Dalberg Advisors is a strategic advisory firm that combines the best of private sector strategy skills and rigorous analytical capabilities with deep knowledge and networks across emerging and frontier markets. We work collaboratively across the public, private and philanthropic sectors to fuel inclusive growth and help clients achieve their goals.
Our global perspectives are firmly rooted in local realities. We have 26 offices across the world and have served clients in more than 90 countries. By combining local knowledge and international experience, our strategies blend the best global ideas and innovations with the local practicalities and partnerships needed for effective implementation.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
CONFLICT, SECURITY, HUMANITARIAN AID
Conflicts, acute crises, epidemics, and natural disasters affect hundreds of millions of people annually – and not enough is being done to address these humanitarian situations. The nature of crises is changing rapidly, and new challenges are emerging – we help humanitarian actors face these changing dynamics. Dalberg helps clients design effective strategies, establish new partnerships, identify innovative financing sources, and improve aid delivery for timely and effective humanitarian responses. We support a diverse range of humanitarian actors in becoming more flexible and in preparing to face the humanitarian scenarios of the future.
- We build compelling strategies to help leading organizations achieve their goals. These include multi-year reviews of priorities based on relevant humanitarian trends, and wholesale organizational strategies matching an organization’s needs to on-the-ground realities.
- We advise on operational change. Whatever role a client plays in humanitarian assistance, we make sure they are set up to achieve their goals. We evaluate and rethink staff structures to optimize interventions as well as to facilitate better coordination and partnerships, especially with new or non-traditional actors.
- We create innovative financing options. We help clients create strategies for, and connect with, alternative funding sources such as private companies and individuals. We also contribute more broadly to the development of innovative financing mechanisms, such as public-private partnerships and development and humanitarian impact bonds.
- We measure impact and manage performance. We develop practical ways to measure and track progress toward organizational objectives and goals, tailoring robust metrics tools from the development and private sectors to humanitarian assistance groups.
Infrastructure is a backbone of development: power lines deliver energy to homes and businesses; pipes provide clean water to drink; roads, railways, and bridges connect communities; and internet connectivity fosters new digital economies. Sustainable infrastructure has the power to bolster the economic growth, resilience, health, and environments of entire nations. We support our clients – governments, private investors, and institutions – to develop inclusive and sustainable infrastructure in emerging markets.
- We create strategies for inclusive and sustainable infrastructure. Through rigorous research, analysis, and stakeholder engagement with partners and engineering experts, we help our clients build strategies at regional, national, and local levels that align partner incentives and optimize benefits for both economies and communities.
- We channel capital into infrastructure development. We develop innovative financing structures and platforms that combine public and private sources of blended capital towards infrastructure projects.
- We support more efficient use of infrastructure assets. We advise private utility companies and parastatals on organizational change and restructuring to enhance productivity and improve service to customers.
INVESTING FOR DEVELOPMENT
Capital flows to the developing world are outpacing traditional sources of development finance, and investors in emerging and frontier markets are increasingly looking for opportunities that deliver on social impact or sustainability objectives. We provide a range of services related to the design and formation of investment funds and financing facilities. With our on-the-ground knowledge of emerging markets and deep experience working at the intersection of the private and public sectors, we help our clients discover new markets, develop blended finance partnerships, and structure new investment vehicles.
- We conceptualize and structure new funds and financing facilities from idea to launch.
- We conduct in-depth market research and analytics to inform the development of new strategies across agriculture, energy, health, financial services, and other industries.
- We source and evaluate prospective fund managers for new fund mandates anchored by development finance institutions.
- We build the Investing for Development field by contributing research and policy advice, and by developing supportive market infrastructure.
- We evaluate the social and environmental impact of investments and funds operating in the developing world to assess performance and inform future strategies.
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY
Agriculture today accounts for 10 percent of the global economic output and provides livelihoods for more than 2 billion people in low and middle-income countries. We have worked on over 150 projects advocating, understanding, and helping to solve the problems facing the agriculture sector at a local and international level.
- We complete value chain analysis and sector landscaping to provide holistic, end-to-end analysis of agricultural outputs, including cash crops, staple foods, and livestock to uncover new opportunities.
- We advise on business model development and market-entry to establish inclusive supply chains, connect buyers and sellers of agricultural produce, and enable agricultural actors to enter new markets.
- We create innovative and inclusive agri-finance analysis to increase public and private investment to farmers, cooperatives, and processors and to design finance facilities that support these businesses.
