the BCG employees perspectives. who devoted time and effort to social impact projects during the selected period. We extend our thanks to them Part I provides an overview of our global efforts and high- for their contributions. lights some of the major global organizations we support. It also offers a representative sampling of our local work and highlights a cross-section of our local partners. B CG is committed to doing its part to make the Part II presents a closer, more detailed look at the intrica- world a better place, and we actively seek ways to cies of working in the social impact sphere. First, it increase our impact. If you have suggestions for features an interview with one of BCG’s social impact how we can accomplish this—or comments or questions clients, Regina Rabinovich, director of infectious diseases about the organizations or work described in this re- development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. port—please contact us at Second, it highlights insights from a BCG project team that has tackled the challenge of measuring social impact. M  D 
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  15. 15. PART I Partnering for Social Impact M  D 
  16. 16.  T B C G
  17. 17. Partnering Globally B CG’s global efforts, as noted, are guided by profound, ranging from stunted mental and physical de- the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, velopment among the very young to heightened vulner- which establish specific targets to be met by ability to disease and a dramatically shortened life span 2015 in combating poverty, disease, illitera- among adults. Indeed, The World Bank Group considers cy, and other challenges facing the world’s malnutrition to be the world’s most serious health prob- poorest people. Given this framework, our global work lem and the single biggest contributor to child mortality, focuses on the developing world and emphasizes three with roughly 3.5 million hungry children dying before the broad efforts: fighting poverty and hunger, advancing age of five each year. children’s well-being, and improving global health. These are long-term challenges by definition, requiring, we be- The World Food Programme (WFP) is one of the world’s lieve, long-term relationships with a few key players with largest humanitarian organizations and the UN’s front- which we have chosen to partner: the World Food Pro- line agency in its fight against hunger. Launched in 1962, gramme, Save the Children, the Bill & Melinda Gates WFP works in partnership with governments, nongovern- Foundation, and several other organizations in the global mental organizations, and other UN agencies to provide health arena. Organizations of this caliber, standing, and emergency relief and sustainable-development assistance size possess the scale and reach necessary to have a real to those in need. The organization’s reach is expansive: and lasting impact on problems of great magnitude, and WFP has operations in more than 80 countries, and it we feel privileged to have distributes food each year the opportunity to partner to nearly 90 million peo- with them. ple, two-thirds of whom are children. The following are detailed descriptions of a number of Increasing WFP’s effective- our recent efforts with these ness by even a small percent- organizations. A more com- age results in literally mil- prehensive list of brief sum- lions of additional mouths maries can be found in Part fed. With this goal in mind, III of this report. BCG began its relationship with WFP in 2003. Since that Fighting Global time, we have supported the Hunger organization in a range of ef- forts that encompass strate- Today, more than 850 mil- gy, governance, organization lion people—roughly one in design, and operational effi- eight—are undernourished. ciency. We have, for example, The World Food Programme brings food—and hope—to millions of children The effects of hunger are each year. helped WFP develop a new M  D 
  18. 18. business model that significantly improves the organiza- tem accounted for a significant part of the problem. The tion’s ability to transform donated cash into food in the team also determined that all of the accounting adjust- hands of the hungry. We have also helped it upgrade its ments to hide the pilferage occurred at the “last mile”— supply-chain management and establish better measure- the point at which food is transferred to recipients. ment and forecasting systems; strike an optimal balance between centralized and decentralized local operations; Previous efforts to police the system had attempted to and create a global IT strategy. monitor the entire length of the supply chain—for ex- ample, by tracking delivery trucks using GPS beacons, Although much of our work with WFP has focused on setting up vigilance committees to monitor grain delivery, broad issues that affect the entire organization, several and using electronic weighbridges to automatically record projects have centered on “on the ground” operations truck weights. But these safeguards were all easily by- specific to countries or regions. passed by means of false accounting reconciliation. The team realized that it would be futile to attempt to moni- Improving Food Distribution. One recent example of tor, on an ongoing basis, a system that spanned thousands the second type of work was a project designed to help of miles and included more than 1 million operators. India’s government improve its food-distribution capa- bilities. India’s Public Distribution