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. .

Landell Mills introduces a sanctions policy to guide its work

Landell Mills seeks to foster economic growth, private sector development, food security and good governance in some of the world’s most challenging environments. We conduct this work against a backdrop of prominent and stringent international sanctions, in an increasingly risk averse business environment.  

Landell Mills takes great care to abide by relevant sanctions and our recently developed sanctions policy will guide us on where and with whom we can work.

For more information please download the policy.

Landell Mills shortlisted for Regional Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project: PPTA Implementation Consultants

Landell Mills has been shortlisted for an ADB funded PPTA implementing the Climate-Friendly Agribusiness Value Chains Sector Project in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar. There are a number of International and National positions to be filled and full Terms of Reference can be found here. Expected project start date is September/October 2015 and the majority of project work is expected to be completed within 9 months of start date. If you would like to apply for a position, please send your CV to stating clearly which position you would like to be considered for.


Private equity deal for Afghanistan Business Investment Fund grant recipient

786 pharmacy. PHOTO: Gulbuddin Elham.

786 pharmacy. PHOTO: Gulbuddin Elham.

A DFID-funded Landell-Mills-managed Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund recipient, the Afghan 786 pharmacy chain, has attracted an investment by British private equity firm InFrontier.

786 employs in-house doctors who provide basic medical services, helping meet the need for healthcare in a country with just 7.26 doctors per 10,000 people. By taking a stake in the pharmacy chain, InFrontier brings capital, strategic expertise and market linkages needed to expand the brand over the next five years.

According to a recent Financial Times article, InFrontier’s founders Felix von Schubert and Benj Conway believe that attractive investment opportunities exist in Afghanistan in spite of ongoing violence. They argue that, although tens of billions of dollars of aid money has been channelled into Afghanistan, private investment is key to future economic growth.

The investment represents a significant achievement, brought about with support from Landell-Mills.

Call for proposals launched in biodiversity

The coastal, marine and island specific biodiversity management of the ESA-IO project, known as the Biodiversity Project, aims to develop and strengthen the national and regional capacities for sustainable participatory management of coastal, marine and island specific biodiversity in the islands states and coastal states of the ESA-IO region.

Its goal is to sustainably manage and exploit the natural assets of the regions to the advantage of its people. The project targets the sustainable management of regional biodiversity resources and ecosystem services. It concerns coastal, marine and island-specific biodiversity in the Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania; being the coastal and island states of the ESA-IO region.  

The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) administered project, funded by the European Union (EU) 10th EDF and implemented by the Landell Mills Consortium, has launched a Call for Proposals aimed at non -governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector under certain conditions. Potential applicants are encouraged to look at the website where the guideline for applicants can be downloaded: