RCI | Success Stories

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a collection of success stories spanning the different aspects of the RCI project


<ul><li><p>RCI Replication of Activities </p><p>RCI, throughout its existence, has been innovative and often introduced different economic development activities that add value to existing country programs, are picked up as a new activity or are replicated in other countries. Some of these examples are presented here. </p><p>!"#$%&amp;'($)'*$%&amp;+%,+-.//"--,.(+0$('*"1'(+'221%'/3"-!</p><p>Project Management (PM) Initiative Serbia to the Region For workforce development RCI has supported local individuals to get PM training and certification and, as a result, double the amount of people receiving assistance. After the success of the pilot, RCI developed a report Regional Project Management Capacity Assessment (rciproject.com/rcibhreports.html) which highlighted needs and interest from several countries. RCI is now initiating a replication of the PM activities in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and three more (Moldova, Macedonia and Kosovo) are interested to be included in 2011. </p><p>eBiz Projects - Macedonia to Bosnia and Herzegovina In 2007, USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in the RCI Regional IT Conference, where one of the best practices shown was the Macedonia eBiz Project with activities in tex-tiles, shoe manufacturing and tourism. After this visit and further activity development in partnership with the Norwegian Gov-ernment, the eBiz program was replicated in Bosnia and Her-zegovina as the Excellence in Innovation Project (ei-bih.ba). </p><p>Quality Mark (QM) tourism standards Bulgaria to Albania and Macedonia In 2007, RCI looked into the successful USAID program in Bul-garia on standards in tourism - the Quality Mark (QM), focused on small hotels and B&amp;Bs. The QM added value to the old star system by standardizing a hotels service, management, and environmental policies. RCI developed guidebooks and held awareness events throughout the region. In 2010, the USAID Albania Rritje Project and Exploring Macedonia each took on the QM initiative. Other countries have expressed interest. In Macedonia, the EBRD TAM/BAS project contributed funds to start the program there. </p><p>ITMark / CMMI, IT companies training and certification standards Bulgaria to the Region RCI has been a leader in the region in the development of the IT sector from the beginning of the project. In 2007, building on our successful program of IT training and certification of com-panies in ITMark and CMMI, the regional German assistance GTZ ORF Programme also supported these efforts. By cost sharing with GTZ, RCI was able to increase the number of companies and countries assisted. The RCI project is implemented by SEGURA/IP3 Partners.!</p></li><li><p>!!</p><p>RCI Western Balkans Supplement </p><p> RCI collaborated with National Geographic Traveler and USAID missions in the Western Balkans to produce this regional tourism promotion tool. </p><p>!"#$#%&amp;'()%*+),+-%+"')./01/'-)/-)/)%#2"&amp;-$)3+-%&amp;'/%')</p><p>Overview In partnership with National Geographic Traveler (NGT) and through cost-sharing with regional USAID missions and pro-jects, the RCI Project finalized in May 2010 the Western Bal-kans supplement Land of Discovery: 46 Outstanding Ways to Experience Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Mace-donia, Montenegro and Serbia. www.rciproject.com/tourismng.html The supplement was conceptualized and developed through roundtable discussions and familiarization trips throughout the region. The sites were chosen according to the following key themes: </p><p> Historical / World Heritage Sites and ruins; Unique villages / towns; Churches, cathedrals, monasteries and mosques; Art and museums; Festivals and celebrations; Local music / musical instruments; Outdoor markets / specialty stores / boutiques; Distinctive foods or dishes, cafes and restaurants; Unique crafts, wood, glass, fabric, etc.; Beaches, lakes, parks and gardens; Resorts and spas, B&amp;Bs, agri-tourism; Outdoor activities (hiking, biking, skiing); Wildlife, birds, fish, animals, etc. </p><p> Coverage The NGT Western Balkans supplement was disseminated with the May / June 2010 issue of the National Geographic Maga-zine and Traveler to about 240,000 subscribers from the UK, Netherlands and Germany. What next? Building on the success of the Western Balkans supplement, RCI is looking into continuing the cooperation with National Ge-ographic in several areas, such as possible supplement fo-cused on the Caucasus region and development of NG Geotourism web sites for the RCI region. The RCI project is implemented by SEGURA/IP3 Partners. </p></li><li><p>!!