Capstone Projects

The Master of Global Affairs creates opportunities for its students to work with clients developing real-life solutions for global problems.

Second year capstone projects are a true reflection of the real world – our students provide genuine insight on global problems for real clients. Students work together in a team, across geographies, to provide a client with value-added analysis and innovative solutions.

 Our 2015-2016 Capstone Projects

Insurance and the Internet of Things in Ontario

Client: Vasu Daggupaty, Team Lead, Investment & Industry Division, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment & Infrastructure.
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2016
Student Team: Sarah Bleiwas, Stella Jiang, Holly Long, Ariel Sim, Yuyu Zhang

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development.
Governments around the world compete for investment, on every continent and at every level of administration. They do so because governments need investment to generate tax revenue and participate in the development of global innovations. At the same time, capital is increasingly mobile, transforming what might otherwise be national negotiations into a series of bidding wars for particular investments or ‘locational tournaments’. As a result, Ontario – a relatively small market and jurisdiction on the global scale – must be judicious about the opportunities and investments that it pursues. The Internet of Things is a label attached to the rapid proliferation of network-enabled devices that are embedded with software, sensors and other electronics allowing the exchange of data. Constituting a suite of products and solutions which will be divided by vertical market application, the Internet of Things represents a powerful market opportunity for researchers, innovators and firms in Ontario to stake their claim as industry leaders in an emerging technology area. The Ministry requires a detailed analysis of the opportunity represented by IoT across verticals to understand what types of policy tools could be deployed to encourage its proliferation in Ontario’s economy.

 

Best Practices in Employing Alternative Incentives for Attracting FDI Targets

Client: Christopher Lau, Senior Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2016
Student Team: Adam Garrib, Julia Kochneva, Christopher Villegas-Cho, Chang Zou

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development.

Over the past few decades, foreign direct investment (FDI) has become an important factor driving economic growth. Inflows of FDI help diffuse innovative knowledge and technologies throughout the economy. This process creates increased productivity, improved quality of goods and services, and overall greater competitiveness. FDI can also be a very strong source of creating and retaining meaningful employment for large segments of society. A greater pool of invested capital, along with higher job creation also leads to greater revenues for government through various means such as direct taxes paid by foreign investors and also through indirect means such as income taxes and sales

taxes driven by increased consumer spending. However, rising to the challenge of consistently attracting FDI is no easy task. This project focuses on the following questions:

  1. What best practice public policies support the attraction of FDI, and in particular, global manufacturing mandates? For example, what sub-national initiatives have been implemented around the world and have they been effective?
  2. How are other North American governments organized to co-ordinate national, subnational, and regional-level initiatives? For example, which actors are carrying out which activities?

Considerations for the Development of an Ontario Health Outcomes Fund

Client: Alexis Wise, Health Advisor & Capital Advisory Manager, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2016
Student Team: Elise Belzil, Rebekka Bond, Daanish Hussain, Jonathan Tavone

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.

The field of social finance is growing rapidly across the globe.  The Centre for Impact Investment aims to harness this momentum and mobilize capital in new ways to better test, scale and learn from innovative approaches to tackling our most complex social challenges.  We seek to replicate successful models that have profound that have been developed elsewhere, but also to pioneer unique made in Canada approaches. Across both the public and philanthropic sectors, there is an increasing desire to better understand whether money spent through grants and traditional contracting results in improved social outcomes.  Both governments and charitable organizations want to spend their money more wisely by funding programs that work.  As a natural evolution of our work, the Centre is championing the idea of establishing an “Outcomes Fund”, which would serve as a pool of money from which to pay service delivery organizations for successfully achieving target social outcomes.  We see a role for both government and for charitable foundations to act as outcomes payors, now we have to plan and design how this would work in practice.  In particular, we are promoting the concept of an Ontario Health Outcomes Fund.   Students would support this work by exploring how best to structure an outcomes  fund, by seeking out health initiatives that would be well suited to pay-for-success funding structures and defining the criteria required to identify suitable programs, and by detailing how this concept would be implemented and evolve over time. 

Developing an Innovation Policy for Energy

Client: Kathleen Gnocato, Senior Associate, MaRS Advanced Energy Centre
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2016
Student Team: Melanie Wallace, Digvijay Mehra, Travis Southin, Eddie Kawooya

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to the MaRS Advanced Energy Centre.

Based on the Advanced Energy Centre’s (the Centre) defined policy strategy, students will develop a set of specific policy recommendations to be put forward by the Advanced Energy Centre to the federal government. Recommendations will fit within each pillar of the Centre’s overarching policy strategy. Deliverables will include a written report outlining the analysis behind the recommendations and brief PowerPoint deck presenting findings and recommendations.

Our 2014-2015 Capstone Projects

Tackling wicked Problems: Comparative Analysis of Collective Impact Against Community Development and Change Labs.

Client: Allyson Hewitt, Advisor, Social Innovation; Senior Fellow, Social Innovation; and Director, SiG@MaRS
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Rathbone Rebecca, Ansari Anam, Chung Vivian

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to SiG@MaRS.

Communities ranging from local neighborhoods to states are faced with countless social problems. Practitioners use an array of different approaches to mitigate problems.  By examining different approaches, the students will report on the ability of problem-mitigating approaches to tackle wicked problems.  The students will develop a comprehensive list of fields that could be mapped to Collective Impact. Dissecting the core elements of those fields and then mapping them to the collective impact work. How would those elements map to the world of collective impact? Why? So we can build a wonderful mash-up of fields that better increase our chance of success and don’t force people into a new framework that doesn’t honor their experience.

Proposing Canada’s First Female-Focused Angel Investing Education Program

Client: Tony Redpath, PhD. Senior Fellow, MaRS
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Kara Chiki, Xiaolu Guan, Chelsea Wadley

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to MaRS.

The lack of women entrepreneurs, particularly in the ICT sector, has been a topic of some discussion recently.  While a number of initiatives are starting to address this issue, a parallel, but less recognized problem is the lack of female angel investors. The two issues are clearly linked – a stronger network of female angel investors is a key ingredient in creating a more favorable climate for female entrepreneurs. MaRS is uniquely positioned to tackle the angel problem – we currently have an active angel group and we have a large complement of investment ready client companies that need angel investors. In order to raise funding for a strong female angel recruiting and education program, MaRS needs assistance in creating a better understanding of best practices throughout the world. Given that MaRS has an interest in both for profit investments as well as those with social impacts, we are interested in global experiences in both developed and developing countries.

AEC’s Mapping Services Tool for Export Ready Canadian Cleantech SMEs

Client: Ron Dizy, Managing Director, Advanced Energy Centre
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Simeran Bachra, Nina Da Nobrega Garcia, Meg McQuillan

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to the Advanced Energy Centre.

Significantly contribute to the development of the Advanced Energy Centre’s international strategy through an assessment of key challenges to adopting energy innovation in developing nations. The project specifics:

1. Mapping Services: Create an internal tool for the AEC to direct Cleantech energy export-ready companies to the appropriate services provided by international partners and other organizations. The tool will also form the basis of an online interactive tool that will appear on the AEC website, to be designed alongside the Graphic Designer.

2. Market Information Template: Objective of this project is twofold:

  • First, create a market information template that can be applied to any priority market to provide Canadian cleantech companies with a 360 degree view of the opportunities and barriers within these markets. The information distilled by the template should help companies to prioritize markets (understand where to spend more time)
  • Second, apply template to two markets, Colombia and Chile, to produce two complete Market Information reports

Innovation Policy Design in Government

Client: Joeri van den Steenhoven, Director, MaRS Solutions Lab
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Celine Wadhera, Mina Akrami, Jonathan Bitoun, Rebeca Ramirez

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to the MaRS Solutions Lab.

Around the world, governments seek new approaches to solve complex public problems. With fewer resources due to fiscal pressures, governments need to find new ways to make policy and deliver public services. Increasingly, governments work with public innovation labs to make that happen. The aim of the study is to find and analyze examples of innovative policy approaches that have been successfully implemented in four different countries, and on that basis develop two business cases for interventions that could be implemented by either a Provincial or Federal Government in Canada.

Unclaimed property for social purpose: Canadian Landscape and Legislative Recommendations.

Client: Sarah Doyle, Senior Policy Advisor, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
Faculty Advisor: Shiri M. Breznitz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Claire Drummond, Fariha Husain, Iain McCauley, Marc Racette

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. 

