Institutional Qualifications Statement

Development Professionals Inc. 

Institutional Qualifications Statement

Development Professionals Inc. (DPI) was established in 2009 as a small and disadvantaged woman owned business in the State of Virginia to provide management and technical services to developing and transitional societies globally in their efforts to build sustainable judicial and government systems that are transparent, fair, accountable and efficient.   Since its inception, DPI has worked to forge relationships between government institutions and civil society actors to address the modern day challenges in developing countries in the areas of rule of law, civil society and anti-corruption.  We understand the challenges to implementing successful democracy and governance programs in diverse regions of the world and have the experience and judgment of a seasoned company that has operated in diverse regions of the world, with current and past projects in South East Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.   DPI’s teams of technical advisors possess vast experience in major areas of justice sector development and anti-corruption.   We have provided technical assistance to USAID projects dealing with court administration and case management, access to justice, criminal and juvenile justice, gender based violence, human rights and minority rights, and other key areas of judicial reform.  We have the ability to mobilize quickly and operate in countries such as Afghanistan and DRC where difficult post conflict environments bring challenges to building the capacity of the legal profession and the judiciary.   In 2014 the U.S. Agency for International Development acknowledged DPI’s experience in this area by awarding a five-year Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC) to implement programs around the world that respond to rule of law challenges and develop a culture of respect for human rights. The overall contract ceiling for the Rule of Law (ROL) IQC is $500 million with a period of performance that runs through February 2018.  As a small business holder of the Rule of Law IQC, DPI can provide long and short-term technical assistance and capacity building in support of critical USG rule of law priorities in the world, including order and security, legal institutional capacity building, checks and balances, fairness and human rights, and the effective application of the law. DPI’s in-depth qualifications include the following projects;

 

In the last five years, DPI has provided meaningful and sustainable capacity building to both government and civil society actors globally through various USAID projects.  Our global partnerships include the Anti-Corruption Agency in Bosnia, the Bar Association and Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka, the Judicial Training Institute and the Ministry of Justice in Sri Lanka, the entity and cantonal prosecutor’s offices in Bosnia and Language Commissioner in Kosovo

 

In September of 2014, USAID awarded DPI the Justice Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a five year $9.4 million project.   The Project focuses on three major components: 1. Strengthening the Professional Status and Performance of Prosecutors, and 2. Improving the Efficiency and Enforcement of Judgments; and 3. Strengthening Justice Sector Institutions to uphold public integrity and combat corruption. The Project has established a multi-year Prosecutor Partnership Program (PPP) which will provide the prosecutors offices in Bosnia with intensive management and direct skill-building assistance and collaborate with the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) on sharing, capturing, and applying best practices developed in the prosecutor offices to support possible system-wide reforms over the life of the project. These will include interventions in areas such as change management, prosecuting crime, and public information and outreach. Management will be strengthened through the development of strategic plans, performance standards, quarterly performance reports focused on the prosecution of corruption and standards, and provision of resources to prosecute corruption and serious crime. Strengthening the prosecution of crime will involve developing guidelines and skills of the prosecutors, police and other agency cooperation, developing uniform standards for investigating and prosecuting corruption and serious crimes, and mentoring and training of new prosecutors. Public information and outreach will be developed to promote greater transparency, accountability and public access to prosecutor offices.  The Project has developed a Prosecutor Office Assistance Plans (PPP) as an operational document to coordinate Project assistance with prosecutor offices participating in the PPP. The Project is working with key local counterparts to streamline the procedures for enforcing judgments and reducing backlogs. This will be achieved by improving the capacity of court enforcement agents through training staffing and evaluation, oversight and management. The project will also work with the courts to assist them to secure and control assets. The Justice Project is provide mentoring, training and technical assistance to the HJPC, and the Office of Disciplinary Council (ODC), prosecutor offices and other key stakeholders to investigate and prosecute high profile corruption and economic crimes cases. A recent law calls for establishing a Special Prosecutors Office in the Federation of BiH to fight corruption. In 2015, the SPO will face many challenges in office set-up, staffing, prosecuting cases, and coordinating with cantonal prosecutor offices. In particular, the Project will leverage its assistance under the PPP to support the SPO to conduct prosecutor-guided investigations that lead to the prosecution of corruption/abuse of public office cases, among many other areas of intervention.

