Improving water management in Tajikistan – project award

The sustainable management of water is central to rural livelihoods, food security, electricity and domestic water supply, sanitation and the environment. These issues lie at the heart of a new technical assistance project designed to build capacity in integrated water resources management in Tajikistan. We will be working with Mott MacDonald as partner on the 42-month project, which is funded by the European Union and has a total value of over €4 million.

The project will concentrate its efforts geographically in the Zarafshan sub-basin, although interventions will also be made at a central level. We will provide support in a range of areas including:

  • Development of water sector policy
  • Setting up river basin organisational structures
  • Development of water management planning tools
  • Improvement of irrigation infrastructure
  • Strengthening water management community organisations
  • Management of watersheds to reduce flash flooding and erosion
  • Monitoring and evaluation

The project will coordinate across sub-sectors to make efficient use of this finite resource, and to improve forest, land and pasture management, which all impact on water availability.

Western Indian Ocean regional port authorities trained on survey scoping and planning

Invasive alien marine species threaten biodiversity, marine industries and human health, impacting significantly on costal and island economies. They can cost millions, sometimes billions, of dollars in repair and eradication efforts.

These unwelcome guests travel long distances, hidden in ballast water or stuck to ships’ hulls. In the South-Western Indian Ocean region, the Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI) is implementing a research project to determine the risks caused by the discharge of ballast water in Mauritius and propose measures to minimise the introduction of alien species through shipping activities.

The Landell-Mills-managed IOC Biodiversity Project and MOI recently organised a regional workshop on MIS survey scoping and planning.  Mr Adnan Awad, an internationally recognised expert in the field of marine invasive species, led the training. The workshop was organised in partnership with the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands and with the scientific collaboration and backup of the Mauritius Oceanography Institute.

Representatives of the port authorities and marine sciences institutions from the six biodiversity beneficiary countries (Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania) met at the MOI, Albion, for two days of intensive training followed by a field visit to Port Louis harbour. The workshop aimed to equip stakeholders with the methodological tools needed to plan and undertake surveys.

The survey process includes carrying out baseline survey to establish species count and ongoing monitoring to assess increases in growth, damage levels and/or the introduction of any new species.

Although ports are the main gateways for invasive species, and the primary focus of the training, the methods also apply to other marine and coastal environments, such as marinas. The next step in the training programme will be the implementation of a pilot-survey in one of the participating countries, which is planned for the second half of the year.

An information brochure to raise awareness of the impact of marine invasive species is also being produced.

Find out more:

Workshop report

CBD & Aichi target 9: Implications for the WIO

Growth for Landell Mills

Our expertise

Our expertise

Over the past year we have continued to grow from strength to strength, providing technical assistance and management consultancy in the areas of trade and enterprise, agriculture, natural resource management and policy and governance. During the year, we have worked on projects in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific. We have seen the development of three new operational divisions, reflecting growth in our francophone market, the award of a number of framework contracts and new communications projects.

Our 2015 accounts reflect this growth and show an increase in turnover of 25% to €19 million. We also have a healthy portfolio of business contracted for 2017 and beyond.

We are pleased to report this sound financial position, which reflects our reputation for high quality service provision, our strong relationships with clients and partners, and the hard work of our staff and consultants.

Enhancing capacity for trade in Haiti – lessons learnt seminar

Over the past nine months, Landell Mills has been working with the Haitian Bureau of Standards on a project set up to create an institutional framework for quality infrastructure in Haiti, in line with the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. The project also aims to enhance the capacity of auditors and consultants to support Haitian firms and laboratories.

Thomas Pataillot presents at seminar

Thomas Pataillot presents at seminar

To mark the end of the project, Landell Mills recently organised a seminar in Port aux Prince. The seminar aimed to share project findings and raise awareness of international standards and the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade agreement, as a means of empowering Haitian Institutions, small-holder farmers, traders and processing enterprises.

The seminar was attended by a range of stakeholders, including the Haitian Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MCI), the Ministry of Agriculture, the Haitian Association for Quality Management (AHMAQ), the National Laboratory of Public Works (LNBTP), as well as other laboratories and private businesses. Members of the media were also invited, to ensure wide coverage of the event.

Landell Mills Project Executive, Thomas Pataillot, presented activities implemented to date, and reminded the audience of the importance of compliance with the WTO TBT agreement, particularly in relation to the development of a quality infrastructure, which will enable businesses to export to the EU and other countries.

The Ambassador to the European Delegation in Haiti and the General Director of the MCI also spoke at the event and Landell Mills team leader, Georges Dupret, presented project findings and listed recommendations for the improvement of Haiti’s national framework and quality legislation.



Lessons learned from Danish engagement in Afghanistan 2001-2014

Danish engagement in Afghanistan has been Denmark’s largest integrated effort in a fragile state to date, with political, military and development instruments working together, at both planning and execution stages.

Danish Parliament

Danish Parliament

On 9th June, Landell Mills took part in a public conference at the Danish Parliament to present the conclusions of a study, carried out by its team of researchers between May 2015 and April 2016: Lessons Identified 2001-2014: Development Cooperation in Afghanistan (Part II).  The report was part of a wider study on lessons learned from integrated Danish efforts in Afghanistan, coordinated by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). The study was divided into three parts covering different aspects of Danish engagement in Afghanistan:

Lessons Identified 2001-2014: Development Cooperation in Afghanistan 

Lessons Identified 2001-2014: Development Cooperation in Afghanistan 

Development Cooperation in Afghanistan

Landell Mills’ study, led by Nicole Ball, concluded that Denmark has actively promoted agreed international principles for development co-operation including ownership, state-building, gender equality and human rights protection and recognition of linkages between political, security and development objectives. Denmark has had to navigate the difficult waters of intense strategic interest, limited capacity and reach of state institutions, increasingly entrenched corruption, and multiple lines of conflict  all within the context of a profound lack of trust between state and citizen and a deteriorating security environment.  Key lessons from the Danish experience that were highlighted in the study are:

  • The importance of an integrated approach to strategic objectives, shared by all relevant actors (political, development and security).
  • The need to select the most appropriate mix of development tools and approaches, in light of a careful assessment of the potential impact on security, corruption and political relationships.
  • The importance of a deep understanding of the context (particularly the political process) when fostering ownership of state-building.
  • The need for a TA model that focusses on capacity transfer, instead of doing the job with the risk of creating a parallel civil service and greasing patronage and graft dynamics. 

Prominent political figures took part in the event, including the Danish Foreign Minister, the Danish Defense Minister, the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister and the EU Ambassador to Afghanistan, as well as a panel of MPs from Danish political parties supporting engagement in Afghanistan. Representatives of civil society, the press, the armed forces and the development community were also present and participated actively.

Panel of Mps

Panel of Mps

The political relevance of the event and its primary objective of accountability to the Danish people brought up a vigorous debate. A number of matters were discussed including:

  • The nature and purpose of the lessons learned format (as opposed to an evaluation), with some MPs regarding it as a useful instrument for future engagement in FCAS, and others stressing the need for comprehensive and politically-driven studies, that set the basis for a more in-depth debate on the implications of taking part in international conflicts.
  • The issue of corruption and the use of Danish tax payers’ funds.
  • The risk that CIMIC projects pose to humanitarian and development organisations. Because these projects are implemented by military units, the boundaries between civil and military activities can become blurred, putting humanitarian staff in danger.

In summary, the conference was a great opportunity to foster dialogue between representatives of the Danish people, academia, the military and the development community on how best to support fragile and conflict-affected states.

For more information download study here:




Landell Mills Stakeholder Survey

‘Of all the international organisations I have had the opportunity of working with over the last 40 years, staff of Landell Mills have been the most diligent and courteous, with a high sense of honesty and probity.’ (Stakeholder survey respondent, 2016.)

