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Boston Consulting Group Key Partnership Projects.

Creation of Save the Children International.

Transforming a loose alliance of members into one global movement (2009-2012)

In 2009, Save the Children operated as an autonomous alliance of more than 20 members. In a rapidly evolving world, the organisation needed a unified front to become the world’s leading INGO for children. From 2009 to 2021, BCG supported Save the Children members in creating a new, unified centre for the movement by defining a vision and purpose of the new organisation, supporting the organisation's design and setting up a Project Management Office. The project was a catalyst to transform Save the Children to become one global organisation and deliver greater impact for children through improving the cost efficiency of operations by ~30%.

Earthquake in Haiti: Support to large-scale emergency response.

Our partnership helped to maximise the humanitarian response to the earthquake in Haiti (2010)

In January 2010, Save the Children initiated the largest relief and recovery effort in the Western Hemisphere in its history, in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Haiti presented a challenging environment for Save the Children to address the needs of those impacted by the earthquake.

BCG assisted Save the Children during the large-scale Haiti Earthquake response across multiple dimensions, from strategic response to on-the-ground organisational support. This included: 

  • Emergency project support: BCG helped in the immediate moments after the emergency by providing supply-chain review, logistics expertise and accounting support.
  • Secondment: BCG seconded a Project Leader for seven months to support the rebuilding efforts in Save the Children Haiti.
  • Volunteers: BCG sent New York staff members to help Save the Children process donations, as there was an overwhelming need for support in this area of work at the time.
  • Follow-up pro-bono project support for three projects related to the response:
  1. Emergency funding and donor conversion strategy: maximising the reach and the effectiveness of the campaigns aimed at fundraising for the emergency.
  2. Donation process improvement: optimising the speed of fund delivery to impacted areas in the most efficient way.
  3. Sponsorship strategy improvement: securing longer term financial support to the relief effort in Haiti by generating longer term sponsorship partners.


Improve Save the Children's emergency response capabilities.

Build on the learnings of Haiti response to improve future emergency responses with regard to fundraising, process, and sponsorship product (2014).

Save the Children asked BCG to support the emergency response protocols and processes by building on learnings of the response to the Haiti earthquake. The project aimed at improving future emergency response in terms of fundraising strategy, process improvement and knowledge management and sponsorship product. The partnership between SCI and BCG was successful at:  

  • Forecasting the emergency fundraising market by running a donor survey to identify fundraising trends and then helping to develop a strategy with specific, actionable initiatives
  • Collecting lessons learned from past emergency responses and developing a toolbox for continuous process improvement before, during and after emergency responses
  • Assessing emergency sponsorship product by benchmarking available offer for each market from a financial and strategic perspective

This project helped Save the Children achieve its $450~550M target in global emergency funds for 2014 and ensured future emergency responses become more impactful over time.


High Performance Organisation and Reinvestment Review.

Leveraging management experience in transformation and efficiency within large organisations to enable Save the Children to become more effective as a global NGO (2015-2019)

Efficient use of resources and accountability are paramount to Save the Children as it ensures that those in need are receiving as much benefit as possible. Therefore, to continue to be effective in its global activities and efficient at improving the use of funds, the organisation decided to review its current operations. Save the Children asked BCG to support in addressing two areas:

  1. Move from managing project interdependencies reactively to proactively, in a more automated way and with a lower level of expertise.
  2. Evaluate how to re-allocate its resources across various investment opportunities and initiatives.

As a result, the High Performance Organisation (HPO) review was launched to better manage project interdependencies and ways of working. In addition, the Reinvestment Review was launched to unlock cost savings and create a step change in operational effectiveness.

As part of these two projects, BCG conducted stakeholder interviews, built an understanding of programme plans, interdependencies, risks and relevant resource needs, then applied rigorous tests on current plans. The HPO process provided a data-driven, integrated plan to manage project interdependencies with solutions for automation. In parallel, it provided improved Project Management Office (PMO) ways of working, including the roll-out of an Activist PMO that was empowered to enable these initiatives. BCG also worked to evaluate, benchmark and identify reinvestment opportunities in four areas: shared services, awards management, organisational complexity and existing work. BCG engaged Save the Children International and Members one-on-one to articulate end-state vision and case for these changes and conducted bottom-up valuation.