In Sri Lanka, DPI implemented the Increased Responsiveness in the Legal Sector Project (IRLS).  IRLS is a $4.3 million dollar project designed to assist the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL), the Judicial Services Commission and the judiciary to improve the management and the efficacy of the legal system and improve access to justice for Sri Lankan citizens. The project supported the institutional capacity development of the Ministry of Justice, the Judges Training Institute and the Legal Aid Commission.  The projects cross-cutting objectives included gender and project activities included developing an initial gender strategy and increased gender roles in the judiciary.   Currently DPI was awarded the 3 year project which will provide technical assistance to the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and the Legal Aid Commission.  When relations between the U.S. and Sri Lanka strained USAID terminated this project and awarded a new project to DPI called the Civil Society Initiative to Promote the Rule of Law. The CSI.ROL Program is a three-year program to be implemented from September 30, 2013 to September 30, 2016.

 

The Civil Society Initiative to Promote the Rule of Law (CSI.ROL) program focuses on supporting targeted civil society organizations (CSOs) to promote the rule of law in Sri Lanka. Working through the Bar Association of Sri Lanka(BASL), the Legal Aid Commission (LAC), provincial bar associations, educational and research institutions, and civil society organizations, CSI.ROL is working to build capacity among counterparts to:

  • Engage in evidence-based advocacy for comprehensive legal reforms
  • Enhance legal education and training for lawyers, judges, and non-judicial officers
  • Improve access to legal services for communities in lagging regions.

 

With a first year focus on building the BASL’s capacity and its relationships with international bar associations, CSI.ROL is assisting in several fundamental areas of need. These include developing a sustainable business platform from which the BASL may raise funds, improve services to its members, and effect positive change in the justice sector; developing the BASL’s ability to produce statistics-based reports about the operation of the legal system to improve delivery of justice and inform the reform process; and developing the BASL’s capacity to provide guidance and training for justice sector officials on modern court management techniques and specific areas of law such as gender equality. With regard to the LAC, CSI.ROL will assist them in their efforts to expand legal assistance programs throughout Sri Lanka by building capacity and facilitating partnerships with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and CSOs that provide legal assistance. CSI.ROL will provide funding for legal aid organizations and NGOs and will partner with private sector organizations, such as MAS Holdings, to expand its legal assistance programs through a public private partnership embedded within the program, the Global Development Alliance. 

DPI incorporates a holistic approach that emphasizes the link between rule of law and democratic development, with particular attention to empowering women and vulnerable groups. In Kosovo, we are providing subcontracting services to Chemonics to implement the Advancing Kosovo Together Project.  (AKT) is a three-year activity that aims to increase constructive inter-ethnic cooperation and interaction, primarily between the Kosovo Albanian majority and Kosovo Serb non-majority population, which is vital to the security and stability of the Balkans. The program works in partnership with municipalities and other Government partners to support the engagement of targeted communities. USAID has allocated $7.5 million for the implementation of the Advancing Kosovo Together. 

USAID’s Advancing Kosovo Together program supports the following four objectives:

  • Improve autonomous, horizontal communication between Kosovo/Albanian and non-majority communities and the GOK and non majority communities
  • Improve economic opportunities in target municipalities;
  • Increase the efficiency and capacity of target municipal administrations to respond to the needs of all their citizens; and
  • Using local partners, build the capacity of host country organizations by leveraging local, cross-ethnic leadership to implement program objectives 

In South Africa, DPI implemented the USAID Justice Sector Support Program, which provides technical assistance to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to increase the ability of prosecutors to secure convictions of sexual offenses. The project provides technical assistance and training in prosecutor guided investigations. DPI is also engaging civil society to create positive male role models to help inculcate a respect for the laws that pertain to GBV.   Civil Society is also being trained in developing guidelines for interviewing child victims of GBV.  To provide best practices and develop linkages with international partners, DPI completed a successful study tour for members of the NPA to New York City and Washington, D.C. in October 2011.  The study tour and subsequent technical assistance provided the South African government with the ability to open several safe houses in South Africa, which were managed by DPI.

 

In Afghanistan, DPI is working with Tetratech DPK on the Rule of Law Stabilization Program – Formal Justice Sector Component (RLS-F).  This project supported the Supreme Court of Afghanistan by providing professional training to judges and strengthening the management and budget capacity of official courts.  The program trains the next generation of legal professionals to provide the professional leadership and competency needed for the Afghan justice system to meet the increasing demand for rule of law.  The objective of the RLS-F program is to develop the capacity of Afghanistan's justice system to be accessible, reliable, and fair.  This project has worked extensively on providing training to Afghan women judges in the areas of leadership, time management, legal drafting and many other skills necessary to achieve program objectives.

 

In Ivory Coast, DPI is working with TetraTech DPK on the five year judicial administration program called ProJustice which is working to increase efficient administration, accountability, and access-to-justice. ProJustice is cooperating with the Ministry of Justice, National Judicial Training Institute, targeted courts, and civil society organizations to strengthen training for judiciary police, magistrates, and court staff, support enhancements to court case management systems, implement measures to increase transparency and accountability in the courts, improve citizens’ access to the Ministry of Justice’s public defense fund, strengthen capacity of the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Office, and support public legal awareness activities throughout the country by empowering community legal advisors (CLAs). With its main office in Abidjan, DPI is providing long term technical assistance at both the national and local levels throughout the country to enhance justice services and access to legal aid for Ivoirian citizens.

 

In Serbia, DPI is working with NCSC to implement the court administration component of the USAID funded Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project, by providing technical assistance and training for the 45 Misdemeanor Courts, the Higher Misdemeanor Court, and the Administrative Court. The assistance and training covers various regions in Serbia, including the Presevo Valley, which still has extensive levels of post conflict violence between Serbs and Albanians. Project technical assistance to the Serbian first instance misdemeanor courts is focused on establishing:

 

  • Unified court practices to improve the processing of cases, including streamlining through improved procedures;
  • IT and communication systems to assist with case processing, increase transparency of operations, and provide immediate knowledge of the caseloads of the courts;
  • Training and mentoring in caseload and backlog reduction techniques to ensure that appropriate resources are utilized in administering justice;
  • Increased cooperation with outside government bodies to ensure that the government recovers all fines and court fees owed to it and to improve the processing of cases that involve other government bodies, such as tax, customs, inspection, and foreign currency exchange cases;
  • In-depth understanding of new laws to ensure that judges can rule effectively and fairly on the new tax, customs, inspection and foreign currency exchange cases;
  • Judicial specialization on particular topics within the Misdemeanor Courts’ jurisdiction, particularly domestic violence cases, allowing for faster processing;
  • Public information campaigns and Partner Courts program to improve the public’s knowledge of how to use the Misdemeanor Courts and their perception of the services and quality of justice provided by them.

 

Knowledge Management and Learning - In addition to our experience and expertise in implementing projects, DPI has expertise in monitoring and evaluation and strategy development for USAID missions.  Knowledge management and learning services have been provided to USAID Missions in Lebanon, Albania, and Bangladesh. We have also provided monitoring and evaluation services to the Government of Finland on a series of human rights project in Laos.  In 2010, DPI provided USAID Albania with a Rule of Law Strategy and the development of a design for the ROL AJJSP project.  In October of 2010, DPI completed a full PMP evaluation of the USAID Strengthening the Independence of the Judiciary and Citizen Access to Justice Project in Lebanon. The Lebanon evaluation included strategy section, which provided USAID Lebanon with guidance on future rule of law programming. In January of 2010, DPI managed a 10-person team in Bangladesh where we conducted a full impact evaluation of the PROGATI Anti-Corruption Project and the Asia Foundation’s Leaders of Influence Project. DPI’s Principal Natalija Stamenkovic served as the DCOP of that project and team leader for the rule of law assessment which was also a part of the evaluation task order..  In 2013, DPI completed a full close-out impact evaluation of the UNDP International Law Project (ILP), which was funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland.  ILP was a 12 year project which focused on providing the Government of Laos with technical assistance needed to assist them to ratify and implement international treaties pertaining to human rights. 

 

DPI has an on-going mentor-protégé relationship with Tetra Tech DPK, which began in January 2010 as part of USAID’s efforts to support small business concerns. Through this relationship DPI has learned from seasoned professionals effective management techniques for international development, both financially and technical. This solid base of knowledge about the implementation of projects and compliance with USG regulations has paved the way to DPI’s success in 2012 in achieving prime contracting status with the US government through contract awards that have exceeded 9 million dollars in 2014.

 

DPI Experience in Justice Sector Reform

Country and Project

Program Overview and Results

Justice Project Bosnia-Herzegovina

USAID’s Justice Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a five-year project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development with the purpose of achieving more accountable institutions that meet Bosnia-Herzegovina citizen needs and make government more responsive to citizens by strengthening the capabilities of justice sector actors.   The project has three components, which include the following:

Strengthen the Professional Status and Performance of Prosecutors – Under this component USAID’s Justice Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina will establish a Prosecutor Partnership Program (PPP) in all 19 offices across the country. The aim of the PPP will be to strengthen the capacity of the prosecutors’ offices as an institution to implement organizational leadership, planning and performance in Prosecutor Offices.  This will be achieved by improving the systems for performance appraisal, merit career advancement and incentives to prosecute cases. The PPP will also provide technical assistance and mentoring to assist prosecutor offices to balance and allocate resources more efficiently. In response to recent legislation, USAID’s Justice Project will support the development of a special anti-corruption unit under the BiH Federal Prosecutor’s Office as a high priority special activity.

Improving the Efficiency of Enforcement of Judgments – USAID’s Justice Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina will work with key local counterparts to streamline the procedures for enforcing judgments and reducing backlogs.  This will be achieved by improving the capacity of court enforcement agents through training staffing and evaluation, oversight and management.  The project will also work with the courts to assist them to secure and control assets.

Strengthening Justice Sector Institutions to Uphold Public Integrity and Combat Corruption – USAID’s Justice Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina will provide mentoring, training and technical assistance to the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Counsel (HJPC), the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC), prosecutor offices and other key stakeholders to investigate and prosecute high profile corruption and economic crimes cases free from political and improper influence.  This will be achieved through the facilitation of increased cooperation among state, entity and local justice sector actors. USAID’s Justice Project will also work with ODC to ensure that they are properly resourced and that disciplinary procedures are impartially and fairly decided. 

Ivory Coast
ProJustice Project

The Côte d’Ivoire Justice Sector Support Program (ProJustice) is a five-year judicial administration, accountability, and access-to-justice program. ProJustice will cooperate with the Ministry of Justice, National Judicial Training Institute, targeted courts, and civil society organizations to strengthen training for judiciary police, magistrates, and court staff, support enhancements to court case management systems, implement measures to increase transparency and accountability in the courts, improve citizens’ access to the Ministry of Justice’s public defense fund, strengthen capacity of the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Aid Office, and support public legal awareness activities throughout the country by empowering community legal advisors (CLAs). With its main office in Abidjan, ProJustice will work at both the national and local levels throughout the country to enhance justice services and access to legal aid for Ivoirian citizens.

USAID Serbia/ Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project

DPI is responsible for implementing Component 1 of the Judicial Reform and Government Accountability Project by providing supervision and guidance to a staff of local nationals who will assist with the implementation of specific tasks. The main tasks of this project are assisting the Government of Serbia to make the administration of justice more efficient, transparent and responsive to the needs of their users, and to increase public awareness about the improvements. DPI is coordinating assistance, developing uniform best practices for expansion into multiple courts, and promoting the policy making changes necessary to improve operations of the Courts. DPI is currently initiating a Model Courts Program for both the Administrative Court and the Misdemeanor courts that will strengthen court leadership and management, train judges and court staff to become better managers and implement key reforms in their courts. DPI is performing very well under this contract. The company has an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of justice sector reform work in Serbia. DPI was extremely helpful in assisting NCSC to develop the winning proposal by recruiting the most effective and talented local nationals. Overall, the NCSC is very satisfied with the expertise and assistance that has been provided by DPI