Thanks to all who took part in the Landell Mills stakeholder survey. Your feedback matters and helps us in our efforts to continuously improve the quality of our services. 114 people took part in the survey, the majority were consultants (75%), followed by project partners (12%). Government and donor agency staff and suppliers also participated.

The top ten words used to describe Landell Mills were professional, efficient, friendly, competent, flexible, international, supportive, responsive, consultancy and effective. Our main strengths were seen to be the level of support we provide, our professionalism, clear communication, capable staff, responsiveness, flexibility, focus, project management and service quality.

We are delighted that the survey feedback reflects our commitment to delivering high quality services and developing strong relationships with the clients, consultants and partner firms we work with. 

Training course shares lessons learnt from Afghan water management project

A recent training course for Afghan engineering students has helped share lessons learnt from the Panj-Amu River Basin Programme (P-ARBP).

Landell Mills manages the €10m EU-funded, P-ARBP project, which aims to contribute to poverty alleviation in Afghanistan by fostering equitable and sustainable water management practices. Training the future generation of Afghan water management experts is one component of this goal.

Photo: Students on Sharing of Panj-Amu River Basin Programme Field Experience course

Photo: Students on Sharing of Panj-Amu River Basin Programme Field Experience course

20 students from Kabul Polytechnic and Takhar University took part in the course, which taught students how to bring a consistent approach to the design of common irrigation structures in Afghan river basin canal systems.

Students learned the hydraulic, irrigation and social parameters to be taken into account in the design of a cross-regulator and off-take structures. They were provided with a good practice guide and trained in the use an Excel spreadsheet, formulated to generate the data required for the design process.

The course, and the training tools provided, will prove extremely useful for future hydraulic structure design, both in the Panj-Amu region and in river basins across Afghanistan.

Landell Mills and MDRI evaluation of development cooperation between the UK and Vietnam

Landell Mills, in partnership with MDRI, has carried out an evaluation of long term development cooperation between the UK and Vietnam.

The UK has allocated £580 million to Vietnam over the last 15 years, and will exit the country as bilateral donor this year. The evaluation examines the evidence of DFID’s support for poverty reduction in Vietnam against the backdrop of broader development efforts. It also identifies lessons learned.

The findings point to four main characteristics of DFID support for development in Vietnam.

  • Working with and through others – promoting ownership and mutual accountability.
  • Concentrating on income poverty elimination.
  • Taking a long term approach.
  • Focusing on few sectors and projects.

The evaluation finds that UK development assistance did respond to pressing development needs and it has, on balance, contributed to an enabling environment for sustainable poverty reduction.

Lessons learned point to the importance of strategic consistency, long term commitment and selective focus. The research also underscores the need for enhanced understanding of the challenges of targeted poverty reduction as, despite overall progress, poverty rates remain high in a number of provinces and among many ethnic minorities.

Joy Hutcheon (DFID Director General, Country Programmes) commended the research for the valuable lessons it holds – both for how DFID operates as a donor in other country contexts and for other donor organisations still operating in Vietnam. She also highlighted the need to consolidate this poverty success story by strengthening the capacity of the Vietnamese government and addressing the persistent gaps between ethnic groups.

Download the documents below to learn more about the research findings:

Policy Brief: DFID support for the MDGs in Vietnam

Development Co-operation between the United Kingdom and Vietnam: Historical Overview 

Final Report: Evaluation of the Long-term Development Cooperation Between the UK and Vietnam

British Expertise International Awards 2016

We were delighted to be shortlisted for two awards at the British Expertise International Awards, which took place in London on April 11.

The Landell Mills-managed Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund (ABIF) was shortlisted in two categories – Outstanding International Development Project in a Fragile State (Non-Infrastructure) and Outstanding International Development Project (Non-Infrastructure).

Photo (left to right): Lorraine ROSS, brian ross (ABIF, FUND MANAGER), Simon foxwell (Regional Director), robert cuming (project executive).

Photo (left to right): Lorraine ROSS, brian ross (ABIF, FUND MANAGER), Simon foxwell (Regional Director), robert cuming (project executive).

