Our Work

SDI works to align the interests of stakeholders in support of market-driven strategies, and builds sustained capabilities in the public and private sector.

In support of these initiatives, SDI founders and principals have built substantial experience in project planning and design including site analysis, technical analysis, market testing, and strategic structuring for projects in the initial planning stage. 

SDI has over four decades of project experience in over 70 countries.  Our clients include the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the SETA Corporation and various other profit and non-profit organizations. 

Key Specializations:

Environmental, Energy, and Water Management

SDI provides comprehensive environmental analysis to address climate change and water challenges addressing the world today. With a specific understanding of and expertise in various geographical locations, we work with a multitude of clients to implement ground-breaking programs and policies.  Our capabilities include:

  • World Class Research.  SDI provides a comprehensive range of practical and responsive research and analysis services.  Specifically, we have coordinated studies on the efficient use of marginal water for both the agriculture and the environmental sectors with national research programs all across the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
  • Strategic Planning.  In the past, SDI associates have contributed to a number of World Bank assignments to produce the Middle East Water Strategy, the Jordan Water Strategy and Development Plan, Iraq Water Strategy and Investment Plan and Iran Water Development Program.
  • Water Investment Managmenet.  SDI lead principals have extensive experience overseeing international investment portfolios.  For instance, we have desinged and managed the World Bank's 7 billion dollar portfolio on water and rural development in South Asia
  • Integrated Programming Support and Development.  SDI partners have provided technical and administrative support to water, environment, and climate operations throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • In-depth Assessments and Evaluations:  SDI principals have years of experience conducting full range impact, system and organizational assessmetns for national water leaders and international water operations.  

SDI experts have helped leading organizations design and manage clean energy and energy poverty related projects.  Our portfolio of work includes our evaluation of wind assets in North America, analyses of Brazil’s power sector, and various policy recommendations for leading multilateral organizations.  In addition:

  • SDI has built financial model and performed initial technical analysis for the feasibility of a solar thermal project in the western United States.  Assisted on political due diligence with a range of counterparties, including potential electricity and renewable energy credit off-takers, land owners, local regulators, and political officials.  SDI has also managed technical consultants assessing the solar resource potential in the region.
  • SDI has also designed and implemented a small-scale solar Photovoltaic (PV) system for a school and health center in Cap Haitien, Haiti.  Sourced and conceived of the project, worked with a local NGO, helped put an engineering team together, and sourced critical equipment.  In addition, SDI principals and associates assisted subsequent teams on solar PV development in the country.
Private Sector Development

SDI offers innovative solutions for the private sector and entrepreneurs to compete in the global market space.  For instance, SDI has led efforts in capturing, in digital form, insights of developing country entrepreneurs on starting and growing telework export ventures. These insights are being gathered for “Virtual Business Incubators” in support of SDI initiatives to stimulate rapid growth of entrepreneurship in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Central Europe.   In addition, SDI is a leader in value chain assessments and implementation.   

Market Linkages

Here at SDI we understand how the global market necessitates the need to link small prodcuers in developing nations with developed markets and larger businesses. 

  • The surge in Indian and Taiwanese technology exports over the past decade and a half owes much to investments, technical skills, and market access provided by US-based allies who have successfully established firms in North America.  SDI is now applying these precedents in other countries and regions, with the aim of catalyzing partnerships of similar kinds. 
  • With support from USAID, SDI promotes awareness within different Diaspora communities, focusing on investment and trade promotion opportunities in their homeland in preparation for matchmaking trips. This builds upon prior experience of SDI principals in organizing successful private sector-funded venture capital road shows, highlighting offshore investment and outsourcing opportunities. SDI is also encouraging Diaspora members to contribute insights and offers of assistance to opportunities portals and Virtual Business Incubators that enable counterparts in their home countries to stay at the forefront of various best practices.

Workforce Solutions

Success in changing global markets requires that countries adjust well to rapid turns in technologies and business conditions. SDI offers innovative solutions for countries to stay attuned to current trends in skills formation, on-the-job training, and enterprise support. Our specializations include:

  • Centers of Excellence in Education.  SDI helps launch Centers of Excellence in Education as nodes for international teleseminars, distance learning courses, and collaborative research projects. These Centers help countries build reputations and useful advisory relationships in strategic market segments, while ensuring that in-country institutions and firms stay current with best practices.
  • Online Internships and Work-study Projects. Rapid growth of bandwidth, coupled with declining telecommunications costs, enables students and microentrepreneurs to establish virtual internship, work-study, and mentoring/tutoring relationships with North American counterparts.  With Openworld Learning LLC, SDI launched a “Telepartners” Forum to connect leading onshore educational institutions and employers with offshore volunteers who seek internship and project credentialing experiences.
Economic Policy and Governance

SDI provides a wide range of support for the design and implementation of policy and institutional initiatives.   Engagements typically begin with audits of capabilities and readiness in key public and private sector institutions. We pinpoint key deterrents to growth in private sector employment, including policy and institutional barriers relating to education, training, and telecommunications certification systems. 

Our policy reform “roadmaps” and cluster strategies further provide countries with practical paths to remove constraints and move towards world standards of competitiveness. We focus on:

  • Defining opportunities for “quick wins” and replicable demonstrations
  • E-Government systems in areas of competitiveness-enhancing potential, and 
  • Market surveys of proposed nation-wide reforms to identify elements that will yield near- and long-term gains for entrepreneurs, workers, and civil society organizations.   

SDI project teams give special attention to revenue-generating and success-sharing opportunities associated with adopted political reforms. These include online company registry, technology visa, and micro voucher and scholarship programs. We also specialize in design of outcome-based reward systems for regulatory bodies, as a means of encouraging key institutions to systematically work for private sector success.

Information and Communication Technologies

SDI founders have been active in planning and promoting gateways for teleservices since the mid-1980s, when they were responsible for planning the developing world’s original office parks dedicated to informatics exports.  Since then, SDI specialists have built up substantial experience and expertise in teleports, wireless networks, telecenters, and business/technology parks.  

SDI projects typically advance success-sharing frameworks such as Build-Operate-Transfer agreements benefiting education and training opportunities in surrounding communities. To ensure that projects are undertaken on a sustainable basis, we focus on engaging private sector developers and investors in replicable, scalable pilot projects that use affordable satellite and other technologies to connect the talent in rural and urban areas with global learning, internship, work-study, and telework opportunities.  Opening affordable access to telecommunications is essential to ensuring that ICT opportunities reach the least-advantaged, as well as most-advantaged, workers in developing countries.