System (PDS), the Instead, the team determined that the most effective way world’s largest hunger-relief program, provides aid—in to address the problem would be to harness the power of the form of subsidized grain—to 400 million Indians who the system’s 400 million beneficiaries to make it difficult live below the poverty line. The program, which costs the or close to impossible for pilferers to exploit the account- government approximately $7 billion annually to admin- ing system. To achieve this goal, the team recommended ister, suffers from significant inefficiencies. In fact, in 2005 tightening the security of the card system by issuing bio- the Planning Commission of India estimated that a sig- metrics-based identification cards to all beneficiaries. Use nificant portion of the food earmarked for the poor never of these cards would eliminate “ghost” and duplicate us- reached its intended beneficiaries. Previous attempts to ers in the system as well as the possibility of “shadow improve the program had met with little success. ownership” by fair-price shop owners and those seeking to exploit the system. Then, to further strengthen security, BCG and WFP worked with two state governments in In- beneficiaries would be issued vouchers in the form of dia to determine where the problems lay. The program’s bar-coded coupons that they would exchange for grain. supply chain is relatively simple: The government pur- Furthermore, the system’s back-end infrastructure would chases grain from farmers at be modified so that the gov- government- determined ernment credited the owners prices and then stores it in of the fair-price shops on- federal and state warehouses. ly once it had validated From there, the grain is trans- the coupons. Taken togeth- ferred to local warehouses er, these measures would and eventually to roughly significantly change the 500,000 “fair price shops,” balance of power in favor of where qualifying families the genuine beneficiaries, and individuals present their enabling them to monitor ration cards and collect their and effectively control the allotment of grain every system. month. Aer a thorough as- sessment, the team deter- After gaining approval to mined that so-called leakage proceed with the plan from occurred across the supply one of the state governments chain for a variety of reasons, and other related stakehold- and pilferage by those in- India’s Public Distribution System, the world’s largest hunger-relief program, ers, the BCG-WFP team volved in the distribution sys- provides aid to 400 million people. launched a pilot program in  T B C G
  19. 19. Rayagada, a rural district of roughly 1 million people in perts from different thematic areas, identified 11 specific the state of Orissa. The district is one of the poorest, most interventions in the areas of food security, health, and food-insecure regions in the country—and, for that rea- behavioral changes. Examples include the treatment of son, a perfect test case for the recommendations. Imple- severely malnourished children; the distribution of de- mentation, including the collection of biometric data worming tablets, vitamins, and minerals; and the promo- from every citizen across the district’s more than 2,500 tion of breastfeeding. The interventions are scientifically villages, has been a major undertaking on a range of proven, are relatively easy to implement, and typically fronts—raising technical, operational, and policy chal- yield rapid and sustainable results—especially when de- lenges. But the team is driving the process forward and livered in concert. Having identified these interventions, believes that the new system will be up and running at the partners turned their attention to developing a plan the beginning of 2009. to help countries lead, scale up, and implement this mul- tipronged approach through coordinated efforts by the Once the system is operational, the team expects that the various players. right quantities of food will reach the intended beneficia- ries and that the changes will result in substantial savings BCG and REACH focused initially on two countries, Mau- in the food subsidy program, making it possible for the ritania and Niger, in order to better understand the needs government to expand the entitlement, include the eli- and opportunities and to determine how an effective col- gible beneficiaries who are currently excluded, or do laborative process among the various aid entities might both. If the program delivers the intended results, the work in practice. Aer thorough research, the team dis- central government will consider scaling it up and intro- cussed potential approaches with representatives of the ducing it in several states across the country. The im- respective local governments, UN organizations, donor proved governance of the scheme will be as effective as organizations, and key nongovernmental organizations. providing additional resources, and it will help in safe- The team was encouraged to find that strong consensus guarding food-insecure people from rising food prices. existed among stakeholders around the need for greater collaboration. It also discovered that the stakeholders Focusing on Child Hunger and Undernutrition. An- shared a common belief that the initiative could provide other recent example of BCG’s work on the ground with a powerful platform for raising awareness of the so-called WFP is the organization’s REACH—Ending Child Hunger chronic emergency of child hunger and undernutrition and Undernutrition