Are unclaimed assets a source of impact investing capital for Canada? In Canada, a variety of unclaimed assets are held by different institutions and by different levels of government. Research is required to assess the opportunity for leveraging unclaimed assets for social impact in Canada. The students would conduct a scan of unclaimed assets in Canada, including sources, amounts, the institutions that hold and ultimately absorb these assets, and relevant policies, laws and regulations. This scan would be accompanied by a review of existing literature, and interviews with relevant experts (e.g., government officials, bank representatives, lawyers, and non-profit sector leaders who have previously explored this issue). The final report would include: an overview of the opportunity, possible approaches to leveraging unclaimed assets held by the Bank of Canada and other institutions, and implications (risks, costs and benefits). 

Remittances in the Context of Natural Disasters

Client: Dr. Catherine Bragg, Former Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, UN OCHA
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Glenn Gibson, Haleigh King, Ashley Lefler, Faustin Ntoubandi

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to UN OCHA.
The mandate of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is to coordinate humanitarian operations in crises around the world, raise funds to support the operations, and advocate for the rights of those affected by disasters. This project seeks to investigate the role of remittances in disaster response. What do we know about remittances and humanitarian disasters? How do disasters impact remittance volumes? How do remittances reach disaster-affected people? Is there a relationship between remittances and humanitarian action? Students investigated these questions and produced a report advising how the international humanitarian community can take into account private remittances to advance humanitarian action.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Client: Paul Cadario, Former Senior Manager, The World Bank
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Andrei Burloiu, Irene Ferro Colmenares, Sultan Mollov, Joel Parsan, Noureen Ramzy

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to The World Bank Group.
The World Bank Group is the largest anti-poverty institution in the world, offering loans, advice, knowledge and an array of customized resources to more than 100 developing countries and countries in transition. This project suggests the role the World Bank Group should play and what it needs to do to align capacity and action in the challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be set in late 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly. The project focuses on a select few SDGs to display the types of successes and challenges the Bank encounters while working on development issues across the globe.

Canadian Business Presence in China: A Closer Look

Client: Canada China Business Council
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Tannuva Akbar, Yuan Fang, Jinyi Liu, Sihan Wen

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The Canada China Business Council (CCBC) is this country’s Canada-China bilateral business, trade and investment facilitator, catalyst and advocate. This project sheds light on the footprint of Canadian companies and organizations in China, and the nature of their presence. To the extent that data is available, the report focuses on the agrifood, cleantech, and ICT sectors. The report will serve as a useful reference tool for governments and academic institutions, as well as the CCBC and its members.

Youth Travel Planning

Client: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development – Consular Services
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Lerone Charles, Ishita Guptan, Salma Hassanein, Nazlee Maghsoudi, Danielle Ridout

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DFATD is the leading federal government agency responsible for providing advice and assistance to Canadians before and while they travel, work, and study abroad. This project involved primary research to gain insight on how Canadian youth plan for travel (including how they use DFATD’s travel planning resources) and makes recommendations to increase the appeal of the Department’s travel planning resources to youth.

Citizen Campaigns: Impact and Longevity in the Digital Era

Client: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development – Direct Diplomacy
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Amanda Coletta, Nicolas Dagostino, Viktoria Lovrics, Theodore Milosevic, Samantha Rudick, Samuel Wollenberg

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Ben Rowswell, Canada’s Ambassador to Venezuela, has been exploring opportunities for improving the practice of diplomacy through digital tools since he was member of the Liberation Technology Program at Stanford University. The research project canvasses 11 civil society, or civilian-led campaigns that have used digital tools to mobilize citizens into action and effect change. It then draws main lessons about what motivates citizens to engage, and continue to participate, in such campaigns. This research is accompanied by an active presence on social media sharing findings, prompting public discussion, and spreading awareness.

The Fight Against ISIL: Creating Credible Alternatives and Counter-Narratives

Client: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development – Policy Research Division
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Marie Andic, Neekoo Collett, Robert Denaburg, Kaya Dunawa-Pickard, Duncan Pike, Amanda Stone

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The mandate of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada is to manage Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations, to encourage the country’s international trade and to lead Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants pose an unprecedented threat to Canada and the international community, and ISIL’s ability to navigate cyberspace has been a notable contributor to the group’s success. This capstone project produces policy briefs examining ISIL’s narrative and its resonance beyond Syria and Iraq along with ISIL’s social media strategy, and identifies elements for building credible content for a counter-narrative, as well as key partners and interlocutors for countering ISIL online.

