Brief descriptions of Jessie's projects and experiences.
Working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and New Zealand Department of Conservatoin, Jessie conducted a market analysis and feasibility study for community based tourism in the Marau Sound in Solomon Islands. The tourism enterprises are designed to support conservation through the communities' turtle monitoring project. The community business planning process was done in a participatory manner in partnership with the communities and tribes. 2015 - 2016
As a Short Term Consultant for the World Bank, Jessie provided technical expertise, advice, and support for a number of projects in Africa. She designed and implement new technical support projects for African countries including a national tourism sector review for Guinea and an East Africa single tourist visa. Jessie researched and consolidated global best practices for tourism inventory development and tourism classification systems. She coordinated production and dissemination of the World Bank’s Tourism in Africa book within the Africa Development Forum Series. She researched best practices, creative strategies, and a proven methodology for implementation of the book’s recommendations. 2012 - 2015.
Jessie collaborated with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and UNESCO to review and improve the Samoa National Culture Policy. She organized and facilitated consultations with sector stakeholders and formulated recommendations for the inclusion of cultural industries in the policy. Together with another consultant, Jessie recommended ways to align the policy with the 2005 UNESCO Convention for Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity.
Jessie provided technical expertise and management leadership for this 3 year European Union funded project in the Pacific. Working with partners in the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, national governments and arts associations, Jessie developed and facilitated capacity building on sector coordination, association strengthening, entrepreneurship and intellectual property protections for cultural producers. She built the capacity of public and private sector partners in cultural industries sector development through formal training and mentorship. As a critical element of the project, Jessie worked with local business service organization to design a Pacific cultural industries entrepreneurship curriculum. She also spearheaded the first-time participation of four Pacific craft enterprises in Artisan Resource @ NYNOW. 2014 - 2016
Image: Nautilus Books & Gifts product from Winter 2016 Collection.
Jessie worked with UN Women to conduct a scoping of the Cook Islands cultural industries to assess the potential for women's economic empowerment in the sector. The mission focused on meeting with public sector stakeholders, cultural producers, development experts, and others on the main island of Rarotonga. Jessie also supervised two national consultants that conducted the scoping on two Pa Enua. Based on the results of the scoping, Jessie designed project initiatives for enhancement of the Cook Islands cultural industries to support women’s economic empowerment. 2015 - 2016. Photo: Akos Kokai. Creative Commons License.
Jessie assessed tourism services and business skills of local rancherias in La Guajira for CREATA with funding support from JP Morgan Chase. Through the project she enhanced the tourism development knowledge of CREATA staff through capacity building on tourism value chains, financial modeling, and marketing. In partnership with CREATA, Jessie also built the capacity of local communities through trainings on tourism markets, customer service, and product development.
Jessie worked with partner Mekonnen G/Egziabher to develop an integrated and actionable Ecotourism Concept for overall destination development in the Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve. They assessed the potential for ecotourism development around Lake Tana and Bahir Dar as part of the creation of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in cooperation with Michael Succow Foundation with funding from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Together, the team conducted participatory business planning with 6 community groups for tourism and handcraft enterprises which will support conservation. They created an ecotourism map for marketing and promotion of the destination. Project was completed for the Nature and Biodiversity Union (NABU). 2013 - 2014. Photo: Mekonnen G/Egziabher.
Working with a team, Jessie successfully implemented the tourism component of the Ethiopia Sustainable Development Alliance, a 5 year US$7 million USAID project, by launching 6 sustainable community-based ecotourism SMEs in the Central & Southern Rift Valleys. She engaged with private and public sector stakeholders as market players and conducted community stakeholder meetings, tourism assessments, familiarization trips, feasibility studies, and business planning. As a key member of the tourism team, Jessie led Train the Trainer (TOT) programs for communities, guides, and mangers in SME management, market readiness, marketing, and financial management. As part of the project, she also supervised volunteers, consultants, and Peace Corps Volunteers. 2010-2013.
As part of the Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism Alliance Jessie spearheaded the creation and implementation of a marketing campaign for the community based tourism enterprises under the Roots of Ethiopia brand. The marketing strategy featured a national community tourism website: www.rootsofethiopia.com. Jessie created and disseminated targeted marketing materials. 2012 - 2013
As part of the Ethiopian Sustainable Tourism alliance, Jessie worked with the community to develop an interactive tourism experience where visitors learn about conservation while donating to the community. The experience involves a nursery visit, selecting a seedling, planting the tree in a degraded area and a community visit. The cost of the experience covers the tour, care for the tree for two years and a commemorative plaque. 2010 - 2013. Photo: Mekonnen G/Egziabher.
Working for the Rwanda Development Board, Jessie assessed the strengths, limitations, and potential of the Rwandan cultural industries by mapping the sector with a specific emphasis on tourist markets. She designed and presented a national strategy and capacity building package for the improvement of the cultural industries for job creation and economic growth. The project was funded through the World Bank Governance for Competitiveness Technical Assistance Project (G4C TA) and implemented with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. 2013 - 2014.
Working for the Pacific Community (SPC), Jessie designed a comprehensive and regional development and marketing strategy for cultural industries in the Pacific (handcrafts, fashion, visual art, music, and dance) with a focus on assisting SMEs to access tourism, regional, and export markets. She presented specific recommendation on cultural industry policies including EU Economic Partnership Agreements. The study focused on Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea and was funded by the EU-ACP Secretariat. 2011 - 2012.