partnership, which was established and for pushing the topic higher on the political agenda jointly by WFP, the World Health Organization, the Food at both the country and global levels. and Agriculture Organiza- tion of the United Nations Through discussions with all (FAO), and Unicef. The initia- the stakeholders, the team tive is an effort to escalate also identified a strong busi- the fight against child hunger ness logic for achieving en- and undernutrition in indi- hanced collaboration by vidual countries. In the proc- identifying the many specific ess, the partners hope to ways in which the organiza- make a significant contribu- tions could collaborate in or- tion to realizing the UN’s der to tap their existing capa- Millennium Development bilities. The team identified goal of halving the number particularly promising op- of underweight children by portunities for reducing one 2015 and ending child hun- of the largest expenses asso- ger within one generation. ciated with health interven- tions: the final delivery of To advance the effort , those interventions to their REACH’s partners, in col- beneficiaries. Because each laboration with health ex- The BCG and World Food Programme team working together in Niger. aid organization usually had M  D 
  20. 20. its own delivery system, it was determined that addition- decided to advance the REACH partnership with two full- al interventions could be delivered through existing chan- fledged one-year pilot programs: one in Mauritania and nels at relatively low incremental cost. When WFP, for one in Laos. BCG continues to support the pilots with two example, distributed emergency food aid through specific secondees, who serve as facilitators of the local partner- feeding centers, it could also hand out chlorine tablets to ships and help drive the coordination process toward con- kill bacteria in household water supplies and advise moth- crete action. ers on feeding their children. Such synergies, which had rarely been acted on, posed huge opportunities. A Rome-based BCG team also supports the efforts and is studying successful operational practices globally to in- The team realized that the true challenge, of course, was form and support the pilot projects and the related ac- formalizing this cooperation and institutionalizing a proc- tivities. Drawing on the experience gained through the ess for coordinating and planning at the country level— pilots, REACH will, as its next step, roll out activities in in a way that involved all the key players. To this end, the additional countries. (For insight into a related effort— team developed various organizational options and spe- one geared toward maximizing the effectiveness of UN cific recommendations for a governance structure, a steer- agencies through more effective teaming—see the side- ing group, lead roles, and a technical task force. In Mauri- bar “One UN: Achieving More Together.”) tania the government has already begun to implement the team’s proposal. As part of that implementation, the The problem of global hunger remains daunting. Indeed, government has formed a new coordination board for WFP calculates that, given current trends, the number of nutrition, which includes all key ministers and is chaired the chronically hungry is growing by 4 million per year. by the prime minister. WFP is committed, however, to doing everything it can to contribute to halting and ultimately reversing that slide. On the basis of the promising country studies led by the We are proud to have the opportunity to play a support- team, the heads of the agencies involved in this effort ing role in that endeavor. (For a perspective from WFP, One UN: Achieving More Together When BCG recently under- to their operations, one that would optimize the collective took an effort with the Unit- ability to deliver aid and improve the lives of the benefi- ed Nations Development ciaries who receive this aid. Operations Coordination Of- fice (DOCO), the concept of BCG helped DOCO develop a comprehensive framework maximizing organizational that would help bring the agencies together as “one UN.” impact by improving the co- The team identified an overarching model for organiza- ordination of efforts was central to the initiative. DOCO is tion design that would facilitate better overall teaming, the umbrella organization that coordinates the activities supplementing it with customized recommendations for of all of the roughly 30 UN development agencies, includ- operations in each country. Putting the model into prac- ing the World Food Programme. tice, the team supported pilot initiatives in eight coun- tries—Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Historically, the individual agencies had functioned as Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay, and Vietnam—paying par- largely independent entities, each with its own brand, ticular attention to measuring impact and managing board of directors, operations, business processes, sourc- change. BCG and DOCO also helped the agencies and es of funding, and accountability. A consensus formed country teams change the funding structure in these among the members that this structure was less than ef- countries. To date, the results achieved by the country ficient on many levels. Mandates oen overlapped, do- teams working together include significant increases in nors had to navigate multiple interfaces and messaging, donor funds—for example, Tanzania saw a 50 percent in- and efforts were oen uncoordinated and duplicated. crease in funding over the previous year—and, simultane- DOCO was commissioned by the heads of these agencies ously, the ability to deliver more development assistance to develop a more unified, cross-organizational approach per dollar received.  T B C G
