The most impactful organizations and businesses know that strategy is just the first step – they need to deliver on their ideas and plans. All the external resources and partnerships in the world cannot replace the effective internal workings of an organization. Organizational structure, processes, decision-making, resource and talent acquisition and management, resilience to change, and countless other factors affect an organization’s ability to make its mark over the long run.

We help clients maximize their effectiveness so that they ask the right questions, make well-informed strategic decisions, and attract and retain the best people. We ensure our clients are set up to reach their full potential for innovation and resilience, and better able to respond to development challenges.


 At Dalberg, we:

  • Design and help stand-up large, impact-driven multi-stakeholder partnerships. We use our knowledge of organizational science and experience in global development to recommend and setup effective organizations that bring together the best of these worlds.

  • Align governance and structure to strategy. Based on extensive stakeholder interviews, focus groups, workshops, and surveys, we build an understanding of how organizations operate to then realign internal structures through a collaborative approach. We distill varying opinions, and use fact-based analysis and internal champions to make changes to strategy a reality.

  • Focus teams on results, in headquarters and in the field. Based on our understanding of benchmarks, optimal levels of decentralization across organizations, and our research of the internal dynamics of each client, we determine the most effective staff placements, reporting lines and roles to optimize results.

  • Streamline core operating processes and decision making towards a common mission. With a user-centered mindset, we map out processes that need to be created or rewritten. We then collaborate with clients to develop the processes, detail touch points between teams and organizations, and identify the tools and templates required to design and deliver each process.

  • Enable organizations to drive sustained change. Throughout our collaboration with clients, we equip organizations to become sustainable learning institutions. We help each organization define areas of change, implement, monitor, and track progress, establish knowledge centers, and build a culture open to learning and change.


Client Success:

Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) 

To achieve its mandate to position agriculture as a catalyst for growth, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) needed to assemble a team of employees who are data-driven, strategic, and deeply knowledgeable of the agriculture sector across Ethiopia. When the ATA first received its mandate, its team included only 7 people — a mix of international and local staff.

The ATA engaged Dalberg to develop its first organizational strategy, with a focus on internal structure, talent development and retention, and a transition plan to move to a fully Ethiopian team within five years as part of the organization’s ambitious growth plan.

Our Approach

Our team first identified ATA’s goals based on the agency’s mandate and unique culture. We applied our understanding of global development challenges to identify what the organization needed internally to achieve its goal externally. Through detailed analyses based on management and organizational science, we designed an organizational structure and staffing model for the next 5 years, including a step-by-step implementation roadmap.

The roadmap pinpointed the talent needs for the new structure and a transition plan to move to a fully Ethiopian team. We also built flexibility into the structure to keep the ATA open to change in anticipation of shifting stakeholder needs and possible changes to ATA’s mandate in the future. Finally, we designed key interventions including an assessment center for analysts to ensure talent development, onboarding materials for new hires, and the recruitment and reviewing of profiles for a senior director position to oversee the new internal structure.


The ATA adopted the new organizational structure and they are implementing the roadmap. Analyst training sessions designed by Dalberg have been executed and are helping to support ATA’s work with data-driven analysis. Over the past four years, ATA has grown to over 300 employees who have worked across 84 projects, involving collaboration with over 200 public and private-sector partners and the training of 67,671 stakeholder experts and roughly 9.7 million smallholder farmers. Today, the agency advises Ethiopian policymakers and other high-level decision makers on how to achieve ambitious growth and poverty alleviation targets for the country.

To learn more about our work, see our insights or contact:

Wijnand de Wit, Geneva or

Andria Thomas, Washington D.C.


Photo credit: Flickr, Eugene Kim