Afghanistan – Rule of Law Stabilization Project Formal Sector

The Rule of Law Stabilization Program – Formal Justice Sector Component (RLS-F) supports the Supreme Court by providing professional training to judges and strengthening the management and budget capacity of official courts.  The program trains the next generation of legal professionals to provide the professional leadership and competency needed for the Afghan justice system to meet the increasing demand for rule of law.  The objective of the RLS-F program is to develop the capacity of Afghanistan's justice system to be accessible, reliable, and fair.  In support of the state system, the RLS-F Program advances key reforms in the judiciary and law schools and develops the capacity of the formal state courts.  The program also increases the capacity of the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to develop and distribute public legal outreach messages and raise public awareness through strategic communications.

Justice Sector Support Program South Africa

DPI is working under a subcontract to the National Center for State Courts to provide technical assistance to the Sexual Offenses and Community Affairs (SOCA) Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). During the life of this project, DPI will provide a complete analysis of judicial decisions relating to sex-based crimes and provide training for prosecutors on how to effectively conduct Prosecutor Guided Investigations in sex offense cases. The project also works closely with South African NGO’s to create a more comprehensive training curriculum for court intermediaries that are responsible for interviewing child victims of rape during a trial. The project was supported with a U.S. Study Tour, which was used to reinforce the technical assistance delivered during the project. The quality of work that DPI performed for NCSC in implementing the South Africa Project is excellent. DPI has been able to identify and employ top quality consultants who are actively providing cutting edge technical assistance to National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa. Additionally, it is important to note that DPI was able to arrange for an extremely rich program during the study tour.

USAID Congo/ProJustice Project

DPI, under a subcontract to Tetra Tech DPK, provided long-term technical assistance to the judiciary of Congo to reduce case backlogs and increase the efficiency and transparency of the courts. The project worked directly with judicial institutions and civil society in the country to support the establishment of new judicial procedures and ensure the system is accessible and responsive; improve transparency and management of the judiciary and Ministry of Justice; and strengthen court effectiveness, transparency, and accessibility. The project also provided technical assistance to the judiciary to reduce the incidence of pretrial detention. DPI did a good job in recruiting and providing a qualified candidate for the long-term Component 3 leader/Senior Court Administration Expert; this position was difficult to fill due to the required technical skills (court administration) combined with French language capabilities. DPI was responsive and proactive in producing candidates and providing required documents to field the selected candidate, Mr. Andre Clement. In addition, Mr. Clement performed well technically and was able to effectively reduce the incidences of pre-trial detention in the provinces that he was working in.

Bangladesh Evaluations and Assessments

DPI was awarded a subcontract under a BRIDGE task order to provide monitoring, evaluation and program design services to USAID Bangladesh for several existing and anticipated projects. DPI did this under a subcontract with Millennium Partners LLC, and was responsible for 49% of the implementation of this project. The project's objectives included: 1) Developing and delivering a final impact evaluation of the Leaders of Influence Project, a $40 million dollar project with the aim of educating Imam’s in Bangladesh about U.S. culture and history; 2) Developing and delivering a final impact evaluation of the $18 million USAID funded PROGATI anti-corruption project; and 3) Designing and developing a rule of law strategy for the USAID mission which will guide USAID programming in the justice sector programming for the next 3-5 years. DPI’s President served as the DCOP for this project. The project delivered on all the objectives of this project on time both to the USAID Mission and to the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka. The Rule of Law evaluation was highly regarded and a follow-up briefing was scheduled by the Assistant Administrator of the Asia Bureau to hear the team’s findings. The DCOP on this project was instrumental to locating and fielding the appropriate staff for this project and delivering an evaluation that would soundly guide USAID future programming in the justice sector area. DPI’s work in developing a rule of law assessment and their experience and leadership were crucial to its success. DPI has extensive knowledge and background in conducting assessments and evaluations, and demonstrated an ability to develop a rapid mobilization.

