LAD Case Study Library

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LAD Case Study Library

These case studies are integral teaching tools for Leadership Academy for Development workshops conducted around the world

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Case Studies

Water for the Poor: Dhaka’s Water Utilities Turnaround Challenge

Anna Nguyen Thuy An
2021 November 22, 2021

Case study for the Stanford Leadership Academy for Development in partnership with Asia Development Bank.

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Case Studies

Qualms with Quayside: Public Engagement in the Toronto Smart City Project

Maha Al-Fahim, Sydney Frankenberg, Michael Bennon
2021 March 3, 2021
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Case Studies

Water, Water Everywhere? Devolution and the Water Sector in Kenya's Counties

Jason Lakin with Kamotho Waiganjo
2019 October 4, 2019

As of 2009, at the time of Kenya’s last census, roughly half the population lacked access to clean water. The shortage was more pronounced in the nation’s northern, arid counties.  This case looks at the challenges and choices facing one northern county, Garissa County, where Issa Oyow, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Water and Sanitation, tried to meet citizen demands for increased water access in the face of a complex and incomplete decentralization process.

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Case Studies

Small Battle in a Big War: The Post-Maidan Transformation of the National Bank of Ukraine

Nancy Zhang
2019 July 26, 2019

At the end of 2014, Ukraine faces a series of challenges: constant friction between supporters of Russia and supporters of the West brought about by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, negative growth of GDP at -6.6%, an oligarchy that dominates power, devaluation, political uncertainty and alarming levels of corruption. Amidst this “perfect storm,” the newly appointed board members of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) have undertaken the daunting task of stabilizing the country’s macro-economy through a comprehensive and lasting internal transformation.

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Case Studies

Evaluating Social Programs: The Case of World Health Partners-Sky

Karthik Sivaram
2019 May 9, 2019

This case looks at the challenges of managing and evaluating  new models of healthcare delivery in international development. It follows the story of a social franchising initiative funded by the Gates Foundation in Bihar, one of India's poorest states. The initiative sought to create primary healthcare centers at scale in remote rural parts of the state through a franchisee based private sector intervention. These centers were intended to provide high quality preventive care targeted at certain infectious diseases through technology and telemedicine enabled infrastructure.

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Case Studies

Is it Possible to Say No to China? The Case of the Kirchner-Cepernic Dams in Argentine Patagonia

Juan Lucci
2019 April 19, 2019

This case analyzes Argentinian President Macri’s decision to continue or suspend the construction of two mega dams financed by Chinese banks in the Santa Cruz River. President Macri faces a difficult dilemma. On the one hand, the project has low economic profitability and could pose negative impacts environmentally and socially. On the other hand, if Macri decides to suspend the project, it puts other project loans that China is financing in the country, and a swap of US$ 11 billion to guarantee the stability of Argentine currency at risk.

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Case Studies

Luxury or Priority? Ethiopia Wants a Light Rail

Lin Le
2019 February 25, 2019

The Ethiopian government is planning on constructing the country’s first light rail in its capital city Addis Ababa. The project is expected to bring both short-term and long-term benefits: it can help with alleviating the city’s traffic congestion problem, and more importantly, lay the technological foundation for Ethiopia’s grand strategy for a national railway system. Once completed, this modern public transport system will boost the political legitimacy of the incumbent regime.

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Case Studies

Bridging Regions, Strengthening Ties: The East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) in Malaysia

Jennifer Fei
2019 February 14, 2019

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian nation strategically located along major regional trade routes. Its national government must balance intense geopolitical pressures from neighboring countries with the need for domestic economic growth. In an effort to divert trade routes away from Singapore and to increase connectivity between its coasts, Prime Minister Najib Razak has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China to build a Chinese-backed East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) across peninsular Malaysia. As an outspoken Member of Parliament in the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), Dr.

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Case Studies

Choosing the Japanese Way: Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Myanmar

Hokuto Asano
2019 January 10, 2019

From 1962 onward, Myanmar was a military dictatorship. In 2007, General Thein Sein became Prime Minister and began a process that would lead to the country’s gradual democratization by releasing political prisoners and talking with Aung San Suu Kyi. At the same time, Thein Sein worked to attract foreign investment and made a proposal to Japan to develop a special economic zone together. Although China had been its most important partner, Myanmar wanted to strengthen relationships with countries such as Japan, India, and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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Case Studies

The European Silk Road: Montenegro's Decision to Build a New Highway

Emily Gray
2018 December 21, 2018

In this case, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanović must decide whether to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Pacific Construction Group to build a highway between his country and neighboring Albania. This highway, known as the “Blue Corridor,” is part of Europe’s proposed Adriatic-Ionian Highway, which would stretch from Italy to Greece, connecting the Balkans via a coastal road. As Djukanović makes his decision, he considers domestic pressures, both economic and political, as well as international pressures from China and Europe.

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Case Studies

Electrifying Power Africa: Balancing National Principles and International Pressures

Kate Gasparro
2018 November 30, 2018

In 2013, President Barack Obama announced Power Africa, the U.S.’s initiative to bring energy infrastructure to Sub-Saharan Africa. In the years following, the initiative enjoyed bipartisan support and congress passed enabling legislation in 2016. Despite early momentum for Power Africa, the initiative has yet to achieve its potential. This case follows the challenges and limitations of Power Africa in the face of growing and evolving Chinese pressures on the African continent. At a time when China is investing more than ever in Africa’s infrastructure, the U.S.

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Case Studies

Weighing the Environment: Ghana's Bui Dam

Serena Li
2018 September 20, 2018

This case examines the environmental permitting process leading up to the construction of the Bui Dam, the second largest hydropower facility in Ghana. Intended to provide much needed relief to the nation’s persistent power challenges, the project secured proper funding from China Exim Bank in 2005, fulfilling several decades of attempts to build the dam. At issue, however, are the potential environmental and social impacts associated with dam construction.

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Case Studies

Funding Coca Codo Sinclair: Correa's Bet on Sustainable Power in Ecuador

Yao Yang
2018 September 10, 2018

This case is about Ecuador's decision to finance the country's largest hydropower plant: Coca Codo Sinclair. The country's president is facing a shortage of financial resources and an urgent need to build the hydroplant so as to fulfill political promises. The only feasible option was to borrow money from China at a high cost. How did Correa ultimately decide on and negotiate with China in order to procure funding for the national project? 

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Case Studies

Strengthening Electricity Distribution in Uganda: The Role of Private Equity

Kelvin Fu
2018 September 10, 2018

This case describes the preparations and decisions made by Actis, a leading global emerging markets private equity firm, in the lead-up to its partial divestment via an initial public offering (“IPO”) of Umeme Limited (“Umeme”), Uganda’s national electric distribution company. The case describes the challenges encountered by Actis during the seven year period from when it first took over Umeme in 2005, through the years of work to turnaround the company, until 2012 when final preparations for the IPO were underway.

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Case Studies

ProZorro - From a Volunteer Initiative to a Major State Reform

Olexandr Starodubtsev and Yurii Buhai
2018 March 26, 2018

This case examines the decision process of a team of volunteers that started a public procurement reform named ProZorro. ProZorro was named after the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine in early 2014. The team originally pushed for government-led reforms, but eventually endeavoured to enact the reform themselves. However, they lost all political support for their desired reforms during the process.

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Case Studies

Thailand's Collective Action Coalition Against Corruption

David Cutler
2018 March 26, 2018

This case focuses on a private sector initiative to fight deep-seated corruption in Thailand. The Collective Action Coalition Against Corruption (CAC) was founded by a charismatic business scion in late 2010, but an untimely heart attack a few months later left CAC reeling. A new leader named Bandid Nijathaworn was suddenly responsible for delivering the rapid growth and good-faith commitments that his predecessor had envisioned. At the center of this case, Dr.

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Case Studies

'Locked-In' to China: The Colombo Port City Project

Karthik Sivaram
2017 October 2, 2017

This case looks at the predicament of a small nation burdened by Chinese debt, accumulated by infrastructure projects under the aegis of China’s One Belt One Road initiative. By 2016, the government of Sri Lanka owed China $8 billion (almost 10% of GDP) mainly from loans taken to construct a series of infrastructure projects, many of which proved commercially unviable. Most of these were approved by the previous government under President Rajapaksa. The Colombo Port City project was the grandest and most ambitious of them all.

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Case Studies

The Bahamas' Baha Mar: Rescuing the Mega-Resort from Bankruptcy

2017 September 12, 2017
Back in the early 2000s, the Bahamian government had a burning problem to solve — the nation’s plunging GDP. By the end of 2001, its real GDP growth had receded  from 5% (in 2000) to 1.5%. As tourism accounts for more than 60% of the Bahamian national GDP, building a luxurious resort to attract more American tourists emerged as a natural choice for Perry Christie, the then prime minister. Hence, plans for the Baha Mar resort took shape.
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Case Studies

Are China's Loans to Ecuador a Good Deal? The Case of the Sopladora Hydro Project

Juan José Lucci
2017 September 1, 2017

This case presents the decision to build the Sopladora Hydroelectric Plant (487MW) in the Ecuadorian Amazon, with financing from the Eximbank of China. President Rafael Correa faces a difficult dilemma. On the one hand, Sopladora is a strategic infrastructure project for the country that will allow it to reduce imports of refined fuel and increase its energy security, while saving money in an economy without a monetary policy.

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Case Studies

Public Broadcasting in Ukraine: What Does it Take to Break Decades of Inertia and an Avalanche of Resistance?

Yaryna Klyuchkovska, Sophia Opatska, Andrew Rozhdestvenskyy and Igor Rozkladay
2017 July 12, 2017

On March 25, 2014 Zurab Alasania became the newly appointed Head of NTKU (National TV Company of Ukraine) and faced the challenges of creating a public broadcasting institution. It was a period in Ukrainian history when the Revolution of Dignity had just taken place, the Crimea had been annexed, and the situation in the country was very unstable. Parliament announced presidential elections for May of 2014. The creation of an independent public broadcaster had been mandated by the Council of Europe but had stalled for 10 years.

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Case Studies

Building Hydropower Plants in Uganda: Who is the Best Partner?

Lin Le
2017 June 7, 2017

Uganda has long been plagued by chronic power shortages. Determined to boost the country’s economic growth, Ugandan leaders have decided to build two large-scale hydropower plants at Karuma (600MW) and Isimba (183 MW). Irene Muloni, the head of the nation’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals Development (MEMD), has two options for financing and building the hydropower facilities: either to build the dams as independent power projects (IPPs), or to accept Chinese financing and contract with Chinese construction companies.

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Case Studies

To be "dam"-ed: Navigating Stakeholder Relations to Bring Energy to Africa with Inga 3

Kate Gasparro
2017 May 18, 2017

This case follows the development of the Inga 3, the third hydroelectric plant to be built on the Inga River in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The Inga 3, with a capacity of 3,000 MW, would provide clean energy to the continent and a next step for President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.

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Case Studies

El Salvador’s La Unión Port: Foundering in a Sea of Politics

Julia Oliver
2016 August 4, 2016

Guillermo López Suárez, the new head of El Salvador’s port authority, faces a dilemma: how to get the brand new La Unión port running. Plans made by the previous, right-wing government to find a private operator for the $187 million port had stalled in the National Assembly. In addition, a number of expensive technical problems had become clear over the course of the port’s construction. To make matters worse, the current administration faced opposition to privatization of the port from within its own party, which had radical Marxist elements.

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Case Studies

Choosing China: Ghana's $3 Billion Loan Decision

Lucas Beard
2016 April 29, 2016

This case examines the decision process concerning the 2011 $3 billion loan proposal from the China Development Bank (CDB) to the Government of Ghana. The Ghanaian Parliament chose to accept the Master Facility Agreement in December 2011. The loan has several conditions detractors identified that could negatively impact Ghana’s future oil revenues and debt structure.

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