  21. 21. Partnering with BCG in the Struggle Against Hunger Sarah Laughton joined the World tervention. The effort quickly evolved into finding ways to Food Programme (WFP) in 1997 and work with other organizations in order to develop better is currently a program advisor in the responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis that is devastating interagency partnership of REACH— many communities in southern Africa. In each assign- Ending Child Hunger and Undernutri- ment, I have found it fascinating to get off the plane and tion, in which WFP is participating as step not only into a completely different social and cul- a lead partner. She discusses her expe- tural context but into a new and evolving work context riences with the organization and as well. what it has been like working with BCG. For about the last four years, I have been working on a Ever since I was young, I have had a strong interest in range of initiatives from WFP’s headquarters in Rome. making a meaningful contribution toward improving Currently, I’m a program advisor assigned to the REACH other people’s lives. I have also had an interest in travel- partnership, and it is within this context that I have been ing and experiencing circumstances that would make introduced to BCG. I have found the partnership very ex- me live a bit more intensely. Joining WFP has allowed citing. BCG has great expertise, is very results oriented, me to satisfy all those interests simultaneously and has and also knows what it takes for organizations to change. been quite fulfilling in other ways as well. Its experience in managing change is so interesting. The work has been challenging from the outset. My first BCG’s understanding of processes, in particular—how to three years were spent in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Si- make things happen as efficiently as possible and what erra Leone was in the midst of a civil war when I arrived; needs to be delivered at each stage—has been very valu- Liberia was also in a very transitional state, emerging able to us. The interaction with BCG has also been re- from its own civil war. My work in both countries was warding to me personally, as it has afforded me a chance thus centered on emergency relief and helping commu- to learn a new approach to tackling problems that I can nities recover from the effects of conflict, destruction, apply to my daily work. I have also had a lot of fun work- and displacement. ing with my colleagues from BCG. Next, I was stationed in Nepal for three years, where the I am convinced that we have an opportunity with REACH focus was on development in rural communities, mostly to make a real difference in children’s lives, and I am in the remote hill and mountain areas of the country. looking forward to continuing to work with BCG on this While there, I sometimes had to walk for days to get to very important effort. project sites. Following that assignment, I worked in Swaziland for 15 months, engaged in a drought relief in- see the sidebar “Partnering with BCG in the Struggle Save the Children, the leading global advocate for chil- Against Hunger.”) dren’s rights outside the United Nations, has set itself the bold aim of addressing all these issues simultaneously. Advancing Children’s Well-Being Remarkably, it is succeeding. The world’s disadvantaged children face a wide array of The first Save the Children organization was established challenges. More than 350 million suffer from hunger or in England shortly aer World War I for the purpose of malnutrition, and 5 million die annually as a conse- aiding survivors in war-ravaged Vienna. But Save the quence. Another 5 million children die from preventable Children has evolved from this single, targeted initiative diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. More than 72 into a global entity composed of 27 national member or- million lack access to basic education, with nearly 37 mil- ganizations that reach more than 50 million children in lion of those children living in countries affected by over 120 countries. Save the Children’s network operates armed conflict. Poverty, natural disasters, homelessness, on multiple fronts, including emergency relief and advo- and domestic abuse exact a further toll. cacy. The organization’s recent campaigns hint at the M  D 
  22. 22. scope and scale of its work. It provided shelter, food, clean member organizations, acquired knowledge and exper- water, and medical care to victims of the Indian Ocean tise have oen been significantly underleveraged, putting tsunami, reaching 276,000 children and their families in Save the Children at risk of “reinventing the wheel.” Indonesia alone. It also supplied shelter, food, clean wa- ter, medical care, education, and sanitation services aer Recognizing the need for a solution, several Save the Chil- Cyclone Nargis, reaching more than 500,000 people in dren member organizations, led by Save the Children US Myanmar in just the first few months aer the disaster. and Save the Children UK, enlisted BCG’s help in devel- And the organization has launched a sweeping Rewrite oping a comprehensive knowledge-management strategy, the Future campaign, which seeks to help the millions of one that would