- We develop information and communications technology-based business models to extend digital financial and business services to remote farmers and processors, and to facilitate communication within and across agricultural value chains.
- We monitor and evaluate programs and funds that support agriculture to ensure that ongoing and future projects impact everyone along the agricultural supply chain sustainably and equitably
CITIES AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Cities present urgent and complex needs but are also the most dynamic environments in which to address them. We work with diverse urban actors to help cities define purposeful goals and plans, identify challenges, collaborate through global networks and partnerships, experiment with potential solutions, and adapt to change continuously.
- We craft strategies to support urban planning & design. We help cities and urban actors define both long-term visions and near-term plans for inclusive and resilient urban growth. We map market dynamics, underlying barriers, and opportunities to design programs and incentives that transform local markets.
- We identify and prioritize new customer segments and innovative solutions that promote shared prosperity. We bring an arsenal of rigorous analytical techniques, including competitive product space analysis, systems analysis, capital advisory and financial analysis, network and asset mapping, and human-centered design.
- We assess efficiency and effectiveness of existing programs and initiatives in order to identify strategic opportunities to enact lasting, positive change. We engage with initiatives at all stages of their development, often facilitating and developing knowledge-sharing partnerships and networks with experts and leaders of global cities.
EDUCATION TO EMPLOYMENT
The challenge of unemployment in countries around the world demands innovative and comprehensive education and training solutions to respond to rapidly changing employment needs. Dalberg partners with educational institutions, corporations, foundations, NGOs, and governments to strengthen the education to employment pathway.
- We complete labor market analysis. We undertake rigorous desk and field research to identify sectors that will drive economic growth and create jobs.
- We develop intervention strategies and theories of change. We help our clients align on an organization’s vision and mission, as well as set priorities to better target their interventions and improve education and employment outcomes.
- We design programs. We develop our clients understanding of best practices and innovations in vocational education and skills training – and we work alongside them to develop their programs.
- We create investment strategies. We zoom in on investments matching client goals. We conduct due diligence and provide investment considerations across geographies ranging from vocational and work readiness programs to education investment funds.
- We engage stakeholders and develop partnerships. We facilitate matchmaking across public and private sectors to combine strengths and ensure that education programs meet the demands of dynamic labor markets.
- We conduct impact evaluations. We work with clients to create tools that measure impact. We use impact evaluation to refine our clients’ strategies and ensure they have the right partnerships and organizational structure to meet their objectives.
Enabling access to affordable energy is a catalyst, not only for economic growth, but for the development of many other services, such as health, education, and transport. Although efforts to increase global access to energy are expanding, we are still some way from meeting SDG7 – universal access to modern energy – by 2030.
As advisors, we help our clients unlocks solutions that increase the supply of economically viable, environmentally sustainable, socially equitable energy.
- We design evidence-based strategies for our clients to help them enter/grow their energy access product portfolio in emerging markets.
- We help Governments and ecosystem players to evaluate policies and recommend new ones to create a conducive marketplace for energy access.
- We conduct deep user research, using human centered design practices, to understand different facets of the energy challenge at the end-user level
- We help investors place the right bets in a fast moving energy landscape.
- We engage as learning partners for large energy related programs, helping our clients track progress, measure efficiency and ultimately evaluate and maximize social impact
- We develop thought leadership to help propel the ecosystem by providing both insights into the energy access market today and projections on opportunities in the future.
- We help our clients in the energy and white goods industry, to enter and navigate the clean energy space.
Meeting the growing demand for food, fresh water, energy, and other resources means finding solutions where human and natural systems meet. Our work recognizes the interdependency of human progress and the environment to protect the world’s most vulnerable people and ecosystems.
- We design strategies, develop business models, and identify policy changes that align with environmental protection, restoration, and sustainable development.
- We design and launch advocacy campaigns. In partnership with our clients, we spotlight major global environmental challenges, often resulting in the long-term legal protection of natural ecosystems.
- We identify and build partnerships through workshops, joint initiatives, and forums – that best leverage each partner’s expertise toward the common goal of marrying sustainable development and environmental protection.
- We design financing models and resource mobilization strategies to drive funding towards environmental problems.
At Dalberg, evaluation goes beyond accountability and standardization to the bigger picture: value creation. We build results measurement strategies, actionable learning agendas, and robust evaluation studies and strategic reviews to help clients amplify their impact.