USAID Sri Lanka
Increased Responsiveness in the Legal System Project

. The IRLS supported the institutional capacity development of the Ministry of Justice, the Judges Training Institute and the Legal Aid Commission with three components designed to:

  • Component 1:  Improve the capacity of the target institutions in the legal system to higher quality services
  • Component 2:  Strengthen the technical knowledge of judges and non-judicial officers
  • Component 3:  Improve access to justice for communities in lagging regions 

IRLSP was designed to build long-term capacity of partner institutions and increase their ability to deliver new tools and skills that will improve competencies within the Sri Lankan legal system.

USAID Sri Lanka
Civil Society Initiative to Promote the Rule of Law

Component 1: Institutional Capacity Building
Under this component MDPI will work together with a US State Bar Association and the BASL to strengthen their institutional capacity.  This will be achieved through fostering a mentoring relationship between the BASL and the selected US entity.  This relationship will be supported with study tours and exchanges both to the US and to appropriate Asian countries.

Component 2: Improve the Sri Lanka Bar Association’s capacity to promote to deliver more transparent and higher quality justice
CSI.ROL Program will support improved management and transparency in the justice sector by funding the Sri Lanka Bar Association to develop a system to monitor and evaluate performance in the courts.
USAID will pursue this objective through the development and publication by the Bar of an annual report that catalogues and publicizes comprehensive data of caseloads and the financial and physical resources within the legal system.

Component 3: Strengthen the technical knowledge of judges, lawyers and non-judicial officers.
USAID assistance will prioritize developing the Sri Lanka Bar Association’s capacity through:
1. A sustainable partnership between a United States national or state bar association and the Sri Lanka
Bar Association; and
2. A specialized training program for lawyers and judges that features prominent jurists and academics
from Sri Lanka, and other common law jurisdictions, and international legal experts.

Component 4: The Sri Lanka Bar Association establishes partnerships to increase the efficacy of the legal system. 

  • Support a national survey on the public perception of the legal system.
  • Improve the research and policy analysis capacity in the Sri Lanka Bar
  • Establish a consultative process is established to develop a strategic plan to modernize
  • the Sri Lankan legal system
  • Develop a case management system and procedural reforms to simplify civil and

criminal procedure

Component 5: Improve the access to legal services for marginalized communities
The objective for this component will be the establishment of a legal defense fund that will support legal advice and representation services for marginalized communities. The funds will be dispersed through sub-grants to legal aid providers that includes at a minimum the LAC, the Bar’s Legal Aid Foundation (LAF).  The project will also work to increase the public’s awareness of their legal rights and provide training for community based paralegals.

Read 4658 times

News - Info

LEBANON

IMPACT EVALUATION/ USAID LEBANON The purpose of this contract was to evaluate the USAID/Lebanon’s Citizen...

SOUTH AFRICA

BACKGROUND The Justice Sector Support Program was awarded to the National Center for State Courts...

BANGALADESH

IMPACT EVALUATION/ USAID BANGALADESH DPI was awarded a subcontract under a BRIDGE task order to...

SERBIA

BACKGROUND The Judicial Reform & Government Accountability Project (JRGA) is a five year ($21million) project...

SRI LANKA

Project Background The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the Increased Responsiveness...

CSI.ROL IN SRI LANKA

CIVIL SOCIETY INITIATIVES TO PROMOTE THE RULE OF LAW (CSI.ROL) IN SRI LANKA Civil Society...

KOSOVO

KOSOVO

On May 7, 2014 DPI was awarded a subcontract from Chemonics to work on the...

PROMOTING RULE OF LAW PROJECT MYANMAR

As a sub-contractor to (TtDPK) DPI is implementing The Promoting the Rule of Law Project...

JUSTICE PROJECT IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

JUSTICE PROJECT IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

The Justice Project (Project) in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) is a fourth generation project in a succession...

Sarajevo

Sarajevo

In September of 2015, MDPI was awarded The USAID Justice Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina...

David de Giles

Experienced attorney registered in France and Spain, with 18 years practice in international, criminal and...

Institutional Qualifications Statement

Development Professionals Inc. Institutional Qualifications Statement