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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Market Support According to Vendors: Learning from a Participatory Design Process in Puntland

September 28, 2023


Emily Sloane
In a USAID/BHA-funded research project underway in Somalia’s Puntland State, the IRC is trying to understand how to design effective and equitable market support programming. Market support is a type of humanitarian intervention that aims to ultimately benefit crisis-affected populations by improving the function of critical market systems, like those for staple foods and key non-food items.

Increased Food Safety, Reduced Food Loss

September 25, 2023


Food Enterprise Solutions (FES)
How Feed the Future Business Drivers for Food Safety is building capacity for small- and medium-sized food businesses to be leaders in food loss solutions

Working with Transaction Advisors: Setting the Right Incentives

August 31, 2023


Kristin Jangraw,
Sharon D'Onofrio
Around the world, donors like USAID are focused on helping small businesses thrive. These businesses create the lion’s share of formal jobs in emerging markets, and they provide the goods and services local communities need. Still, many small businesses struggle to grow because they can’t access the financing they need. Enter transaction advisors: private sector firms that work with small businesses and investors, structuring and closing investment deals between them.

Seeds2B Helps Smallholder Farmers to Access Good Seeds in Sub-Saharan Africa

August 30, 2023


Camille Renou
The population of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is currently estimated at 1.2 billion people,1 and is projected to double by 2050. The continent’s smallholder farmers (SHF) account for 60% of the population,2 and produce 80% of the food consumed.3 These figures highlight the critical role that agriculture and SHF play in the continent’s food security and development.

The Beauty of Local Autonomy Within a Global Organization

August 21, 2023


Abigail Martuscello,
Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter,
Vikāra Institute
This post was written by Habitat for Humanity's Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter and was originally published on the Vikāra Institute's website.

How USAID, Local Government, and the Private Sector Mitigated AI Gender Bias in One of Mexico’s Leading Education Pilots

July 14, 2023


Alexander Riabov
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems to search, sort, and analyze data has become increasingly common among governments looking to improve the delivery of financial, health, and education services to their citizens. In the case of the Secretariat of Education of the State of Guanajuato (SEG) in Mexico, a digital approach was particularly urgent as the community continues to grapple with increasing student drop-out rates — over 40,000 students every year.

Trade and Gender Equality: Insights from Honduras

July 12, 2023


Bama Athreya
In early June, I had the opportunity to see how the United States has used trade to advance gender equality while on an interagency delegation with senior officials from the Department of State, Department of Labor, and U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR).

Why the Government and the Private Sector Must Work Together to Expand Access to Digital Financial Services in Guatemala

July 5, 2023


Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are revolutionizing access to banking services and empowering millions of previously unbanked individuals. According to the latest data from the World Bank Findex, 73 percent of people in the region (excluding high-income countries) own a financial account—and the proliferation of digital financial services and financial technology (fintech) played an essential role in this growth.

Reducing the Opportunity Cost of Lending in Northern Kenya

June 15, 2023


Northern Kenya has significant opportunities for economic development, and access to finance is a key driver for the region’s sustainable growth. Unfortunately, the region is also burdened with negative perceptions, as Kenyan financial institutions deem it risky compared to other more economically developed parts of the country. Further, most plentiful and impactful Northern Kenyan investments are at the micro, small- and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) level.

Building a Local Food Safety Culture through Business-Led Solutions

June 13, 2023


Food Enterprise Solutions (FES)
Why food safety? In a world plagued by persistent hunger, undernourishment and malnutrition, food safety plays a key role in addressing such issues. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that unsafe food causes 600 million cases (nearly 1 in 10 people) of foodborne diseases and 420,000 deaths annually. Most of the global burden of foodborne disease falls on those living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), comprising 75 percent of deaths from foodborne illness, despite comprising only 41 percent of the global population.

Supporting youth livelihoods in Honduras: Advancing technology for well-being

June 3, 2023


Corus International
With more than half of Hondurans younger than 25 and the majority of the population living below the poverty line, young people need access to employment opportunities. Yet, too many Honduran young women and men face dismal economic prospects with 27 percent of youth not in education, employment or training. Compounded by the impacts of climate change and food insecurity, those who cannot find jobs are at risk of falling further into poverty or migrating elsewhere in search of opportunities.

The Voices of Women Who Make Your Clothes: Spotlight on Vietnam

May 25, 2023


Swasti Gautam
Women make up around 80% of the workforce in the garment industry and are the most important voices in the fashion industry today. However, their voices often go unheard. This blog dives into the achievements of and learnings of The Worker Wellbeing project in Vietnam which aims to improve well-being and dignified conditions for female factory workers.

Strengthening capacity of smallholder farmers: The Food Safety First Costing Tool

May 18, 2023


Corus International
To foster consumer demand and food safety confidence in food supply chains, numerous international trade organizations now require sanitary and phytosanitary systems (SPS) to be maintained at the highest standards. Smallholder farmers, farmer organizations, buyers and governments of low and middle-income countries are expected to meet these phytosanitary standards or risk export shipment rejections. With a growing need to have safe, quality food, it is critical to adhere to food safety standards of buyers and regulatory bodies.

The Role of Business-Led Food Safety in Sustainable Food Systems

May 4, 2023


Food Enterprise Solutions (FES)
The Linkage Between Food Safety and Sustainability Food loss and waste pose a major threat to both global food system security and sustainability. Postharvest loss is both nutrient and resource loss. When food is wasted, so are the resources required to produce it, namely land, water, and energy. In Africa, with the world’s highest rates of hunger and malnutrition, about a third of all food produced is lost before it ever reaches consumers.