Middle East Development Network’s (MDN) unique solutions come from a multi-level approach, leveraging both a highly sophisticated intellectual philosophy and a very practical, grassroots level perspective. This blended approach results from the founder’s personal journey, and his choice to provide new solutions for governments in a non-traditional manner. MDN is an international consulting company that focuses on governance, development, and alternative diplomacy. Headquartered in Istanbul, MDN specialises in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
It has a unique business philosophy, worldwide network of professionals, and non-cookie-cutter solutions approach. MDN is a client-focused, solutions-based partner for governments, as well as those seeking to do business with governments and economic development sectors in the Arab world.
A philosophy that inspires…
MDN’s origin has a marvellous, fairy-tale-like story as its source of inspiration: The Tale of the Three Grapes, a mysterious historical record or legend, echoing Paolo Coelho’s Alchemist. However, it requires a visionary and proficient leader to turn a dream into a sound reality in the business world. This journey—from dream to reality—is described by MDN President Murat Daoudov as “…an amazing journey of collecting and putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, in order for the design to materialize and emerge. Long years of hands-on experience, developing a broad network of professional relationships, scrupulous analysis of needs and opportunities, dreams and passion, vision and courage, and faith, all harmoniously woven together to make the Middle East Development Network real.”
MDN’s motto is “harmony and complementarity between the East and the West,” the principle that is masterfully reflected in its corporate logo. The logo reflects this principle through its colours, scripts, and structure which echoes the geography. The Latin script, situated left (West) and upper part (North), represents Europe and the West; while the Arabic equivalent, in the right (East) and lower (South), symbolizes the Arab and Islamic worlds. Both have been assigned their symbolic colours; blue (West) and green (East), reflecting the primary flag colours of each’s leading political organizations.
The acronym MDN in Arabic forms the word “cities”- cities and local governments are at the very core of MDN’s business. Building liveable, sustainable, and prosperous cities, strengthening and empowering local governance, and involving local leaders in promoting the culture of peace and harmony in the diverse cities of the Middle East, are the center of MDN’s work. The same acronym also reflects the corporate principles of MDN: M for Mission; D for Dedication; and N for Neutrality. Neutrality is especially significant for success in a multi-confessional, multi-cultural, multi-ideological region like the Middle East. Read even more amazing details of this design at www.mdncorp.com .
…and the grassroots solutions that derive from it
MDN is as ambitious in its solutions as it is sophisticated in its philosophy. First, MDN introduces an innovative approach by “synchronizing office times” using the word play motto “Your office hours are ours!” MDN aspires to synchronize the Middle East with the world and vice versa. Therefore wherever you are—in Tokyo, Beijing, Sydney, Washington DC, Toronto, or Sao Paolo—MDN’s main office and key offices are set to work round-the-clock, 24/7 so that they are always at your service on your time.
MDN’s actions are two-fold: It provides consulting for developing the content for projects and programs, and the necessary organizational and logistical support for successful implementation. Its team is highly professional, multi-lingual individuals with substantial hands-on experience in public administration, decentralization, local government, e-government, smart cities, territorial economic development, para-diplomacy, international relations, academic research, and training. MDN will become a very effective interface between the Arab world and Europe, the US and far beyond.
Who founded the Middle East Development Network and where is it based?
Murat Daoudov:“I founded the Middle East Development Network (MDN) with assistance and involvement of a number of successful professionals from various countries. MDN proposes a new platform for cooperation and solutions exchange between the Middle East and the rest of the world. Our company’s headquarters is in Istanbul, the world’s traditional meeting point—East and West, North and South, and the past and future.”
What is the organization’s mission?
Murat Daoudov: “Our mission is to contribute to making the Middle East a land of peace, prosperity, and human development. We dream of cities in the Middle East and North Africa that masterfully blend their past and future; where historic “medinas” and modern neighbourhoods harmoniously coexist and enrich each other; where citizens in local communities live peacefully and embrace diversity, hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder. To achieve this dream our ten-year goal for 2024 is to achieve an ambitious development indicator like, having at least 10 MENA cities in the 100 Most Liveable Cities Index. Go to our related page for more details.”
How does the organization aim to achieve its mission?
Murat Daoudov: “MDN wants to be the key partner for achieving effective and innovative local solutions in the Middle East. This may be for international organizations or companies that work in the Middle East, or for governments inside and outside the region. Our niche is providing consulting for developing content for projects and programs, and providing organizational and logistical support for successful implementation.
Our major areas of expertise are governance and development, with the government sector as the general target and local government specifically. Developing local governments, steering public administration reform, strengthening decentralization, building skills, and raising capacities in various areas of urban management, shaping local economic development policies, territorial branding, and public-private partnerships or sharing best practices in government restructuring and financial management, or transferring the state-of-the-art technology for better urban transportation, e-government, social services or environmental protection are the solutions that we excel in.
Additionally, higher education is a top priority. Based on our network, MDN is actively building cooperation between Arab, Turkish, European, and American universities, especially those specialising in MDN’s core business areas. Finally, we also offer services in the fields of alternative diplomacy, e.g. international cooperation between local and regional governments, business and cultural diplomacy.”
What experience does your team have?
Murat Daoudov: “Our wealth of experience distinguishes MDN. First, we strive to masterfully blend Western and Eastern experiences. Second, our solutions’ excellence is derived from our unique approach. We capitalize on practical, hands-on experience in the context of the realities of the Arab world. Although MDN is young, it brings together experts with many cumulative years of practical experience from Europe, the Arab world, Turkey, the Balkans, Asia, and the US. Our practical knowledge, gained through work in public administration, local government and decentralization, is strengthened by solid theoretical expertise, resulting in the ability to link theory and practice. The leading members of our team have worked for many years in various government authorities – as mayors, general managers, or departmental directors. Also many of us currently lecture in various universities. Finally, we are multilingual, mastering a variety of languages, including English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, Chinese, Kurdish…and others necessary for connecting the Middle East to the world and vice-versa.”
How do you envision MDN in the future?
Murat Daoudov: “MDN’s ambition goes far beyond just being “another consultancy company.” Governance is just the first stage. Other areas are being designed and gradually implemented. Teams in Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, and Iraq are already in place, while country teams and local offices in the rest of the Arab world are being developed. Our five-year goal is to be the number one government consulting partner in the Arab world and Turkey.”