align the organization’s capabilities with children who live in conflict-affected areas gain access to its needs. The first phase of the effort focused on fact a quality education. finding and diagnosing the challenge. The team surveyed more than 650 employees of Save the Children working BCG has supported Save the Children for nearly 20 years. in 35 countries, with the dual goal of determining their Most of our work has been with the network’s individual information needs and understanding the existing prac- member organizations, including Save the Children Chi- tices in knowledge management across the organi- na, Save the Children Japan, Save the Children Mexico, zation. Save the Children Norway, and Save the Children Spain. The projects have spanned a diverse mix of topics, from Among the survey’s key findings was a very strong de- fundraising to organization. Three years ago, we formal- mand for access to written content such as documented ized a close partnership with the Save the Children Alli- and proven lessons and best practices. The survey also ance, and since then we have also engaged in broader uncovered an even greater demand among employees for initiatives designed to enhance the effectiveness of the identification of and access to topic experts—individuals entire Save the Children network. Recent examples have within the Save the Children network who had specific included an effort to optimize knowledge management experience in a given field and could share it directly. within the network and a corporate-fundraising strategy. From these findings, the team concluded that three mutu- ally reinforcing tools would be needed: an online staff Optimizing Knowledge Management. Maximizing the directory that identified topic experts; an online “library” return on knowledge management poses a particular that warehoused and facilitated easy access to written challenge for Save the Children because the group’s content; and a telephone-accessible “knowledge naviga- member organizations have operated largely autono- tor” function that could assist Save the Children employ- mously over its history. This ees who worked in the field type of structure, which has and lacked Internet access. evolved over decades of op- eration, has its advantages, With a general plan in place, but they can come at a cost the second phase of the ef- to overall efficiency. In some fort focused on implement- countries, for example, Save ing these initiatives in a spe- the Children might have sev- cific market . The team eral member organizations determined that Bangladesh, conducting operations, each a country in which Save the with its own priorities, office, Children was particularly ac- staff, and system. This can tive, would serve as an ideal sometimes lead to duplicate site for the pilot program— efforts and a failure to maxi- although some country-spe- mize potential synergies. cific fine-tuning would be Knowledge management of- necessary for the platform to fers a case in point: when work optimally. Accordingly, there has been limited shar- the team met with more than ing of information among The BCG team meets with Save the Children staff in Bangladesh. 200 members of the five Save  T B C G
  23. 23. the Children member organizations with operations in mentation of the plan entailed significant cooperation Bangladesh to determine their specific needs and priori- and ownership. ties. In an attempt to gauge best practices, the team also interviewed and studied leading nongovernmental organ- The finished product was a robust, shared knowledge- izations that maintained a presence in the country. management platform. It was well received by the five Drawing on the information they uncovered, the team member organizations, with broad agreement that it was developed a customized approach to knowledge manage- delivering on its key objectives: faster, more effective or- ment that would meet the needs of all stakeholders in ganizational learning that resulted in improved produc- Bangladesh. tivity and resource deployment; and a stronger sense of community and shared purpose among the member or- One specific challenge that the team needed to address ganizations. The program’s success has prompted these was that of Internet access. Much of the country lacked and other member organizations to consider duplicating connectivity, rendering the advantages of online tools the effort in other countries. Toward this end, the team moot for many workers in the field. To mitigate this chal- has followed up on its initial effort by designing a global lenge and supplement the telephone-based tool, the team implementation plan for broader rollout. created versions of the staff directory that could be print- ed on demand and distributed through local offices, and If the program is adopted more widely within the organi- it also found ways for workers in the field to access the zation, as expected, Save the Children will continue to Internet through certain village “hub” locations. Finally, enhance its ability to have an impact on the lives of chil- and critically, the team worked hard to win buy-in from dren in need. (For a perspective on the project, see the leaders of the five member organizations, because imple- sidebar “Supporting Change in Bangladesh.”) Supporting Change in Bangladesh André Véissid, a project leader in also showed me, in very real terms, just how severe the BCG’s New York offi ce, helped drive need for assistance is in certain parts of the world. The the effort to