</p><p>Regional Competitiveness Initiative Website </p><p>Overview </p><p> In May 2010, RCI launched its website, www.rciproject.com. The goal of the website is to allow E&amp;E missions, projects, and stakeholders to access and share information on regional competitiveness. </p><p>The website pools together a broad range of RCI resources. In addi-tion to background information on RCI, the website contains: Sector-specific information on RCI activities in IT, tourism, agri-</p><p>business and workforce development; Scopes of work for RCI and other USAID competitiveness pro-</p><p>jects in Europe and Eurasia; All research papers produced under RCI, as well as agendas and </p><p>presentations from RCI events since 2005; Archived RCI newsletters, as well as RCI news items on the front </p><p>page; Front-page links to World Economic Forum competitiveness rank-</p><p>ings for RCI countries; Competitiveness studies from various think tanks and research </p><p>institutes; A thematic calendar of events to promote information-sharing and </p><p>coordination. Designed to serve the region, the RCI website is a work in progress that will evolve according to the needs of regional stakeholders. The interest of those stakeholders since the websites inception has been very strong. In its few short months of operation, the RCI website has been visited 2023 times by 1146 different people. 63.82% of those visitors viewed more than one page. Other data collected about the RCI website include: Most Viewed Pages 6,223 page-views, 4,643 unique views; The most viewed page is the home page (43%), followed by the </p><p>Sarajevo event main page (5%), USAID scopes of work (5%), and Sarajevo Reports (2%). </p><p>Geographic Origin E&amp;E region (over 35%); The U.S. (44%). </p><p> Traffic Source 52% have come from direct traffic (e.g., clicking the link in email </p><p>announcements, or typing the address directly); 26% from sites linking to the RCI website; 21% from search engines. Keywords include rci project, region-</p><p>al competitiveness, and rci usaid. The RCI project is implemented by SEGURA/IP3 Partners. </p></li><li><p>!!</p><p>"#$!"%&amp;%'()*!'+,!-+'./&amp;0&amp;!One of RCIs tasks as a regional project is to research and analyze the most current economic issues, then present opinions and possible solutions to the regional USAID Missions, Projects and other local stakeholders. !</p><p>Below is a summary list of reports developed in recent years under the Regional Competitiveness Initiative: At the 2008 RCI Annual Event in Budva, Montenegro, RCI </p><p>presented the report Competitiveness in the Europe and Eurasia Region: Past, Present and Future, by Neal Na-thanson from USAID Washington, who then updated the re-port into Europe and Eurasia Region: An Overview of USAID Supported Competitiveness Projects. </p><p> At the 2009 RCI Annual Event in Kyiv, Ukraine, with the global economic and financial crisis affecting the region, RCI focused on this most urgent topic with Causes of the Crisis, Its Transmission to Eastern Europe, and Impacts on Economic and Social Conditions, presented by Dr. Paul Marer from the Central European University in Budapest. </p><p> At that same event, RCI presented the reports Technology and Innovation Competitiveness in Eastern and Southeast-ern Europe by Goran Radman, former South East Europe Director for Microsoft and Workforce Competitiveness in the Next Decade by Dr. Eric Butler. </p><p> At the 2010 RCI Annual Event in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Her-zegovina, Dr. Paul Marer presented an update on the global crisis with The Global Economic Crises: Impact on Eastern Europe and The Greece-Euro Crises and their impacts in Eastern Europe. </p><p> Other interesting presentations were made on efforts to overcome the crisis by Dr. Krassen Stanchev from the Insti-tute for Market Economics, Coming Out of the Crisis: Cau-casus, Moldova and Ukraine, and by Dr. Dragana Radevic from CEED Consulting Montenegro, Coming out of the Global Economic Crisis: Current Status, Effects, and Re-sponses - Sub-regional focus on the Western Balkans. </p><p> RCI also develops sector-specific reports. In 2009 for in-stance, at a workshop on workforce development activities in Macedonia, RCI presented USAID Macedonia Workforce Development Assessment: Taking Steps toward a 21st Century Workforce by Dr. Eric Butler. </p><p>All of these reports and many more can be found on the RCI website - www.rciproject.com. Feel free to use them in your work and dissemi-nate to your partners and clients. The RCI project is implemented by SEGURA/IP3 Partners. </p></li><li><p>0%</p><p>10%</p><p>20%</p><p>30%</p><p>40%</p><p>50%</p><p>60%</p><p>70%</p><p>80%</p><p>90%</p><p>100%</p><p>Networking opportunities</p><p>Quality of presentations</p><p>Materials and documentations</p><p>Poor</p><p>Fair</p><p>Good</p><p>Excellent</p><p>!</p><p>!</p><p>RCI Events !"#$%#$%&amp;'(%)'*)"&amp;")%#($+,&amp;-'+.)*(,/)"-&amp;-#$0)&amp;1223&amp;</p><p> RCI is contributing to the regional dialogue on competitiveness by holding regular events ranging from roundtable for 10-15 practitioners on a specific topic (agribusiness, tourism, etc.) to annual events with over 100 participants. </p><p>Overview One of the main strategic goals of RCI is to share knowledge and information across borders and regions. RCI implements this through electronic media such as the RCI web site, quarter-ly Newsletters, bi-weekly tourism &amp; agribusiness information, and the bi-monthly InfoShare. To add more value, RCIs most successful tools are the events that bring stakeholders from all countries and regions together to share their experiences and learn from each other. Evaluation General assessment of the usefulness of RCI events is over-whelmingly positive. </p><p> Relevance: 96-100% indicated that they found RCI events relevant to their work </p><p> Meeting expectations: 92-100% of attendees said that events have met their expectation </p><p> Continued interest: 93-100% of respondents are likely to attend RCI events in the future </p><p> The different aspects of RCI meetings receive very positive rat-ings (excellent or good at a rate of 86-96%). </p><p>Statistics From 2005 to 2010, RCI has organized about 50 events attended by a total of over 3500 participants, which have included representatives of the private sector (over 40%), local governments, and USAID projects and missions. </p><p> The RCI project is implemented by SEGURA/IP3 Partners. &amp;</p></li><li><p>!!