The Emerging Markets Development Advisers Program (EMDAP) is a fellowship and cooperative activity between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Institute of International Education (IIE). Through EMDAP, U.S. graduate students and recent graduates with non-profit, business, private sector, public policy, and international relations related backgrounds provide technical assistance and support to local organizations in USAID-assisted countries. EMDAP targeted assistance supports USAID's strategy of building local capacity through innovative and sustainable assistance by transferring knowledge to local organizations and individuals.
EMDAP is a demand driven program with placement based on requests from USAID field Missions, as well as other U.S. government entities, NGO's and development private sector actors. Working with the sponsoring agency or organization, IIE has the flexibility to design placements to address specific needs in economic growth, education, health, youth & development, humanitarian assistance and other technical areas.
EMDAP Advisers recruited from top graduate schools are selected based on their background & skills, leadership qualities, problem solving capabilities, and communication & analysis abilities. Through 12 month fellowship work assignments, advisers produce tangible improvements and sustainable systems in existing as well as start-up organizations in various areas such as business planning, organizational operations, product marketing, financial systems & reporting, human resources and internet technology.
For Local Entrepreneurs: Strengthen Business Skills
- Encourage and support broad-based economic growth, as well as enhancement of the management practices of local entrepreneurs in developing countries through assistance to small and medium-sized businesses.
For U.S. Graduate Schools: Develop International Business Training
- Bring home development lessons learned in the field to prepare U.S. students for work in and with developing countries, as well as expansion of the graduate business school curricula to include the business practices of emerging markets.
For the U.S. Business Community: Increase International Competence of U.S. Workforce
- Enlarge the reservoir of internationally competent U.S. business executives available to assist American companies in doing business with emerging markets.
For the Global Business Community: Increase U.S. Business Linkages Overseas
- Utilize previously established professional and personal contacts with developing country enterprises in order to capitalize on trade and investment opportunities abroad.
For USAID: Capacity Development
- Increasing its capacity for developing human resources in support of broad-based, sustainable economic growth.
A recent impact study has demonstrated the program’s effectiveness in achieving its objectives, with all five elements benefiting from EMDAP. The impacts are immediate as well as long-term. Several host companies and organizations reported improvements in their operations within months of the Adviser’s arrival.
Examples of Adviser-initiated innovations have ranged from introducing time and cost saving methods in product packaging, to implementing a customer friendly, country-wide bank deposit system, to designing and activating a revenue-increasing, computerized, activity-based cost control and pricing system.
The U.S. business community has recognized the potential contribution of EMDAP Advisers to their success in the global marketplace. EMDAP alumni have moved into positions in international business or development with major U.S. corporations as well as small and medium-sized businesses, business-serving institutions, non-governmental and non-profit organizations.
Many EMDAP advisers have used their experience to springboard into a variety of interesting and challenging international assignments. One Adviser was hired by a U.S. company to promote telecommunications business with Asia largely on the strength of his EMDAP experience in Nepal. Another Adviser has furthered his interests in international business by working in the Chicago stock exchange, focusing specifically on emerging markets.
An example of international development work is the experience of an Adviser who has gone on to work with agribusiness development in Latin America. Yet another Adviser decided to pursue a career in microfinance based on his initial experience in South Africa with a rural microfinance institution.
Under a cooperative effort between USAID, the Institute of International Education (IIE), and Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), the Emerging Markets Development Advisers Program is supported by USAID missions overseas, USAID’s implementing partners and USAID in Washington, DC.
Work assignments are identified in collaboration with the USAID/HQ CTO and with each cooperating USAID field mission. Mission Officers who generally serve as Mission contacts, select Advisers (in consultation with Host organizations) by matching candidate credentials with the requirements of the assignments they have identified. This phase ensures that work assignments support USAID economic development objectives and it identifies Advisers whose skills and experience best match a particular assignment.
EMDAP promotes the long-term goal of expanding the understanding of business issues in emerging markets. In this spirit, past EMDAP Advisers have developed case studies that illustrate important considerations for best business practices in emerging markets. With assistance from university experts, these case studies were refined and published.
EMDAP currently no longer requires Advisers to write case studies but the first volume of these case studies, Portraits of Small Businesses from the Developing World, the second, third and fourth volumes, Portraits of Business Practices in Emerging Markets, and the accompanying instructor’s manuals have been distributed widely to U.S. business schools and are available for free online. Please visit our Case Studies section to view all available volumes.
SUMMARY DATA (1992-2014)
List of Past & Present Participating Countries | 50
- Dominican Republic
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent & The Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago