Lao boys take advantage of a stilling basin in the first dry season irrigation system in southern Laos, assembled by EI President, Tony Babb in the mid-1960s from IVS volunteers, British and US aid, and villager labor. 50 years later, it is still in operation.
Since those earliest days we have added applied advanced information technology that collects and disseminates market prices, employed value chain analysis to select interventions, and created cold chains for high-value crops and products.
Experience International, Inc. (EI) is comprised of development professionals who have four decades creating rural economic growth. Collectively, we have designed, managed, and provided technical inputs to some of the most successful rural and agricultural development projects funded by US or international agencies. While many things have changed since we first started research on Small Farmers in Development, and the world continues to be more interconnected and complex, equitable agricultural sector growth still consists of providing local organization and ownership, new technologies, inputs, and markets that add value to local resources. We have done this in many diverse countries and circumstances.
Our conversion to modern technology is through Management and Geographic Information Systems—advanced ICT-- that support development. Years ago EI staff pioneered the use of computers in development, with portable computers supporting a long term project in Southern Sudan in 1977, later delivering the first consultant-produced USAID Project Paper on floppy disk in 1982. EI tested and put into practice hand-held mobile data collection and transmission for real-time management review and reporting, building GIS systems that collect individual site data that can be aggregated and displayed on Cloud-based websites to provide instant documentation of progress toward objectives. We have utilized satellite imagery to define irrigation catchment areas with existing agriculture for programmed dam sites, reducing the complexity and cost of environmental studies. This capacity has led us into donor-defined monitoring and evaluation systems.
With more data available, EI’s analytical skills broadened and deepened, with new abilities to relate conflict incidents and reporting to development initiatives, using multivariate analysis in the context of making development choices, winning a DFID Framework contract to provide services in the security and stability arena. EI continues to evolve to respond to development challenges with appropriate advanced solutions.