- We develop results measurement strategies and frameworks for non-profits, mission-driven enterprises and foundations/donors by defining the client’s theory of change and then developing appropriate data analysis, technology, and shared learning tools and protocols based on needs of the client and its stakeholders.
- We create learning agendas for networks and coalitions of organizations to coordinate and prioritize industry research and learning questions.
- We conduct evaluations and strategic reviews of organizations or programs to assess their outputs, outcomes, and impact, as well as their added value vis-à-vis other initiatives in the space. We have led randomized control trials, developed and implemented experimental designs, adopted mixed quantitative and qualitative methods, collected and analyzed data against theory of change-based metrics, and developed robust case studies.
- We generate strategic insights and recommendations based on our evaluation findings, including to streamline, course correct, or scale up existing programs and to inform the design of new programs.
An estimated 2 billion people lack access to formal financial services, like bank accounts, that are critical to transact efficiently, accumulate wealth, and protect against shocks. Additionally, 200 million informal and formal businesses are financially unserved or underserved – without access to the capital they need to grow. Dalberg works with companies, foundations, development institutions, and governments to develop innovative strategies for providing high-quality, appropriate financial services to underserved individuals, communities, and businesses.
- We design innovative solutions such as savings products, incentive programs, as well as business models to bring tailored financial services to the underserved, including smallholder farmers and micro-entrepreneurs. We develop and help scale these products and services based on our deep sector-specific knowledge, human-centered design capabilities, and advanced data analyses.
- We catalyze investment by assessing markets and conducting in-depth, cutting edge research in new areas including digital payments and remittances.
- We promote learning and performance management by evaluating projects and initiatives, recommending iterative changes based on our findings, and helping to ensure that initiatives continue to increase financial inclusion over time.
- We bring together public and private sector stakeholders from across the financial services ecosystem via platforms that facilitate collective action at a systemic level. These platforms work to advocate for policy, set industry standards, and drive projects that require multi-stakeholder collaboration.
Gender inequality undermines economic growth, democracy, and human dignity. By shifting social norms, removing legal barriers, and reducing discriminatory practices, countries can empower citizens and achieve remarkable progress. Dalberg works with governments, foundations, NGOs, and companies to empower people of all genders and socioeconomic backgrounds to participate fully in economic, political, and social life. Based on principles of gender equity embodied across the Dalberg platform, we help our clients ensure that their greatest asset, people, thrive and achieve their full potential.
- We expand the evidence base. Based on rigorous field and desk research, we assess how gender is experienced in different contexts and recommend ways to integrate gender equity into laws, attitudes, and development programs.
- We develop strategies that ensure gender parity, including internal reorganization strategies and gender-responsive strategies.
- We build capacity by designing and executing training programs, providing hands-on support, and facilitating partnerships to ensure everyone from those at the grassroots to policymakers has the capacity and confidence to effect change.
- We monitor and evaluate the performance of programs and institutions so they can better align their work toward improving gender equity.
HEALTH AND NUTRITION
The political, social, and economic health of a nation and the health of its individual people are inextricably linked. Only with citizens of able body and mind can a country hope to build a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable economy and raise living standards. From product innovation to strengthening health systems, Dalberg works with governments, donors, the private sector, and NGOs to achieve positive outcomes in global health and nutrition in the world’s most underserved regions.
- We develop policies and strategies to support robust public and private health markets by examining the quality, price, and availability of essential medicines, diagnostics, vaccines and medical technologies, and addressing bottlenecks in health and nutrition programming, procurement, and financing.
- We design and advise on innovative financing mechanisms for health and nutrition.
- We assist with strategic planning and evaluations, including strategy and business plan development, investment analysis, market landscaping, scale-up strategies, as well as impact evaluations.
- We develop policies and programs to strengthen health systems and processes, through program design, capacity building and supply chain management.
ICT AND BIG DATA
The digital revolution is one of the greatest and most transformative events in human history, presenting both opportunity and a responsibility to harness technology for a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable world. Technology is creating new jobs, lowering transaction costs, and delivering vital information to those who need it most. At Dalberg, we work with private companies, governments, leading foundations, NGOs, and civil society groups to harness digital technology for amplified impact, sustainable value, and cost reduction in sectors ranging from health to agriculture, from energy to financial services.
- We build tailored strategies. Our strategies enable clients to expand their market footprint, realize new efficiencies, and develop user-centered product offerings.
- We provide timely market intelligence. With the right information, our clients are empowered to understand new developments in the digital economy in emerging markets, overcome barriers, and better serve their customers.
- We build multi-stakeholder platforms and partnerships. We align public, non-government and private sector interests through partnerships that help all parties find shared value and achieve desired results.
- We create and disseminate learnings on trends and innovations in digital, mobile, and social technology in emerging markets. Our knowledge products ensure that tech leaders work from a common fact base and are kept apprised of the latest developments.
INCLUSIVE BUSINESS GROWTH
We work with companies to reach the four billion people at the base of the pyramid (BoP) – the world’s largest, but poorest, economic group; representing a significantly underserved market. By incorporating the BoP in business value chains, we help clients to reach new markets and understand and identify new potential customers. When integrating the BoP as a commercial opportunity, inclusive businesses expand profits and create social benefit.
- We foster inclusive customer bases. We pinpoint ways to tailor products, services, and business and delivery models to large, underserved markets, opening up opportunities for unparalleled growth.
- We develop inclusive supplier bases. We identify sourcing opportunities, assess risk, and adjust company operations to develop inclusive supply chains that can diversify risk and strengthen a company’s ability to operate in a country, while optimizing for pricing, security of delivery and/or non-dependence on imports.
- We promote inclusive employment by helping companies integrate and train marginalized groups to bring them into the workforce.
- We support inclusive distribution channels to underserved markets.
INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
We need inclusive economies that provide economic opportunities for all and allow current – and future – citizens to flourish. Dalberg helps countries and regions develop inclusive growth agendas and programs where all people can benefit from, and participate in, economic growth. We work with businesses, investors, and policymakers to identify market-based solutions that fuel economic growth while promoting social inclusion.
- We complete competitive analysis to determine a country or region’s competitive edge and performance gaps, and we pinpoint new sectors in which local conditions and capabilities are most conducive for development.
- We design of policy and regulatory frameworks. In a primarily interview-driven approach, we understand the most problematic constraints on economic growth, and we recommend concrete changes that can produce more favorable policies and regulatory environments for our clients.
- We lead strategy and investment planning. We create action and investment plans that help clients raise capital, access new markets, and engage relevant authorities, companies, and policymakers to ensure business opportunities for inclusive growth attract the public and private attention, oversight, resources, and expertise they need to move forward.
- We support leadership and change management. Through interviews, policy research, and based on our experience, we figure out what is and is not working in the institutional ecosystem for inclusive growth. We create a new vision together with each client, and we build a pathway for change through a participatory process that aligns stakeholder incentives and empowers local champions of the country’s or region’s growth strategy.
- We develop resilience strategies. We integrate a resilience lens into our economic growth strategies to ensure countries can withstand unexpected shocks, such as natural disasters or international economic crises, and avoid or help reverse day-to-day stresses, such as pre-existing conflict dynamics.
LEADERSHIP AND TALENT
Cultivating leadership is vital in the development space as leaders often operate in environments where resources are scarce, stakeholder complexity is high, goals are multi-dimensional, impact is hard to define and incentives are often misaligned. At Dalberg, we believe investment into leaders can be a force multiplier. With solutions that are integrated, strategy-linked, results-driven, and engaging, it is possible to create powerful teams, promote collaboration, improve talent pools, and enable high performance.
- We assess and develop high potential and senior leaders. We work to understand organizational aspirations and strategy, translate this into demands on leaders, and assess if the existing talent pool is “fit-for-future.” Based on in depth interviews, and 360 verbal referencing and benchmarking, we create a roadmap to develop high-potential senior leaders, feed into succession planning, and shift top team behaviors.
- We manage the talent cycle – from manpower planning, culture, organization design and talent governance. We design and implement systems to develop talent through training, incentive schemes, and recruitment. We design workshops and regular evaluations to ensure leaders are steadily improving in line with client needs.
- We support change leadership and change management. We create customized trainings and assessments to help leaders respond quickly and effectively to rapid changes, such as the need for external partnership and sudden fluctuations in funding.
- We develop knowledge management tools. We develop systems and processes to harvest and organize knowledge and inform decision-making through double-loop learning. We help our clients become learning organizations that are able to identify, harvest, store, and reuse knowledge effectively.
PUBLIC POLICY AND ADVOCACY
Government policies play a crucial role in advancing – or impeding – economic well-being and human rights. At Dalberg, we help clients seize political opportunities and confront constraints. Our work shows that practical, context-driven advocacy strategies can equip governments with the information they need to spend limited resources in effective ways. When top researchers and enterprising governments join forces, the impact can be profound.
