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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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Why Would a Poverty Reduction Program Do Something That’s Not Pro-poor? Digital Development in Ethiopia

December 1, 2022
This blog was authored by Jody Delichte, Ben Taylor, Solyana Amsalu. For any new technology, the early adopters are unlikely to be those at the bottom of the pyramid. This is even less likely where adopting that technology requires infrastructure, asset ownership, skills, and other preconditions. For programs that explicitly aim to benefit the poor, there is often a question of whether to support business models that do not immediately appear to benefit them.

Glorifying Multi-Tasking by Women Entrepreneurs Must Stop

November 30, 2022
How many times this week have you heard someone rave about an amazing mother who is simultaneously juggling her business with childcare, while running a household? This is constantly happening. Everywhere across the globe. We all do it – men and women. Glorifying multi-tasking by women entrepreneurs must stop.

Women Entrepreneurs Weather COVID -19 Years after the Project Closed

November 29, 2022
This blog was authored by Tess Bayombong, Maria Adelma Montejo, Emily Janoch, Caitlin Shannon, and Tzusuan Peng. Women entrepreneurs who talk about success in their businesses in the Philippines have fascinating contributions to what success means. Cecile Corio describes an arc of resilience and equality: “I think of ways to recover (my business). Don’t lose trust in yourself. I started from nothing; I can prove that I can lead a better life. … My husband and I have a good give-and-take relationship.”

Boost the Performance of Your Investments: Listen to Consumers Early and Continually

October 24, 2022
An important element of effective markets is strong consumer demand that is recognized in the consumer behavior of purchasing and using products. To utilize latent demand and improve demand that produces significant shifts in consumer behavior will require that market activities continuously cater to evolving consumer needs and values. Failure to do so results in missed opportunities to maximize latent demand, activities, and products that fall short of expected goals because of low consumer acceptance.

Four Pillars for Sustainable Change in Cocoa Growing Supply Chains

October 20, 2022
CARE and MARS’s Women for Change program works with women and their families in cocoa-growing communities to improve livelihoods so communities can thrive. The program started in Côte d’Ivoire in 2016, founded on CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) approach. Between 2016 and 2022, more than 77,000 VSLA members (58,000 women) were supported through CARE’s partnership with Mars.

Alternative Financing for Pharmacy Leads to Improved Access to Sanitation and Hygiene Products

September 28, 2022
Amakelech Lulu is no stranger to winning. Founder of Gishen Pharmacy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, she won the 2019 Invest2Impact East Africa competition, which included 100 women-led businesses selected based on their potential to achieve growth and contribute to women’s economic empowerment. In July 2022, she also was awarded a certificate of merit in recognition of her exemplary professional service for best Community Pharmacy Practices by the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Association. Despite her success, even her business was not immune to the economic impact of COVID-19.

Compounding Crises: The Challenges of Climate Change

July 18, 2022
We live in an age of compound disasters where one emergency is layered on top of the next. This gives way to terrible humanitarian consequences that stop development in its tracks. Forced displacement is at record levels with more than 100 million people displaced around the globe for the first time.

Savings, Loans and Empowerment: 20-Plus Years of Learning from Pact’s Worth Model

June 16, 2022
Pact’s longstanding livelihoods model, WORTH, is a critical tool for building financial access and incomes around the world. Since its inception in Nepal in 1998, WORTH has reached 1.14 million individuals, primarily women and girls, through 48,342 groups across 16 countries. To recognize and learn from this milestone, we recently conducted a formal review of 28 WORTH programs, 17 of which were funded by USAID.

The Market Corner: The Role of Cooperatives in Advancing Locally Led Development

June 13, 2022
This month, the Market Corner sits down with Kristin Wilcox, Chief of Party for the USAID Cooperative Development Program - Cooperative Leadership Engagement Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) Activity and advocate for the global cooperative movement, to explore the role of cooperatives in advancing locally led development and the barriers they face. This post was authored by Holly Lard Krueger.

Feed the Future Business Drivers for Food Safety Celebrates World Food Safety Day

June 7, 2022
Food Enterprise Solutions recognizes that food safety is everyone’s business. And – that food safety is good for business!  Today, June 7, 2022, we are celebrating Food Safety Day 2022 to highlight the exciting work that the Feed the Future Business Drivers for Safety (BD4FS) project is doing with growing food businesses in Senegal to promote safer food handling and ultimately more successful businesses.

Localization of the Cooperative Development Program in Guatemala: Bringing Young Voices to the Table to Find Alternatives to Migration in Coffee Communities

June 7, 2022
Since 1986, Equal Exchange has been partnering with cooperatives around the world through inclusive supply chains, offering better trade conditions and improved pricing all while building long-term relationships. It is through these relationships that the opportunity arose to dig deeper into the challenges these communities face to facilitate solutions that are designed and led by cooperatives in each unique context through the Cooperative Development Program, funded by USAID. 

Join Marketlinks in June as We Explore the Relevance, Versatility and Role of Co-ops in Localization

June 1, 2022
Agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights and governance, economic growth and trade, environment and global climate change, gender, and women’s empowerment. What sectors do you work in? Whatever they may be, in the quest to increase local efforts for a more resilient, prosperous, democratic, and inclusive world, there has never been a better time to focus on cooperatives! What is a Cooperative?

Addressing Gender Norms: A Gender Transformative Approach Towards Inclusive Growth and Representation Among Men and Women in Rwandan Cooperatives

May 31, 2022
Like many countries around the world, gender inequality remains prevalent throughout social and economic systems in Rwanda. Discriminatory gender norms have hindered the opportunity for sustained equality among men and women in many facets of life, including within the cooperative sector. The Rwandan government has shown their commitment to advancing gender equality through numerous laws and policies at the national level; however, generations of subconscious gender biases and mindsets are not so easily changed, continuing the cycle of restrictive gender norms and inequity.

Let Women Work: What She Knows Matters

May 24, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic set women back in labor force participation for (now) well-known reasons: women typically shoulder more care burdens and disproportionately work in less remote-compatible occupations.

Communications as a Change Resource

May 23, 2022
I recently had the opportunity to speak at the 2022 Market Systems Symposium on one of my favorite topics, "Communications as a Change Resouce." Given the global Market Systems Development audience, the conversations delved into how market systems or private sector development programs could better use their communications team and budget to influence change. Programmatic communications tend to think about three distinct audiences of their content - funders, peers, and scalers.