</p><p>RCI: Excellence in IT !"#$"%#&amp;'</p><p>One of RCIs most strategic sectors is information technol-ogy (IT). RCI is a leader in de-veloping IT in each country and enhancing competitiveness in the Western Balkans and the Caucasus. One of the main activities RCI supports is the excellence of IT companies through training and certifica-tion. The result is that the IT companies improve their or-ganization, processes and products, which leads to higher productivity and expanded business opportunities. !</p><p>Events and Statistics RCI, in cooperation with its partner the European Software In-stitute (ESI) Center for Eastern Europe, has three kinds of events related to excellence and certification: awareness, train-ing, and appraisals. The events took place in 13 countries in Southeast and Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. </p><p>Summary statistics for the period June 2005 October 2010: Excellence events: 67 Companies involved in the excellence events: 413 Companies certified: 37 Excellence trainees and participants: 1,777 Qualified individuals: 827 Associations involved in the excellence activity: 11 </p><p>Feedback from participant companies: 82% of companies increased their competitiveness by more </p><p>than 20%; 85% of firms reported increased client satisfaction and 58% </p><p>reported decreased time to market; 37% of companies reported sales increase of 20%-50% due </p><p>to the CMMI / ITMark implementation program. </p><p>Testimonials from Beneficiaries The most visible result we have seen is having real-time re-porting on what is really happening within our company. Our managers have online access to all of their projects and can instantly see which tasks are on time, which are lagging behind schedule so they can push the team or add more resources to the team to get the task done on time. IT Company from Macedonia </p><p> When implementing ITMark and as recommended by CMMI we introduced a new practice in our work with banks: When we receive requirements we create a prototype of our vision of the product and then discuss it again with the client. In 80% of the cases our vision appeared to differ a lot from the clients vision. Previously this created a lot of rework. Now we can assure a correct vision of the requirements and final product that are un-derstood correctly by us and the clients. IT Company from Moldova !</p></li><li><p>!!</p><p>"#$!$%&amp;'()*+,))!-,.)*/,!!"#$"%#&amp;'</p><p>In May 2010, RCI, in collabora-tion with the European Soft-ware Institute (ESI) Center for Eastern Europe, launched the website www.it2business.org, a platform for cross sector links between ICT solution develop-ers and companies from other economic sectors. The goal of this website is the worldwide promotion in different econom-ic sectors of successful IT products and solutions devel-oped by regional (Eastern Eu-rope and Caucasus) companies. !</p><p>The website features: 48 IT companies presenting 111 of their own products and </p><p>solutions for different economic sectors, including tourism and travel, agribusiness, furniture, food, textiles, medicine / pharmaceutical, banking / finance, building, manufacturing and automotive; </p><p> Solutions presented by companies from 15 countries Al-bania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bul-garia, Georgia, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine; </p><p> A paper version of the web catalogue with a circulation 1400 copies. Of those, over 1300 copies are disseminated to companies and industrial associations in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus; </p><p> Three companies, which shared feedback and acknowl-edgment that, through the IT2Business catalogue, they started successful business relations with companies from other countries or sectors. </p><p>Most Viewed Pages 6540 visits; The most viewed page is the catalogue and search page </p><p>(40%), followed by the home page (8%), welcome note (15%), and resources repository (10%). </p><p> Traffic Source 62% have come from direct traffic (e.g., clicking the link in </p><p>email announcements, or typing the address directly); 20% redirected links from partners sites - RCI, ICT associa-</p><p>tions and companies in Moldova, Armenia, Bosnia and Her-zegovina, Romania, the ESI Center Bulgaria site, www.quality2it.org0 etc.; </p><p> 17% from search engines. The average time spent in the site is 3.25 minutes with a </p><p>peak time of 24 minutes. !</p><p>The RCI project is implemented by SEGURA/IP3 Partners. !</p></li><li><p>RCI Improves IT Competitiveness Lever...</p></li></ul>