optimize knowledge man- sheer magnitude of the issues Save the Children needs agement in Bangladesh for Save the to address in Bangladesh is overwhelming—from peri- Children. He discusses the project and odic catastrophic storms and resulting flooding to ever- the perspective he gained from it. present poverty. Working directly with the groups ad- dressing these issues firsthand was critical to identifying This was my first experience work- the steps needed both to drive greater impact and to en- ing with a nonprofit organization, and it was quite differ- sure that ownership of our recommended initiatives re- ent from any project work I had previously been involved mained in place long aer our work was completed. with. It was eye opening to discover what the nonprofit world really needs in terms of consulting work—and Finally, working in Bangladesh stretched me intellectu- equally enlightening to see the degree of impact we ally and afforded me opportunities for professional could have almost immediately. The client valued, in growth as well. We had to create innovative solutions to particular, the rigorous analytical framework and disci- some unique and challenging problems, such as the lack pline we brought to the task as well as our ability to bring of Internet access in much of the country and a cultural people together and get them aligned. These areas were resistance to reaching out to colleagues who were not where BCG added the greatest value throughout the known personally. Issues we might take for granted in project and were critical to getting the buy-in and sup- our more standard project work had to be reexamined in port needed to drive success. this situation, constantly challenging us to come up with the right solutions. Working on the ground in Bangladesh was an incredible way to see just how the work we were doing in New York In retrospect, this effort was surely the most rewarding could have a direct, measurable impact on the lives of project I have yet to be involved with. It was an experi- children in villages half a world away. The experience ence I certainly will never forget. M  D 
  24. 24. Developing a Corporate-Fundraising Strategy. In an- thorough understanding of the opportunities. Drawing on other recent broad-based effort, BCG supported Save the all this insight, BCG and Save the Children worked jointly Children in developing a global strategy for corporate to develop a strategic plan, one that articulated both a fundraising. A consensus had formed among the member compelling value proposition for corporations and an ap- organizations that Save the Children as a whole had a proach for delivering on it for potential corporate part- significant opportunity to expand its share of corporate ners. The strategic plan includes goals, values, priorities, funding—but how best to seize that opportunity re- and implementation steps, and it has been endorsed by mained a question. all Save the Children member organizations. The team’s diagnosis of the organization’s practices and A key step among the plan’s recommendations was that the corporate-fundraising landscape in general revealed Save the Children create a global corporate-partnership several things. First, Save the Children had a positive, team that would manage global relationships. This would widely recognized brand. Also, other leading nongovern- allow the organization to pursue partnerships strategi- mental organizations had forged strong relationships cally and from a global perspective, with one central with the corporate sector and, as a result, had driven up point of contact and with consistent branding, messaging, corporate contributions significantly. In addition, many and positioning. A second key recommendation was that companies were actively seeking such partnerships, with Save the Children develop mechanisms (such as shared an emphasis on fewer, deeper relationships. Clearly, databases) to foster collaboration and sharing of best therefore, the larger environment was supportive. practices among member organizations. Other recom- mendations centered on the specifics of resources, staff- At the same time, however, Save the Children faced a ing, and processes. number of challenges. Other nongovernmental organiza- tions had clearer branding and positioning. Many also The program is under way, and early results are positive. had a single, cohesive, global approach to corporate fund- Save the Children expects that the strategy will translate raising and dedicated resources supporting their cam- into a significant boost to corporate contributions and, in paigns. Save the Children’s efforts, in contrast, were large- anticipation, has set a very aggressive five-year target. ly independent, uncoordinated initiatives from its The generation of this new global revenue will allow Save different member organizations. Save the Children had the Children to reach millions more children worldwide. neither an overarching scheme or message nor global re- sponsibility and authority assigned to any single entity. In addition, the effects of scaling up the fundraising ca- Finally, other nongovern- pacity across all the partici- mental organizations were pating member organizations generally better at demon- will have a highly valuable strating impact and at corpo- impact—both on domestic rate-style reporting—capa- revenue levels and in the cre- bilities that companies were ation of more integrated cor- increasingly emphasizing as porate partnerships. The ef- selection criteria. fort also reinforces the brand from an external perspective The team conducted further and has strengthened ties study, including interviews among the member organi- with experts to determine zations. best practices and with cor- porations to find out their By working to expand its ca- specific wants and needs. We pabilities through projects actively drew upon our net- such as these, Save the Chil- work of contacts to maxi- dren stands to reach ever- mize the amount of corpo- larger numbers of children Each year, Save the Children reaches more than 50 million children in more rate input and gain a than 120 countries. Save the Children and Panos photo by Frederic Courbet. over time and also to have a  T B C G
