IN SOCIAL &
Close to 60 million people around the world have been uprooted as a result of war,
conflict and persecution. The International Rescue Committee works to help these
refugees survive and recover. Recently, PwC engaged in an assignment to help the
IRC improve its IT strategy. PwC’s initial engagement was to help the IRC rationalize, define and improve its IT strategy so that it supported its business strategy.
Steve Bailey, a Manager with PwC says that
core to PwC’s purpose “to build trust in society and solve important problems” is to
engage with organizations that are on
the front lines of solving some of the
world’s toughest issues. “We seek to
leverage the time, talents and expertise of our 41,000 people in the U.S.
to make a meaningful impact where
it matters most,” he says.
Recently, PwC engaged in an
assignment to help the International
Rescue Committee (IRC) improve its
The IRC has experienced tremendous
growth in recent years due in large part to
the substantial rise in refugees worldwide.
Today, the IRC operates with $670 million in expenditures, employs more than
15,000, and services nearly 18 million people. This is mostly on the front lines of the
Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, providing health care, infrastructure, learning
and economic support, says David Miliband, President of IRC.
Enterprise technology systems are critical
to providing proper aid in the most efficient,
effective way possible, as well as scaling
the work to reach the neediest around the
world. Yet, IRC’s growth outpaced its systems, technology platforms and IT organization’s ability to effectively support those
in the field, Bailey says.
PwC’s initial engagement, done on a pro
bono basis, was to help the IRC rationalize,
define and improve its IT strategy so that
it supported its business strategy. Initially
PwC’s focus was to help the IRC focus on
seven key initiatives that were most impact-
ful to its field offices, which in turn, helped
it impact those it serves. The engagement
team connected with all 40 country direc-
tors, including site visits in Jordan and Tur-
key, to understand the challenges faced by
those on the front lines.
“Visiting an IRC field office was a pro-
found experience,” says Bailey. “I came
home feeling certain that if our PwC pro-
ject could help them be safer, faster, or more
productive, it would be the most meaningful
consulting work of my career.”
What was learned from those efforts
helped to form recommendations around the
IRC’s financial systems, grant management
processes, global supply chain efficiency
and IT security risk, Bailey says. Since that
initial engagement, PwC has continued to
support the efforts of the IRC, including
implementation of some of the recommen-
dations identified in the first phase.
Additionally, PwC is providing on-the-ground personnel support as IRC’s team
continues to grow and requires assistance in
“It has never been more vital that we
support our staff in the field with an infrastructure that alleviates the enormous pressure that has come with the major growth
in demand for our services. Working with
PwC has raised our standards and brought
clarity and focus to the IRC leadership
team, which will bring about the changes
this organization so urgently needs,” IRC’s
TYPE OF WORK