Through the Lesotho Private Sector Competitiveness Project, Jessie conducted an assessment of the handcraft sector and developed a national strategy to improve linkages into tourist and regional markets. As part of the strategy, she designed a capacity building program for sector development. Researched best practices on handcraft development in the tourism sector and sustainable tourism information centers. Identified, evaluated, and mapped stakeholders in the crafts sector. The project was funded by International Development Association through Ministry of Trade, Industry, Cooperative and Marketing. 2012 - 2013
Jessie conducted a feasibility study for the creation of a central handcraft marketplace and tourism information center in Maseru, Lesotho. The feasibility study included an assessment of business models and possible locations for the centre. The consultancy was part of the Lesotho Private Sector Competitiveness project funded by International Development Association through Ministry of Trade, Industry, Cooperative and Marketing. 2012 - 2013.
Jessie led exhaustive market research at hotel and boutique shops to inform product development for a group of textile and handcraft SMEs working with the Association of Small-Scale Enterprises in Tourism. She designed an innovative business model and financial feasibility study for the group and established baseline M&E information. Through the project, she built the capacity of a new local marketing agent. Project was through the Travel Foundation with the support of Thomas Cook. 2011.
Through a project with the Mountain Society Development Support Programme, Jessie created and implemented a capacity building program for the Parmir Eco-Cultural Tourism Association (PECTA), a membership-based tourism association in the Pamir Mountains. She worked with the Executive Director to develop financial models, procedures and policies, a communication strategy, and a member benefit strategy. Funded by the Aga Khan Foundation.
As a continuation of her work with the Parmir Eco-Cultural Tourism Association (PECTA), Jessie conducted a feasibility study and participatory business planning training with the association's Board of Directors. The feasibility study highlighted the challenges of independent destination management organizations while the business plan presented sustainable funding options. Jessie also redesigned the Visitors Information Center and trained the Communications Officer in customer service. Funded by the Aga Khan Foundation.
For the Aga Khan Foundation, Jessie conducted a rapid market assessment of the lac bangle sector in Bihar, India. She developed a value chain strategy for interventions to improve livelihoods of artisan SMEs by linking them to existing market players and a growing middle class market. With the project team, she implemented launch of the program including stakeholder engagement, partner identification and capacity building of implementation team.
Jessie led a team of 12 consultants to create a feasibility study and marketing plan for a community-based ecotourism SME in Puerto Plata. Together, the tea analyzed competition of ecotourism SMEs and created marketing recommendations. Jessie also assisted other consulting teams to create a business plan for a visitors’ information center and marketing recommendations for a destination web portal.
As a tourism researcher, Jessie conducted research on the economic value of ecosystem services in the tourism industry in the LAC for the tourism chapter of UNDP’s “Importance of Biodiversity and Ecosystems in Economic Growth and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Economic Valuation of Ecosystems.”
Jessie evaluated and analyzed a museum exchange program in Pacific and Caribbean museums led by The Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Islands Museum Association, and the Museum Association of the Caribbean and funded by the European Union-ACP Secretariat. She created recommendations, proposals and MOUs for the management and funding of future exchanges. As a side project, Jessie worked with SPC and partners to develop a concept note for wider networking and information exchange platform within the UN SIDS framework. 2013
With the World Bank, Jessie and a team of consultants conducted an assessment of natural and cultural tourism products in Garifuna populations on the Northern Coast of Honduras. They designed a USD3 million economic development World Bank project to reduce poverty through community based tourism business development and market linkages.
Jessie led participatory market research to build the capacity of craft and fashion designers. Designed and implemented a Market Research and Design Training with topics including: market research, design trends, product development, green market trends, costing & pricing, quality control. She built the capacity of newly trained participants through a train-the-trainer seminar.
For Aid to Artisans, Jessie researched artisan development and tourism projects and created a best practices and lessons learned study that highlighted successful methodologies of artisan development in tourism destinations. Using this knowledge, she designed new artisan and tourism development project and support program development initiatives with partners.
Working for the SAVE Travel Alliance, Jessie successfully designed and managed the Southern Africa Slave Shipwreck Heritage Route Project. The project sought to involve African American scuba divers, academics and students in research based tourism in Southern Africa to identify sites of slave shipwrecks. It also examined the potential of slave heritage tourism throughout Africa. Jessie conducted market research for slavery heritage volunteer and academic tourism in Southern Africa and presented her findings in Cape Town. She networked with partners to build the SAVE Travel Alliance and initiated new business through fundraising and partnership efforts.
While Jessie was working at Aid to Artisans, she designed and implemented artisan development programs in Asia including the 5 year India Artisan Enterprise Development Alliance Program (USD1.5 million). The program supported 18 enterprises representing 7,000 artisans. Activities included business training, product development, design mentoring and marketing.
She also created and implemented a global strategic plan for tourism and artisan programs for the organization. She successfully designed and managed a program development strategy for Asia including conducting assessments and scoping; improved the capacity and marketing of partners and artisans in local, tourist, and export markets; and effectively managed new business opportunities across the organization including building donor relationships and engaging with stakeholders.