  25. 25. greater impact on them. We look forward to continuing ment and delivery of new malaria drugs. At the time of to support the organization in this endeavor. its inception, in 1999, MMV filled a major void. The devel- opment of new antimalarials was at a standstill, with Improving Global Health only four drugs approved in the previous 25 years—a pe- riod during which more than 1,400 new drugs were ap- In most developed countries, infectious diseases such as proved for other diseases. Since then, MMV has managed pneumonia, tuberculosis, rotavirus, and malaria are well to reinvigorate malaria drug research, building a pipeline contained. But these diseases exact a heavy toll on the of more than 30 drug candidates, including 3 that are developing world, claiming millions of lives annually. scheduled to be launched in the next two years. As the global leader in antimalarial R&D, MMV has raised more Malaria is one of the most devastating and tenacious of than $300 million to support its efforts. these scourges. The disease, which has plagued humans for thousands of years, was brought partially under con- BCG’s relationship with MMV dates back to MMV’s trol in many regions of the world by the early 1960s. But founding, when we helped develop the organization’s a confluence of factors, both natural and man-made, has original charter and business plan. Since then, we led to its resurgence. Annually, malaria now kills approx- have supported MMV in a variety of activities. This past imately 1 million to 2 million people, more than 75 per- year, we developed a comprehensive strategic and cent of whom are African children under the age of five. financial plan to help the organization prepare for the There are 300 million to 500 million new incidences of challenges that lie before it over the next five years. the disease each year. As much as half of the world’s population is at risk of eventually contracting malaria. One challenge facing MMV is ensuring access to the anti- The economic burden of the disease is also vast: malaria malarial drugs that are developed. We identified and pri- is estimated to cost Africa alone roughly $12 billion a oritized key actions that MMV could take to optimize the year in lost productivity. distribution and uptake of its new antimalarials and to ensure that they reach those who need them most. A As part of its broad portfolio of efforts related to global second challenge has been building an early-stage pipe- health, BCG has devoted considerable attention to ma- line of drugs to prepare for the inevitable emergence of laria. Our efforts have taken the form of three main drug resistance. We projected the size, composition, and streams: supporting organizations and partnerships price tag of the pipeline that MMV would have to develop such as the Malaria Vaccine Initiative, which develop in order to meet the global need for new malaria treat- and launch new antimalarial ments over the next decade. products; helping the Bill & Finally, we brought these ele- Melinda Gates Foundation ments together with a strate- define its role and strategy gic vision and financial plan in the fight against the dis- that would strengthen ease; and helping to improve MMV’s appeal to the donor global coordination among community. those who fight against ma- laria on the ground in coun- Working with the Gates tries where the disease is Foundation and the Inno- endemic. vative Vector Control Con- sortium. We also focused Working with Medicines our efforts on product devel- for Malaria Venture. One opment and distribution in of the organizations we sup- another recent project: sup- port is Medicines for Malaria porting the Bill & Melinda Venture (MMV), a public- Gates Foundation and the In- private partnership that In India, the arsenal against infectious diseases includes pesticides purchased novative Vector Control Con- seeks to drive the develop- by consumers at small village kiosks. sortium (IVCC), a research M  D 
