Recent Publications and Resources

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 are 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 ...
Women's Economic Empowerment in the Digital Economy

Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Digital Economy

As digitization and technology transform employment in various sectors, women as workers and as entrepreneurs are required to respond and adapt to the changing economic landscape or otherwise be at risk of experiencing job displacement, compromised business operations, and challenges accessing finance. Increasingly aware of the importance of women’s economic participation, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) incorporated considerations for gender mainstreaming and the digital economy in the design and development of its 2025 Consolidated Strategic Action Plan. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment (US-ACTI) project, implemented by Nathan, produced the White Paper ...
Lessons from the ASEAN SME Academy

Lessons from the ASEAN SME Academy

Lessons from the ASEAN SME Academy is a compendium of 16 short stories from facilitators and their clients from the ASEAN Member States of Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam and their experience with the ASEAN SME Academy, an online resource launched in 2016 as a collaboration between ASEAN and the US-ASEAN Business Council, with support from USAID ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment (US-ACTI). US-ACTI turned over operations of the ASEAN SME Academy to the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry in May 2018 ...
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 ...