ABIF, funded by DFID, contributed to poverty reduction through pro-poor market development. The project worked through a competitive challenge fund mechanism. Collaboration with entrepreneurs developed commercially sound investments. Ongoing support facilitated their implementation.

Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening spoke at the event and awards were presented by British Expertise President, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.

We are very proud of this achievement, which reflects the significant impact of ABIF in harnessing the private sector as driver for development in Afghanistan.

Learn more about ABIF here.

Landell Mills creates three new operating divisions

Landell Mills has set up three new specialist divisions in response to opportunities within our business.

The Framework Division will manage our framework contracts, including the recently awarded EU-funded global framework contracts focused on evaluations and communications. The division will work closely with our consortium partners and other company divisions to ensure the successful delivery of these contracts.

The Francophone Division manages a growing portfolio of projects in the French speaking regions of Africa and the Caribbean. The division specialises in trade and private sector development. Current work includes provision of technical support to projects in the CEMAC region, Chad, DRC, Gabon and Haiti.

Landell Mills has managed communications services for our clients for several years, and the establishment of a specialist Communications Division formalises our commitment to this work. The division will provide creative services for clients including the design and development of communication strategies, campaigns, audio visual materials, websites, publications and other knowledge products.

If you are interested in working with any of our new divisions, please contact Sophie Mottram (Framework Division Manager), Jérôme Benausse (Francophone Division Manager) or Rosie Smith (Communications Division Manager).

End of Programme Success and Lesson Learning Conference held in Malawi for the AgriTT Research Challenge Fund

Landell Mills is currently implementing the DFID-funded AgriTT programme, one of the first trilateral cooperation programmes that works in partnership to accelerate agricultural technology transfer between the UK, China and Africa. In so doing, AgriTT has funded 11 trilateral research projects over a 24-month period. The themes of the research projects range from unlocking the potential of aquaculture in Africa to the development of an AgriApp that applies Chinese mobile phone technology for agricultural information dissemination.

AgriTT Research Challenge Fund.jpg


AgriTT hosted the Research Challenge Fund End of Programme Success and Lesson Learning Conference in Malawi from 9-10 March 2016. Forty participants from 11 countries, including members of the 11 project teams, attended the conference. It provided participants with an excellent opportunity to share the successes and learn the lessons of the trilateral research.

Landell Mills staff members, Sophie Mottram and Elle Harrison, supported the organisation and hosting of the conference. The conference was a great success and emphasised the achievements of the AgriTT research challenge fund and the potential future impact of the research undertaken.

Please visit the AgriTT website for more information on the programme and the research challenge fund projects, in particular. Please contact Elle on for further information. 

Evaluations and Communications Framework Contracts

We are delighted to announce that Landell Mills has recently been awarded two new EU-funded global framework contracts focused on evaluations and communications.

For Lot 1 (Evaluations), Landell Mills is leading a consortium with Adam Smith International, CEval GmbH, ICON-INSTITUTE, Integrity Research and Consultancy, International Organisation Development, Le Groupe-conseil baastel, Linpico and Proman. The framework contract focusses on individual assignments to undertake evaluations of European Commission strategies, spending and non-spending activities, instruments and legislation. Its goal is to improve policy and practices through lessons learning.

For Lot 2 (Communications), Landell Mills is leading a consortium with Agtel, Albany Associates, Atrevia, Comms Consult and Scriptoria to design and deliver integrated communication events and campaigns; information tools; multi-media and audio visual materials; websites; publications; and communication strategies. The Communications framework contract is global in its scope – covering any geographic area within or outside the European Union.

The Landell Mills Frameworks Division will manage the contracts. Sophie Mottram leads the Division:

I look forward to working with our consortium partners and utilising our extensive framework experiences to ensure the successful delivery of the Lot 1 and Lot 2 frameworks.

Please contact Sophie ( for further information. If you would like to work for us on one or other of the Framework contracts, please send your CV to (for Evaluations) and (for Communications)

Landell Mills awarded €5.5m contract to strengthen national capacities in food fortification

We are delighted to announce that the EU has awarded Landell Mills a four-year, €5.5m contract to strengthen national capacities in food fortification. We will be working in partnership with The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a world leader in this field.