The 2025 Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Environment: A Strategic Analysis

Client: The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Matthew Govereau, Taylor Grott, Khalid Mahdi, Ehab Mustapha, Antonia Tsapralis

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Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is one of the world’s leading independent international medical relief organizations, comprised of 35,000 staff working in more than 70 countries worldwide and with operational centres and national offices in 19 countries, including Canada. The current Ebola epidemic has been unprecedented in scope, however it is much more than an immediate health crisis. This project focuses on the wider impacts of the epidemic, examining the medium and longer-term effects Ebola will have on health systems in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The project team has produced an analysis that examines 1) the contributing factors to the Ebola crisis 2) the socio-economic impacts of the outbreak 3) a health systems trend analysis and 4) case studies on particular health issues impacted by Ebola.

Engaging China: Subnational Best Practices Around the World

Client: David Mulroney, Former Canadian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Andrew Chisholm, Michael Ciniello, Mingjun Lu, Sophia Lu, Subhi Tarim

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The province of Ontario has prioritized its strong and fast growing relationship with China, building on a foundation of partnership with Jiangsu province, the province’s trade office and trade missions, and the efforts of eight different Ministries. However, the Government of Ontario can also draw on emerging best practices for sub-national units around the world, in order to improve its approach to engaging China and to expand its political and economic relationship with the Middle Kingdom. Our client identified effective methods of internal organization, approaches and mechanisms for domestic and foreign messaging, and metrics of success as key priorities. In order to identify best practices in these areas, our team undertook a review of twelve sub-national jurisdictions in Canada, the United States, Australia, and Germany, which have strong, successful, and innovative programming in their relations with China. The team offers recommendations to the Government of Ontario, based on its analysis of a core set of practices vital for success.

Canada’s Expatriates

Client: John Stackhouse Consulting
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Malek Chouikh, Allison McHugh, Neil Peet, Caroline Senini, Sahl Syed

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John Stackhouse is an independent author, researcher and policy analyst, advising a range of companies and non-profits, including post-secondary education institutions, on their position in both the world and digital environment. This project analyzes and adds to research efforts to inform a broad study of Canadian expatriates and their influence. The capstone team produced a report with datasets about the Canadian population abroad and qualifications of the expatriate connection to Canada. The team identifies policy consequences requiring further study and debate.

Payments for Ecosystem Services: Insights from Cross-Country Carbon Project Analysis

Client: World Wildlife Fund
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2015
Student Team: Justice Durland, Boyang Fan, Ariana Keyman, Monica Khosravi, Emma Stanton

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The world’s leading conservation organization, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) works in over 100 countries to conserve nature and reduce to most pressing threats to the diversity of life on earth. As a leader in developing payment for ecosystem services (PES) schemes around the world, WWF is invested in better understanding best practices and determinants of success in this area. This study, “Payments for Ecosystem Services: Insights from Cross-Country Carbon Project Analysis,” will inform internal strategy development of PES projects and provide a foundation for discussion at the Annual General Meeting in June. One main component of this project is a comprehensive database of PES carbon projects.


Our 2013-2014 Capstone Projects


Strategic Coordination of Cash Transfer Programming for Humanitarian Assistance

Client: Dr. Catherine Bragg, Former Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, OCHA
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Kathleen Gnocato, Michelle Park, Christian Vandergeest, Bianca Vong

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to OCHA.

In the evolving landscape in humanitarian response and disaster relief, the modality of humanitarian aid is also changing. Increasingly, and through improved telecommunications and technology, aid organizations rely on cash transfer programmes (CTP) rather than in-kind assistance. Indeed, there is the possibility that in the future cash programming could become the norm, and in-kind assistance the exception. For example, by 2015, the World Food Program aims to have 30-40% of all programming in the form of CTP. This could have a transformative impact on humanitarian assistance and shift the way responses are planned, funded, coordinated, carried-out, and monitored. Regardless of the precise trajectory of cash transfers in emergency response, its increased uptake is already impacting humanitarian assistance. Given this, OCHA needs to ensure that it understands well the potential implications for both the humanitarian system and its own operational role and services.