- We lead country-level advocacy landscaping. Effective influence looks different in every country. Our presence and networks around the world enable us to deep dive into country-specific relationships, norms, and priorities of target governments to identify what it takes to influence policy outcomes. We conduct political economy analyses and embed in target countries to understand effective approaches to advocacy, where power sits, and opportunities for influence through power mapping. We use these tools to create a path to policy change.
- We develop strategies and organizational plans for advocacy organizations. Strategic advocacy requires a deep understanding of political context and opportunity, along with a perspective on what advocacy tools and tactics are most important to deploy. We work with advocacy organizations to define or test their overarching purpose. We ensure their work is aligned to that purpose: whether that entails a change in approach, issue area, or geography.
- We monitor and evaluate success. Measuring the impact of advocacy is tricky business. It requires an understanding of which actions or conversations actually influenced specific decisions by policymakers – which isn’t always obvious. We develop tools that bring the best of M&E processes, while tailoring them to make sure that an M&E strategy is robust without requiring unnecessary or cumbersome measurement.
In an increasingly complex environment, with shifting geopolitical and economic balances,formulating the right strategy is crucial. We support organizations across private and public sectorsto design strategies that will maximize their impact, either at the organizational level or for specific programs and markets.
- We define clear and compelling visions that are long-lasting, and allow for scale-up, innovation, and mobilization of stakeholders.
- We create organizational strategies and disruptive business models that align our clients’ talent, financial resources, and partners with their goals and value propositions.
- We support new initiatives and programs that have transformative value propositions by conducting detailed reviews of the space in which they operate and defining relevant positioning.
- We devise implementation roadmaps that clearly pave the road for our clients’ new endeavors. Our unique, on-the-ground presence and networks allow us to provide operational guidance in complex settings.
WATER AND SANITATION
Water is a vital resource for life, but a full 650 million people lack clean drinking water and 1 billion practice open defecation. Populations increase, economies grow, and urbanization continues, yet water supply has not kept pace. Dalberg works with governments, NGOs, businesses, and foundations to develop solutions that address the infrastructural, behavioral, and policy roots of complex, water-related problems. We enable our clients to plan, develop, distribute, and manage freshwater resources effectively to protect the lives and potential of people and our environment.
- We help to upgrade the global architecture for water resource management. We help clients articulate their strategies, coordinate with global, country, and industry partners, and build institutions and programs that effectively allocate scarce water resources across sectors and borders. We have helped clients create frameworks to effectively manage the entire water lifecycle, from groundwater to tap.
- We create new business models. We help clients develop and refine decentralized and disruptive business models tailored to the needs of un-served and often migrating populations in rural and urban areas. In support of these models, we’ve established partnerships between government agencies and private businesses and investors to design and run water-related interventions.
- We identify profitable investment approaches. We identify niche investment opportunities in the $500 billion water market for investors and new entrants, based on analyses of financing needs, scalability, and how closely funds correlate to outcomes. We also work to develop investment vehicles for bilateral and multilateral institutions, including social impact bonds, grants, guarantees, and microfinance opportunities.
- We evaluate existing programs to adjust strategies. We conduct evaluations and reviews for major water programs and organizations in urban and rural areas. Our findings directly inform how clients adjust their programs to meet strategic objectives and the water needs of beneficiaries.
COVID-19: Mitigating the risk of future pandemics by changing our relationship with the natural world
Dalberg has co-authored a report with the WWF “Covid-19: Urgent Call to Protect People and Nature” that details the root causes of the Covid-19 crisis and points to a turning point where the relationship with the natural world must be healed if the risk of future pandemics is to be mitigated.READ MORE »
Inequity in Covid-19 testing in the US: how DC’s response to HIV/AIDS could help
Covid-19 is disproportionately impacting lower-income minority populations across the United States. In Washington DC, 46% of Covid-19 cases and 75% of deaths have occurred among blacks, who account for 44% of the overall population. Only 15% of cases and 11% of deaths are among whites who comprise 46% of the overall population.READ MORE »
Applying a gender lens to post-Covid economic recoveries: a spotlight on women-led businesses in Africa
For many African nations, women head up the SMEs that make up the fabric of communities and economies. More must be done to help keep their businesses afloat.READ MORE »
Shaping an equitable future for care workers in the US
How can we use the current focus on the care economy to take steps that lead to a more equitable future for childcare and home healthcare professionals?READ MORE »