On top of improving ways of working and processes, the efforts identified ~$50-75M potential cost savings and reinvestment potential across major levers within Save the Children.


Using digital and analytics to build a Predictive Displacement algorithm.

Building an advanced algorithm able to predict the severity and length of humanitarian crises to allow for better response planning (2018)

This project aimed to build an advanced algorithm to be able to predict the severity and length of humanitarian crises for better response planning. BCG worked with Save the Children’s Migration and Displacement Initiative (MDI) to develop a prototype predictive displacement tool, which predicts the potential duration and scale of a forced mass displacement. BCG helped design and build an algorithm and interface leveraging its GAMMA capabilities. BCG also piloted the tool in several Save the Children country offices and launched collaborations with partners to help increase the tool’s usage.

Find out more on using predictive analytics to build a better future for displaced childrenhow tech can help when children are forced to flee or using predictive analytics to support children and families affected by forced displacement

Digital Ventures Innovation Sprint.

Save the Children and BCG Digital Ventures engaged in an effort to ideate innovative product and service ideas to better reach children and generate deeper impact (2019)

This joint effort by Save the Children and BCG aimed to ideate innovative product and service ideas to better reach children and generate a deeper impact. Digital Ventures' Innovation Sprint uncovered and developed new products and services that could positively impact the wellbeing of children during flight, displacement and reintegration due to dangerous situations or conflicts, globally. These new ideas have the potential to help Save the Children better support teachers, find jobs for refugees, maintain the wellbeing of children and fund youth entrepreneurs.


Fit for the Future.

In a rapidly changing world, in which civil society is being disrupted by several trends, BCG is supporting Save the Children to gain clarity on the strategic direction of Save the Children to be better prepared for the long-term future (2019-present)

The world in which Save the Children operates is rapidly changing in terms of children’s needs, donor behaviour and competitive landscape. BCG regularly supports Save the Children to gain clarity on changes in the external environment and inform thinking and action to shape and adapt Save the Children’s strategic direction into the future. BCG provides support to assess Save the Children’s external and internal environment to ensure the organisation can remain fit for the future.

East and Southern Africa Digital transformation.


This project supported Save the Children’s digital capabilities and technology in delivering programmes in the East and Southern Africa region. This work assessed the potential to leverage faster impact on a larger scale using digital solutions to deliver different components of the value chain. In particular, it supported Save the Children’s efforts to support local health workers and educators to strengthen their capabilities and knowledge on approaches that have been proven to deliver results, and strengthen key indicators of children’s well-being.

2022-24 Global Strategy .

2020 - present.

BCG provided support in the development of Save the Children’s next Global Strategy for 2022-24. The project team pulled together relevant inputs from across the organisation, partners and stakeholders, and conducted external analyses in order to distil emerging thematic areas that Save the Children will target in its next three-year strategy.

Climate Taskforces: Global action plan and Child Climate Vulnerability Index.

2020 - present.

As climate change is having a considerable impact on millions of children, Save the Children Climate Change Task Force, with the support of BCG, has worked to develop a comprehensive response framework for the movement. This has included the design of a global action plan to tackle the issue from two perspectives: to better understand and address the impact of climate change on children’s well-being, and reduce Save the Children’s impact on the environment worldwide.  

Specifically, in order to identify preemptively the groups of children most vulnerable to present and future challenges of climate change, BCG and the Climate Taskforce have developed a Child Climate Vulnerability Index with combined two dimensions :

  • The potential magnitude of climate change hazards for children on their food, infrastructure, water, and health security
  • The level of vulnerability of the context in which children live (e.g. government readiness)


Benchmarks to inform strategy development and execution.


BCG provided support to Save the Children in conducting a benchmark analysis to provide an external perspective and challenge for the developments of its 2022-24 global strategy. This benchmark analysis consisted of three objectives: provide a view of the comparative landscape, identify inspiring and transformative examples from which Save the Children could learn, and practical measures to improve ways of working of a federated movement to accelerate strategy execution.