This project investigated (1) how an increase in cash programming will impact humanitarian coordination and humanitarian assistance in the future and (2) an action plan for how OCHA needs to amend its services and tools to be ‘cash ready’.

Access to Finance in Mozambique and Liberia

Client: Building Markets
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Avet Khachatrian, Niranand Kumar, Shahrad Mottahadeh, Veronique Rousseau

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This project addresses the challenge of access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and specifically the lack of basic financial instruments in Liberia and Mozambique. SMEs in developing countries, like all businesses, have a wide range of financing needs. However, the financial infrastructure is underdeveloped in Liberia and, to a lesser extent, Mozambique. SMEs have limited access to credit, including both capital sources and financial products. While commercial banks in these countries are interested increasing lending to the SME sector, they have a natural bias toward larger, lower-risk companies and lack the internal skills to assess the risk and credit profiles of SMEs. Furthermore, since there are many more SMEs than large corporations, the building of wide-ranging and deep relationships in the SME sector can be difficult for banks. This means simple financial products, like trade financing, commonly used in developed markets, are very scarce in these markets.

Given Building Markets’ extensive knowledge of the local business landscapes and strong relationships with SMEs and large buyers, Building Markets can assist in the introduction and offering of new innovative financial products in these markets, either as a direct provider of these services or as a facilitator. Thus, Building Markets is seeking assistance in defining a clear strategy and action plan for programs that facilitate the offering of new and relevant financial products for SMEs.

Value for Money and GRRPs: A Blueprint to Maximize the World Bank’s Development Impact

Client: Paul Cadario, Former Senior Manager, The World Bank
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Elisabeth Couture, Vanessa Furgiuele, Andrea Wilson, Ashkan Zayandehroodi

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to The World Bank.

So far, little is known about how the World Bank’s updated strategy will analyze and lay out its future involvement in global and regional partnership programs (GRPPs). The overall situation was most recently reviewed by the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) in late 2011, following up on the seminal 2004 report “Addressing the Challenges of Globalization
: An Independent Evaluation of the World Bank’s Approach to Global Programs” that assessed the partnership strategy and activities in place during the Wolfensohn presidency. IEG annually produces global program reviews of a number of GRPPs in which the World Bank Group (WBG) is a partner, in accordance with a mandate from the Bank’s Executive Board in September 2004. These reviews aim (a) to help improve the relevance and the effectiveness of the programs being reviewed, (b) to identify and disseminate lessons of broader application to other programs, and (c) to contribute to the development of standards, guidelines, and good practices for evaluating GRPPs. IEG does not, as a matter of policy, recommend the continuation or discontinuation of any programs being reviewed.

Using a small collection of original papers and a selection from among the 24 recent global program reviews from the IEG website, the team assessed the ‘value for money’ of the World Bank’s involvement in global programs. The team was free to choose from among the various approaches to ‘value for money’; its goal was to see whether the value added and results from the World Bank’s contribution are worthwhile compared to other actors or possible actors in the partnership involved, and to assess the GRPP elements of the new strategy in light of their analysis of the Bank’s past role in GRPPs. Different sets of analysis criteria were considered: for example, assessing value according to return on investment models that are more internally focused, looking at development outcomes, reviewing cost-effectiveness compared to other stakeholders or providers, in order to get at the heart of accountability and the WBG’s role on global public goods in a changing world.

Assessment of the World Bank’s Reform Strategy

Client: Paul Cadario, Former Senior Manager, The World Bank
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Nathaniel Dove, Xiaoru Fei, Mary Milner, Brendan Munro Harrison, Kerry Paterson

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Please note that this briefing was a mock exercise conducted as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto. The content of this document is not an actual submission to The World Bank.

In September 2013, the World Bank unveiled a new strategy designed to achieve the two overarching goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. This effort is the latest in a series of strategy exercises over the last 15 years, which have led to reorganizations, refocusing and process improvements. Led by World Bank presidents Jim Wolfensohn (1995-2005), Paul Wolfowitz and Robert Zoellick, each has had its own goals and methods. Upon the revision, updating, refinement or replacement of each set of goals, or on the of accession of a new CEO, the Bank and external stakeholders and commentators have taken stock of what the Bank is doing, and—generally—how it needs to change. Much of this has been internal, but with the growth of social media, both academia and other observers of the Bank (think tanks and NGOs) have spoken candidly and critically of what the Bank needs to do and how it needs to change.

