Blog

Browse recent blogs of interest to the Marketlinks community. Use the search box or the filters on the left-hand side to refine the listing of blogs by keyword, topic, and/or region/country.

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Mobilizing Agriculture Finance Solutions at Scale

December 1, 2020
On November 12, Marketlinks hosted a webinar discussing two innovative finance interventions that are mobilizing private capital in agricultural finance through an approach that combines market incentives and technical assistance. 

How USAID Brought Co-Creation Online in the Era of Social Distancing: Part I

November 23, 2020
USAID’s Mission in Mexico understands that the most effective and long-term solutions should be informed by a variety of organizations and people. USAID Mexico decided that using a co-creation process — a participatory approach to problem-solving that brings people together to design a solution with mutually shared benefits and value — through a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) — was the best strategy to identify viable solutions.

No Real Estate? No Problem. A Look at the Potential of Asset-Based Lending to Empower Women in Colombia

November 18, 2020
In many countries, social norms and laws restrict women’s ability to control property, so female entrepreneurs are often unable to obtain the real estate needed to satisfy traditional collateral requirements for loans. Asset-based lending (ABL) allows businesses to use their company’s moveable assets — such as equipment, vehicles, livestock, and inventory — as pledged collateral. Recently, INVEST and USAID have been exploring the intersection of ABL and women’s access to finance in Colombia.

Achieving Data Visibility for Health Supply Chain Information Systems

November 18, 2020
As global health supply chains expand and become more complex, the information systems that are used to manage them need to mature along with them. USAID’s Supply Chain Information System Maturity Model helps countries evaluate their supply chain systems’ capabilities holistically, enabling informed decision-making and timely delivery of health commodities.

Research on Women Sales Agents in Indonesia Conducted by PRISMA

November 10, 2020
Indonesian women’s roles in agriculture tend to be less visible and are frequently overlooked by agricultural input companies, government extension workers and even development programs. Unsurprisingly, gender considerations are largely absent from agricultural marketing activities and direct sales agent (DSA) models. To understand and address this gap, PRISMA conducted research on 10 agricultural sector partners and their respective DSA programs.

SEEP 2020: Emphasizing Inclusivity in Uncertain Times

November 6, 2020
The 2020 SEEP Annual Conference looked a little different this year. With the global pandemic rapidly evolving, SEEP stayed committed to creating a safe and meaningful experience for their community of global thinkers and doers by switching to an online forum from October 26-30th. 

This November, Marketlinks Explores Health Markets

November 3, 2020
This month, Marketlinks is exploring health markets. Throughout November, we will take a deep look into the topic and its relation to other relevant subject areas, like health financing, inclusive health access, and digital technology in health markets

Corporate Rankings Measure Social Impact

October 22, 2020
What kind of companies pay their median workers more, give more to charity, emit fewer carbon emissions — and have a 56 percent higher total shareholder return over the past five years than other companies? Just companies. And JUST 100 companies.

Time to Invest in Africa’s Green Growth Potential

October 22, 2020
As investors search out bankable opportunities within green growth sectors, they would do well to look to Sub-Saharan Africa, where renewable natural capital assets account for a higher share of total wealth than in any other region.

A Practical Framework for Assessing Informal Norms in a Market System

October 21, 2020
The term “enabling environment” often conjures a singular focus on policies, laws, and regulations. These formal rules are important and necessary, but they alone are an incomplete picture of the market system. The Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security (EEFS) project recognizes this, and takes a broader view of the enabling environment which holistically considers the incentives and barriers for market actors operating in complex systems.

A Market Systems Lens to COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

October 15, 2020
COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to health systems, economies, and lives all around the world. Among these, national lockdowns, interruptions of cross-border flows of goods and people, and lack of access to markets and distribution channels pose particular challenges to businesses. In response, firms have adapted their business models to sell their products and services online, identified new distributors and buyers, and quickly adjusted their service offerings.

A Well-Timed Investment: How Investing in Tech-Driven Healthcare SMEs Is Boosting Africa’s COVID-19 Response

October 15, 2020
Companies across Africa are using digital technologies to solve health care challenges. American investment can help them improve their products and reach larger customer bases. With USAID assistance in support of Prosper Africa, Field Intelligence — a U.S.-led, Nigerian-based healthcare technology enterprise focused on strengthening the pharmacy supply chain in Nigeria and Kenya —closed its first round of fundraising. This financing will support the scaling-up of company’s Shelf Life service, which helps local pharmacies manage their inventory and avoid stockouts.

Smartphone App Benefits Shrimp Farmers in Bangladesh

October 9, 2020
With the right techniques and knowledge, shrimp farmers in Bangladesh, even those with small-scale production, have the potential to maximize their income and further provide for their families while making significant returns on investment. To achieve this, farmers must follow rigorous production practices that require strict technical precision.

What is a Resilient Health System? Lessons from Ebola

October 5, 2020
The fragility of health systems has never been of greater interest—or importance—than at this moment, in the aftermath of the worst Ebola virus disease epidemic to date. The loss of life, massive social disruption, and collapse of even the most basic health-care services shows what happens when a crisis hits and health systems are not prepared.