Photo © GAIN

Photo © GAIN

The project aims to:

  • Support EU Delegations and national partners to design and implement food fortification programmes in order to combat micronutrient deficiencies.
  • Support policy making processes for the incorporation of food fortification into national strategies and programmes.
  • Conduct studies and research on initiatives to address micronutrient deficiencies in order to assess the relative cost-effectiveness and nutritional impact of food fortification.

The support to country-level projects will focus on building capacities to identify, design and monitor projects that aim to fortify food on a commercial scale. This will involve working with the private sector and other national stakeholders seeking to address undernutrition. Examples of projects might include fortifying flour with folic acid or iron, or fortifying vegetable oil with vitamin A.

In the first year, support will be provided to up to 13 countries (Bangladesh, Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and DRC). In the following years this will be extended more widely.

Please contact Gemma Holloway ( if you would like further information about this contract or Landell Mills’ work related to food security and nutrition.

Find out more about GAIN's work on food fortification here.

Watch this short film to learn more about food fortification.





AgriTT partner, Natural Resources Institute, awarded Queen's Anniversary Prize




Congratulations to the Natural Resources Institute, one of our AgriTT programme partners, which has recently been awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for world leading research and development work on cassava. Work for the Landell-Mills-managed AgriTT programme was included in the award submission.

More information:

Find out more about the work of the cassava programme here.

Find out more about AgriTT and the tri-lateral (UK, China, Africa) agricultural technology research it supports here.

IOC workshop encourages stronger engagement with biodiversity targets

 Integrating Natural Capital in National Accounts workshop

 Integrating Natural Capital in National Accounts workshop

The Landell-Mills-managed Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Biodiversity Programme* brought multi-sectoral decision-makers and partners together for a workshop on Integrating Natural Capital in National Accounts from 7-9 December 2015. Sixty participants from Madagascar and Comoros took part in the event, which aimed to strengthen engagement with Aichi biodiversity targets, particularly target two:

By 2020, at the latest, biodiversity values will have been integrated into national and local development and poverty reduction strategies and planning processes and incorporated into national accounting… and reporting systems.

The IOC facilitated development of national road maps for target two, which will be implemented in Madagascar and Comoros until 2020. Madagascar and Comoros have adopted the Ecosystem Natural Capital Accounts (ENCA) methodology, which was first tested in Mauritius in 2014. In Madagascar this complements the WAVES (Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services) approach, which focuses on the monetisation of nature’s resources.

More than 50% of Madagascar’s wealth is based on natural capital…  its agricultural lands, water resources, forests and mines.” (Mamy Ratolojanahary, General Director of Planning in Madagascar).

The South West Indian Ocean area is a biodiversity hotspot whose coral reef ecosystems are valued at seven billion dollars and mangroves at around nine billion dollars.

Considering ecosystems as a lever for economic performance should profit IOC members. Natural capital accounting allows measurement of the environment’s contribution to economies and growth.” (Alice Ndiaye, Standing Liaison Officer between the IOC and Madagascar).

The long term goal is to integrate natural capital into national accounts in the South West Indian Ocean area. This ties in to the IOC Biodiversity Programme’s aim, to build national and regional capacity on sustainable conservation in order to benefit the population.

*The project is supported by the European Union and covers 6 countries: Comoros. Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania. 


Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund shortlisted for 2016 British Expertise International Awards

The Landell-Mills-managed, Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund (ABIF), has been selected as a finalist in the 2016 British Expertise International Awards. The project has been shortlisted for both the Outstanding International Development in a Fragile State and Outstanding Development Project categories.

The DFID-funded project, contributed to poverty reduction in Afghanistan through pro-poor market development, driven by private sector investment. It worked through a competitive grant mechanism, collaborating with entrepreneurs to develop commercially viable investments, and support their implementation.

As a British Expertise Award finalist, Landell Mills is proud to sit alongside some of the most highly respected UK professional services companies working internationally. The award winners will be announced at a celebration dinner in April.

photos: Gulbuddin Elham

photos: Gulbuddin Elham

About ABIF: Harnessing private sector investment to drive development in Afghanistan

Designing and implementing a private sector challenge fund in Afghanistan, with its underdeveloped industrial and agricultural sectors, weak capital markets and low human capacity, was always going to be difficult. However, ABIF has proved it is possible, highlighting the resilience of the Afghan private sector.

ABIF recognised that entrepreneurs can be drivers of change due to their clear commercial interest in business models, production technologies and product quality standardisation. Rather than considering private sector actors as aid recipients, ABIF collaborated with them to integrate both commercial and development interests. ABIF’s approach has led to sustainable economic development by providing a financial return to grant recipients, while also leading to poverty reduction at scale.

ABIF’s innovative design incentivised benefits for poor workers, producers and consumers as well as for entrepreneurs who create jobs, products and services. ABIF pushed primary ownership of project implementation to entrepreneurs through milestone incentives based on financial targets.

Throughout the course of the project to date, grants of £3 million have incentivised private sector investment of £7.6 million and provided direct benefits to 250,000 workers, producers and consumers across Afghanistan. The results speak for themselves, proving that the private sector can drive development in Afghanistan.

Further information

ABIF projects online:

British Expertise International Awards:

Landell Mills wins Regional Climate-friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project (PPTA Implementation Consultants)

Landell Mills’ Asia/Pacific Division is pleased to announce its success in bidding to deliver Climate-friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project: PPTA Implementation Consulting Services for ADB in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar. The new contract, worth a total of $2.1 million is being carried out in partnership with Lao Consulting Group, TANCONS Cambodia and Mekong Economics and will run from October 2015 to March 2017.  We are seeking CVs for the positions of Lao National Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Expert and Myanmar National Economist Expert. For more information, please contact

Afghan carpet company expansion creates new jobs following ABIF grant

Great news for business development in Afghanistan.

Thanks to the Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund (ABIF) managed by Landell Mills, with funding from DFID, businesses across Afghanistan are growing in strength, resulting in widespread socio-economic benefits to local communities.

A shining example is the work of Sahib Zaman Carpet Company (SZCC). With the help of Landell Mills, via ABIF, SZCC is reviving cotton yarn production in Afghanistan following decades of conflict, which had damaged both infrastructure and the cotton industry.

With the help of an incentivising grant from ABIF, SZCC invested in machinery to produce its own cotton yarn and no longer has to rely on imports. This has increased both the quantity and quality of carpets it exports.

The partnership with ABIF has allowed the business to substantially expand. The most pertinent benefit has been the creation 322 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs – mostly filled by women.

Find out more here:

PHOTO: Sahib Zaman Carpet Company worker

PHOTO: Sahib Zaman Carpet Company worker

New research finds urine-enriched biochar significantly increases crop yield

BIOCHAR production

BIOCHAR production

The journal Agriculture has published a peer reviewed paper on urine enriched biochars written by Landell Mills consultants, led by Hans-Peter Schmidt.  The research explores the capacity of urine-enriched biochar as a slow release fertiliser, tested in a field trial in Nepal. The study found urine-enriched biochar to be 300% more effective than urine alone and 85% more effective than just biochar. This leading-edge research demonstrates the potential of low-dosage urine-enhanced biochar to increase yield in silt loam soil. A tentative explanation for this is that urine improves the capacity of biochar to capture and exchange plant nutrients.

This study is part of the Landell Mills implemented project - Mainstreaming Climate Change Risk Management in Development (TA-7984 NEP) Sustainable Rural Ecology for Green Growth. The project explores the potential use of biochar as a means of building climate resilience in Nepal. Its expected impact is a more climate change resilient and productive rural sector. Anticipated outcomes are technically, economically and environmentally sound climate change responsive farming systems that can be scaled up. The project is administered by the Asian Development Bank and funded by the Nordic Development Fund. .