Using a stock of original documents, and working with publicly available materials, the team took stock of what has worked and what has not in the past; assessed the new strategy in light of past experience; suggested ways to improve the likelihood of success of what the Bank (Group) is now embarking on.

Mapping Canada’s Footprint in Asia

Client: Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE)
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Rory Johnston, Mi Su Lee, Sarah Mistak, Sean Tyler

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This project seeks to address a series of questions concerning Canadian companies in Asia. How big is Canada’s footprint in Asia? How are Canadian companies taking advantage of opportunities in Asia? Specifically, examining Asian markets and what Canadian companies are doing in Asia, comparing with Australian, EU, US and other Asian counterparts.

Knowledge Outreach and Implementing CIFAR 2.0: Best Practices and Recommendations

Client: Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Marta Blackwell, Sulyn Clow, Alexander Dirksen, Luis Najera

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Over the past year, CIFAR has committed to renew its focus on engaging with stakeholders in the public and private sectors in order to drive change in the world. CIFAR’s role is to ensure that stakeholders are better positioned to act on the transformative knowledge emerging from CIFAR’s global research networks for the betterment of humanity. To inform CIFAR’s planning and support its commitment to excellence, MGA students produced a report evaluating Knowledge Outreach best practices in organizations similar to CIFAR, recommendations on how to increase CIFAR’s impact through Knowledge Outreach, discussion of methodologies, and the intended positive outcomes and potential implications of the recommendations.

Making NATO Fit for Purpose

Client: Department of National Defence
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Nerin Ali, Rania Hajjan, Ian Literovich, Catherine Smith

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At the Lisbon Summit in 2010, NATO Heads of State and Government adopted a new “Strategic Concept” designed to guide the next phase of NATO’s evolution to ensure, that, against the backdrop of a changing security environment, the Alliance remained effective as a collective defence instrument providing security to its member states as well as contributing to a more secure world. Reforming the Alliance was a key objective for Canada and a number of other allies. In Lisbon, a reform package was adopted – including a review of the NATO Command structure; resource management; HQ reform and capability development.

In 2012, against the backdrop of new security challenges such as cyber and economic and financial challenges for many Allies, as well as the evolution and transition of the mission in Afghanistan, NATO leaders met again at the Chicago Summit and pledged, i.a., to further reform, better defence planning, enhanced interoperability and new approaches on partnership.

NATO is now looking forward to a possible Summit in 2014. Neither Lisbon nor Chicago commitments on reform and capabilities have yet been fully implemented. The economic and financial context of many European Alliance members (with a few exceptions) has worsened and defence budgets, in particular, are under increasing scrutiny and pressure, compounded by expectations for a post Afghanistan ISAF mission dividend or relief. The willingness and ability of the US to underwrite much of Alliance capability is no longer a given, even as transatlantic ties remain fundamental to the cohesion of the Alliance and collective defence. More broadly, in some NATO countries publics and parliaments are questioning the role and relevance of the Alliance given 21st century threats and political dynamics.

Beyond financial considerations, the political unity of purpose and effort, understanding of the role of the Alliance in both the euro-Atlantic and broader global space, and dynamics within the Alliance as a political and operational military alliance are increasingly challenging. This is set against the backdrop of a much more fractured and complex international political and security environment where the Alliance’s role as a forum for concerted, common defence effort – including through pooling and sharing of defence responsibilities and interoperability – has become even more important.

Canada considers NATO foundational to our defence and security. But the Alliance must be transformed, in terms of resource management, structures, decision making, common capabilities, partnerships and other issues to be made ‘fit for purpose’ as a collective defence alliance. NATO needs to be a platform into which other partners can ‘plug and play’ and NATO needs to redefine and focus more clearly on its core business and situate itself appropriately in the broader regional and global security landscape, including vis a vis the EU.

As the Alliance looks towards a pivotal year, in 2014, there is an opportunity to ‘reset’ NATO. This could range from a fundamental rethink of the role, purpose and realities of an Alliance of 28 to a more modest renewal effort. Both require, as a starting point, a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the medium term security environment; an understanding of the dynamics within and among Allied governments; regional considerations (from Russia to the Middle East and Asia Pacific); a frank and unvarnished ‘lessons learned’ from operations (eg Afghanistan, Libya) , a candid assessment of what allies are willing – and not willing – to bring to NATO missions (both politically and operationally) and consideration of new approaches to managing NATO, as an organization, drawing on the best practices of leading edge resource management – from HQ establishments to capability development and investment prioritization.

