Recent Publications and Resources

Rate Design is the New Integrated Resource Planning, and Vice Versa

Rate Design is the New Integrated Resource Planning, and Vice Versa

Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) was developed in the 1970’s and 1980’s during what could be called the Soviet era of the power industry. Utilities and their regulators controlled virtually all resources within a jurisdiction. They could decide unilaterally which resources to add, modify or remove in that jurisdiction. It was an age of monopoly or at least hegemony, and thereby an age of central planning. Modern rate design was developed somewhat earlier – in the 1960’s – but also during the same Soviet era. Consumers had no alternatives to their local utility, and certainly, few if any decisions to make ...
Improvements in Turnaround Management

Improvements in Turnaround Management

The oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors have a poor record at managing turnarounds. Consequently, turnarounds (TAR) have consistently hurt the bottom line due to escalating cost, lost revenue through facility shutdown, and introduced potential degradation to plant reliability. Poor turnaround performance is also a concern for significant personal and process safety, environmental and company reputational risks. There is a better way, accessible to all companies in this domain. To deliver excellence in the TAR arena, every organization needs to address strategy, planning and execution key components to sustainably and competitively deliver TAR results. Using our extensive knowledge, experience and observations ...
Trucks Going Nowhere: The Impact of Congestion

Trucks Going Nowhere: The Impact of Congestion

Traffic congestion is a severe impediment to freight logistics efficiency. Economic growth can effectively increase congestion as consumers use their added buying power to purchase cars, household appliances, and merchandise, all of which induce greater traffic flows. Countries struggle to keep pace with induced traffic flows as the planning process for improved roads and transportation systems do not allow for an immediate response, at least where capital investment is concerned. Large-scale capital projects, such as new ports and corridors or improvements to them, can take several years from concept to construction completion. The trucking industry is especially vulnerable to the impact ...
Could Digital Help Oil & Gas Organizations Accelerate Their Success?

Could Digital Help Oil & Gas Organizations Accelerate Their Success?

The strategic collection and use of data in the oil and gas sector is nothing new. In fact, the industry was at the leading edge of data collection and use to drive key business decisions. In today’s world, to keep pace, to be a leading entity within the sector, oil and gas companies need to fully embrace the current digital revolution. It is our belief that the development and sponsorship of a well-defined digital strategy is critical for long-term success. Moreover, the digitalization of business and operating models can significantly accelerate a company’s growth, providing the potential to leap-frog existing ...
Women’s Wage Employment in Developing Countries: Regulatory Barriers and Opportunities

Women’s Wage Employment in Developing Countries: Regulatory Barriers and Opportunities

Women are confronted by regulations and policies restricting their labor force participation. These policies impact their ability to earn an income and have decision-making power, as well as impacting the economy as a whole. This report examines legal and regulatory barriers that impede women from entering and or remaining in formal employment. Prepared by USAID’s Leadership in Public Financial Management II (LPFM II) project, this report includes promising policies, approaches, and recommended interventions for countries to address these issues as well as the economic impact of addressing the various employment barriers. Following a broader literature review and stakeholder consultations, the ...
USAID Customs Modernization Handbook: Applying Risk Management in the Cargo Processing Environment

USAID Customs Modernization Handbook: Applying Risk Management in the Cargo Processing Environment

Developed under USAID’s Leadership in Public Financial Management II (LPFM II) project, this Customs Modernization Handbook aims to provide a comprehensive guide for Customs agencies to develop an active risk management analysis framework in the cargo processing environment. This handbook complements USAID’s Establishing Risk Management/Cargo Selectivity Capability Handbook (2004), the first in a series of Customs handbooks developed from 2004-2011, including additional handbooks by Nathan Associates on Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) and Post-clearance Audit (PCAs) Programs. The 2004 handbook provides a general plan of action for creating a specialized staff in Customs called a Cargo Selectivity Management Team (CMST). This ...
Foreign Banks and Insurance Companies in Financial Sector Reform in Myanmar and Vietnam: Parallel Journeys, Divergent Paths

Foreign Banks and Insurance Companies in Financial Sector Reform in Myanmar and Vietnam: Parallel Journeys, Divergent Paths

The goal of the USAID Burma Private Sector Development Activity (PSDA), implemented by Nathan, is to promote increased broad-based economic opportunities in Burma (Myanmar) by helping lay a foundation of economic governance and stakeholder engagement that promotes its transition to a market economy that is inclusive and sustainable and provides meaningful opportunities for Burma’s people to improve their lives. This paper, published as part of PSDA, explores the lessons for financial sector reform in Burma from the experiences in Vietnam, a country that began from a similarly inauspicious place. In terms of financial sector reform, a little-known feature of Burma and ...
Monitoring and Implementing AEC Investment Policy in ASEAN’s Regional Treaties

Monitoring and Implementing AEC Investment Policy in ASEAN’s Regional Treaties

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint, produced as part of the USAID ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment (US-ACTI) project, implemented by Nathan, emphasizes that the AEC should have “more transparent, consistent, and predictable investment rules, regulations, policies and procedures” (para. 28). To fulfill this objective, ASEAN’s regional investment agreements—whether in the form of standalone international investment agreements or investment chapters in ASEAN’s comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs)—must be examined. The following three areas are of immediate significance to the monitoring and implementation of the ASEAN regional investment treaties: 1) Information transparency and coordination; 2) Treaty incompatibility; and 3) Monitoring, coordination, and ...
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