Our core experts have been delivering globally competitive policy analysis to a wide range of clients for many years. Verso’s approach uses rigorous and adaptive research methods to build analytical frameworks and strategic products that are strongly informed by the local context. We constantly challenge ourselves to improve on our own products and rethink common industry practices.
Across each thematic area of our work, we offer a wide range of technical services including: qualitative and quantitative research and data analysis; political economy and social assessments; conflict analysis; and programme and institutional evaluations. In addition to analysis based products, we offer sector-specific trainings; and project design and implementation.
We also offer services in strategic planning and organizational development including independent project evaluations, strategic communications (particularly with reference to public campaigns), and business process assessment.
We work across a range of themes, but strive to maintain our competitive edge by building on past experience and academic training.
STREAM 1: Economic & Social Sector Development
Verso experts have been working in the area of economic and social sector development for more than two decades. Collectively the team has worked with almost all major bilateral donors, multilateral institutions, many government agencies, and some INGOs as well on a broad range of assignments. Past experience of individual team members includes work on budget analyses; public expenditure reviews; preparation of medium term sector frameworks for provincial governments; and poverty and social impact assessments. In the past, team members undertook tracking studies of and capacity assessments related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and are currently involved in devising strategies and guidelines for prioritization and localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Our range of experience in economic and social sector development work is quite broad, and social policy analysis is our core strength. Team members have also worked on less commonly investigated areas such as the illegal economy, and domestic commerce.
Members of the team have carried out poverty assessments, and estimation of incidence of poverty.
The team has significant expertise in social protection programming and design. While our particular strength lies in direct income support and social transfers, we have designed and assessed a wide range of programme elements from targeting strategies and process assessments of how programs are managed; to design and targeting of stipends, to designing responsive grievance and complaints systems.
The team has expertise in financial inclusion analysis, and in design of payment systems in post- conflict and fragile contexts. Members of the team have developed payment processes and technical details for stipends transfers and emergency relief transfers through conventional & technology based payment platforms. As a team we combine this knowledge with expertise in financial risk management and financial products design.
STREAM 2: Conflict, Fragility & Violence
Our team members have long pursued both an academic and a practitioner’s interest in the dynamics of the security-development nexus in fragile environments. The particular context of Pakistan has provided a rich testing ground for refining and validating our expertise in this core area. Our development and socio-political work on fragile and conflict-affected environments is informed by these experiences.
The team is proficient in both quantitative and qualitative approaches to research, program design and implementation in the sphere of conflict, fragility and violence. Specific experience includes: analysing primary (community level) data on the nature of conflict (including identifying drivers of conflict, and mitigating factors); conflict mapping; and engagement with key stakeholders for assignments such as the assessment of district response mechanisms to conflict. On a more macro level, team members have experience in forecasting the impacts of conflict (economic and social); carrying out conflict-sensitive programming for improved service delivery and the rule of law, diagnosing the economic effects of terrorism, and carrying out risk assessments for fragile regions. Most recently team members are undertaking frame analysis to deconstruct the messaging strategies of conflict-promoters and developing communications strategies for conflict-mitigation and peacebuilding.
STREAM 3: Democracy & Governance
Adopting a holistic approach to democracy and governance, members of the team concentrate on programming in elections, sub-national governance, and social accountability. We underline our work in the area with re-engineering processes to be inclusive and engaging with all major stakeholders including political actors.
On elections and democratisation, our team has experience in public opinion polling and analysis, political campaign trainings, parliamentary capacity development, as well as election forecasting through constituency analysis and election observation. Designing and executing political engagement processes is another area of expertise.
Our governance experience is wide-ranging and team members have conducted many national and sub-national governance analyses and political economy analyses focused on areas such as elections, local government systems and urban development projects to name a few. The team has worked on issues of local government, including fiscal decentralisation, finance awards and coordination with provincial governments, as well as inter-provincial coordination.
We also specialise in social accountability and citizen’s engagement processes. The team has experience in designing programs to improve responsive governance, documenting human rights issues, tracking the implementation of legislation, and analysing legislation from a gender and minority rights lens.