NATO and Strategic Partnerships

Client: Department of National Defence
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Penelope Angelopoulos, Kristen Pue, Elizabeth Shelley, Louis Tsilivis

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At the Lisbon Summit in 2010, NATO Heads of State and Government adopted a new “Strategic Concept” designed to guide the next phase of NATO’s evolution to ensure, that, against the backdrop of a changing security environment, the Alliance remained effective as a collective defence instrument providing security to its member states as well as contributing to a more secure world. Reforming the Alliance was a key objective for Canada and a number of other allies. In Lisbon, a reform package was adopted – including a review of the NATO Command structure; resource management; HQ reform and capability development.

In 2012, against the backdrop of new security challenges such as cyber and economic and financial challenges for many Allies, as well as the evolution and transition of the mission in Afghanistan, NATO leaders met again at the Chicago Summit and pledged, i.a., to further reform, better defence planning, enhanced interoperability and new approaches on partnership.

NATO is now looking forward to a possible Summit in 2014. Neither Lisbon nor Chicago commitments on reform and capabilities have yet been fully implemented. The economic and financial context of many European Alliance members (with a few exceptions) has worsened and defence budgets, in particular, are under increasing scrutiny and pressure, compounded by expectations for a post Afghanistan ISAF mission dividend or relief. The willingness and ability of the US to underwrite much of Alliance capability is no longer a given, even as transatlantic ties remain fundamental to the cohesion of the Alliance and collective defence. More broadly, in some NATO countries publics and parliaments are questioning the role and relevance of the Alliance given 21st century threats and political dynamics.

Beyond financial considerations, the political unity of purpose and effort, understanding of the role of the Alliance in both the euro-Atlantic and broader global space, and dynamics within the Alliance as a political and operational military alliance are increasingly challenging. This is set against the backdrop of a much more fractured and complex international political and security environment where the Alliance’s role as a forum for concerted, common defence effort – including through pooling and sharing of defence responsibilities and interoperability – has become even more important.

Canada considers NATO foundational to our defence and security. But the Alliance must be transformed, in terms of resource management, structures, decision making, common capabilities, partnerships and other issues to be made ‘fit for purpose’ as a collective defence alliance. NATO needs to be a platform into which other partners can ‘plug and play’ and NATO needs to redefine and focus more clearly on its core business and situate itself appropriately in the broader regional and global security landscape, including vis a vis the EU.

As the Alliance looks towards a pivotal year, in 2014, there is an opportunity to ‘reset’ NATO. This could range from a fundamental rethink of the role, purpose and realities of an Alliance of 28 to a more modest renewal effort. Both require, as a starting point, a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the medium term security environment; an understanding of the dynamics within and among Allied governments; regional considerations (from Russia to the Middle East and Asia Pacific); a frank and unvarnished ‘lessons learned’ from operations (eg Afghanistan, Libya) , a candid assessment of what allies are willing – and not willing – to bring to NATO missions (both politically and operationally) and consideration of new approaches to managing NATO, as an organization, drawing on the best practises of leading edge resource management – from HQ establishments to capability development and investment prioritization.

Strategic Partnerships: A Report for The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units

Client: The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Elad Dvash-Banks, Elizabeth Severinovskaya, Megan Strachan, Perizat Sarsenbayeva

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Please note that this report was prepared as part of degree fulfilment for the Masters of Global Affairs program at the University of Toronto, based on Egmont Group operations during a transitional period.

This project consisted of a strategic stakeholder analysis for the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and analyzed how The Group, during a transition period after approving a new Charter, was integrated, or is lacking integration, with other international AML/CFT partners. The MGA students produced a report identifying the main gaps in The Group’s interaction with partners, along with recommendations for addressing these gaps, and developing strategic, systemic and transparent partnerships with key stakeholders.