  26. 26. group that works to develop new tools to control the the current annual global demand for PHPPs of approxi- transmission of insect-borne diseases. In the past, public- mately $750 million was roughly double previous esti- health pesticide products (PHPPs)—most of which were mates. This amount is large enough to generate some developed by the agricultural industry for agricultural additional interest in PHPP development but insufficient purposes and subsequently repurposed for public to prompt changes in the investment plans of agricultur- health—have been effective against malaria. But the al companies. PHPPs that are currently available have several limita- tions: resistance to them is increasing; some usage proce- The team also determined that individuals failed to use dures are expensive to implement; and a number of coun- some pesticide products because of practical consider- tries have banned DDT, a particularly effective agent. ations. Many people, for example, reported that they found it too time-consuming and invasive to remove all Simultaneously, the gains made by modern agriculture— of their belongings in order to have the inside of their in particular, the advancement of genetically modified homes sprayed. Others said that they found sleeping un- crops—have le agricultural companies less compelled to der treated bed nets too hot. Hence, effective tools were develop new pesticides, thereby reducing the potential accessible but not fully utilized. Interestingly, the team supply of new PHPPs. Compounding matters, the per- also observed that people were buying readily available ceived limited demand for dedicated PHPPs (those used consumer products, such as insect repellents and aero- solely for public health) has provided little incentive to sols, with their own money as alternatives to free PHPPs. other potential producers and investors. The team recommended investing in research to under- stand the efficacy of such products for disease control. Seeking to rekindle the development of PHPPs, the Gates (For a perspective on the project, see the sidebar “Creat- Foundation and IVCC wanted to create a market fact ing Transparency for Decision Makers.”) base, with the goal of providing clarity for public- and private-sector decision mak- The Gates Foundation and ers who were interested in IVCC plan to use the insights investing in, developing, or generated by the team’s purchasing these products. work to guide their future in- The fact base would quantify vestments in this area. The the current size of the team also shared the results market; capture a better un- with both the public-health derstanding of the needs, community and the agricul- behaviors, and decision-mak- tural industry—and interest ing processes of suppliers, was strong. buyers, and other stakehold- ers; and analyze the process Malaria remains a critical and hurdles associated with threat to much of the world’s getting a new product to population—and it will take market. a concentrated and sustained effort to eliminate this threat. Through primary research in Indeed, in recent work sup- seven countries—Brazil, porting the Gates Founda- Mexico, India, Indonesia, Ni- tion in formulating its overall geria, Tanzania, and Zam- strategy against malaria, bia—and interviews with BCG calculated that it would global suppliers and decision require an annual invest- makers, BCG helped the ment of almost $7 billion to Gates Foundation and IVCC control the disease at peak create and analyze the data. cost—fully $5 billion more Notably, the team found that A woman in India discusses the types of pesticides she uses. than the world is currently  T B C G
  27. 27. investing. So there is much ground to cover. (We are cur- tively support its pursuit. Eliminating malaria, according rently working with the global malaria community to to Colin Boyle, a partner and managing director at BCG, develop a global business plan to advance the battle would rank among the world’s great accomplishments— against the disease.) on a par with putting the first man on the moon, sequenc- ing the human genome, developing the printing press, The Gates Foundation’s stated long-term goal of eradicat- and eradicating smallpox. “And, assuming the effort is ing the disease will, of course, take proportionately more successful, it will be a great point of pride for BCG to have effort. But we believe that with the right tools, this target played its part,” he says. is ultimately within reach, and we will continue to ac- Creating Transparency for Decision Makers Sara Staats, a project leader in BCG’s turally. We encountered some skepticism at first among Boston office, led an analysis of the some of the people we were working with, many of whom pesticide market for the Bill & Melin- were brilliant academics. But by the end, they valued us da Gates Foundation and the Innova- and our contribution highly. tive Vector Control Consortium. She discusses the work and the value that This experience made me realize what a unique skill set BCG brought to the effort. we bring to the table. I was also struck by the synergies between our regular client work and our social impact ini- For me, one of the highlights of this project was the chance tiatives. Our work in the pharmaceutical industry, in this to visit many of the countries affected by malaria and to case, gave us insight into the R&D process used for pesti- see, firsthand, the nature of the challenges we were con- cides. And our network gave us the opportunity to speak fronting. Being on the ground allowed us to see through with all the major agrochemical suppliers and other rele- the eyes of the afflicted and really understand what’s vant private-sector companies so that we could gain a full keeping them from using the antimalarial drugs or pesti- set of perspectives. cides that are readily available. We also gained a real sense of what it means to be affected by the disease. In sum, this was a highly rewarding and affirming experi- ence. I would recommend that others get involved in these Looking back on the project as a whole, it was amazing for types of challenges. There is a great payoff in realizing me to see the contribution BCG could make by drawing on that you really can have a meaningful impact. our core ability to think strategically, logically, and struc- M  D 