Connect T.O. Ambassadors Program

Client: Invest Toronto (City of Toronto)
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Stacey Bocknek, Anika Harford, Rui Li, Faye Simmonds, Zach Paikin

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The objective of the proposed campaign has as its objective reinforcing—for key constituencies nationally and internationally—the fact that Toronto is an Asia Pacific city. The objective is to ensure that governments, international organizations, media, investors, students, tourists and Canadians across the country, are aware of the city’s many connections to Asia and its many advantages as a point of contact with a region that is increasingly central to our prosperity, security and well-being.

At its heart, the campaign would feature initiatives designed to reinforce Toronto’s standing as an Asia Pacific centre. A key element would be the establishment in Toronto of a globally recognized and nationally funded institute for Asia Pacific studies. Taking a lesson from Australia, this should include a think tank focused on the economic/political/security implications for Canada of China’s rise. The University of Toronto would be a natural home for such an institution.

Promotion and communications, nationally and internationally, with a particular focus on social media, would be central to the effort. This would involve communicating Toronto as a centre for Asia-relevant culture, media, education and tourism. It would also provide a platform for Torontonians whose work (in education, entertainment, media, and business) is known across the Pacific.

It would involve cooperation with all levels of government to ensure that we are putting the energy, urgency and high-level presence into the promotion of Toronto’s education, technology and services sectors that we traditionally put into the promotion of Canadian natural resources. And it would involve making smarter connections among existing projects, visits and events, such as building on the synergy between what the banks, insurance companies and TSE are doing in the region and educational opportunities through Toronto schools that are active in Asia.

While the size of the many communities of Asian origin within the city—and the depth of talent and experience this creates—is central to our case, we should also make the case that most of Canada’s economic activity with Asia is directed from Toronto. Institutions from the ROM, to the Zoo (pandas arrive this month) to TIFF have significant program links to Asia. Toronto’s airport is a gateway for North-America bound Asian travellers. The University of Toronto has links that go back to the earliest days of Asia’s most important educational institutions and continues to build partnerships with the innovators, activists and future political leaders who are shaping Asia’s future.

The challenge we face is based on the popular and prevailing narrative that Asia’s rise entails an east-to-west shift in power and influence in Canada. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, ultimately influencing government policy and spending, and shaping our own messages about ourselves. It creates (and to an extent is creating) the perception in Asia that Canada east of the Rockies has little to offer. Canada simply must deploy all of its major assets in engaging the region. We cannot afford to do otherwise. We should aspire to have more than one Asia Pacific destination and point of departure. It is time for Toronto to stake its claim.

Digital Education for Rwanda: Pilot Project Recommendations

Client: The Rumie Initiative
Faculty Advisor: Teresa Kramarz
Semester: Winter 2014
Student Team: Amrita Kumar-Ratta, Max Marcus, Seher Shafiq, Patrick Harford

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The Rumie Initiative builds tablets that are cheap, low power, fully useable without an internet connection, and loaded with extremely high quality educational content. Rumie is currently working with local distribution partners to launch pilot projects in the next six months in Haiti and Rwanda.

In the future, two key trends will continue to drive the value proposition:
1. Supply of online high-quality digital educational content (which has no marginal cost to reproduce) will continue to increase
2. Prices of commodity: Android-based tablets will continue to drop

Thus, these external trends suggest that the Rumie tablet of today will ride existing market forces to become cheaper and better over time.

But our long-term goal is not simply to prepare tablets in-house for our local distribution partners to implement in classrooms. We will grow into a broader movement to support the idea that affordable access to education is a basic human right. Our vision is to build a ‘crowdsourcing’ community of global volunteers to support the initiative by curating existing content, creating new content or apps, translating content from English to other languages, and developing the open-source platform that goes into the tablets.

The MGA students produced a report including comprehensive country assessment of Rwanda, the prospective partner-state. Rwanda’s high-level ICT policies and commitment to ICT4E initiatives make it a promising candidate for partnership, but its specific curriculum must be taken into account in customizing donated tablets. The team also put together a review of Monitoring and Evaluation principles from leading NGOs and grant-making organizations, to inform Rumie’s data collection. Government and private-sector donors alike are flexible regarding format and focused on accounting for impact. Individual M&E profiles allow Rumie to better understand these donors’ particular missions and principles. Finally, the report concludes with a lessons-learned section proposing best practices for Rumie moving forward. These span Rumie’s organization structure and draw on general EduTech research and literature.

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