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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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.
USAID Official

New Trade Rules and Transparency: How Implementing Good Regulatory Practices (GRPs) Supports Anti-Corruption Programing

May 2, 2023


Bryan O'Byrne
Corruption is increasingly seen as the very “operating system” of many developing country governments, and is connected to sophisticated networks that cross sectoral and national boundaries in their drive to maximize returns for their members. Indeed, independent studies suggest that corruption is woven into the fabric of governing institutions due to kleptocrats’ ability to co-opt or disable independent authorities, promote willful blindness, competing incentives, or inattention.

Does International Trade Mitigate or Exacerbate Climate Change?

November 23, 2022


Estefania McPhaul
The relationship between international trade and the climate is complex. In the same way that trade liberalization can create “winners” and “losers,” international trade can mitigate or exacerbate climate change and its impacts. To reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieve the commitments of the Paris Agreement, countries need to minimize the negative and maximize the positive effects of trade on the environment.

In Kenya, Counties Working with Communities Bring About Stronger Market Systems Resilience

September 28, 2022


In Northern Kenya, county governments have a unique responsibility to support local development, as much of their population struggles with poor access to economic markets, frequent drought, and other challenges that perpetuate poverty and food insecurity in the country’s arid and semi-arid lands. Their efforts cannot succeed without the involvement of the community and often partners like USAID.

What Are the Linkages between Inclusion, Risk, and Market Systems Resilience?

September 27, 2022


Inclusion contributes to greater market connectivity, one of the key determinants of market system resilience. People—including those traditionally excluded from or marginalized by market systems, such as women, youth, LGBTQI+ individuals, people with disabilities, and indigenous or other identity groups—are human resources. They are critical for enabling a system to better absorb, adapt, or transform when faced with shocks and stresses.

Responding to Shocks Using Market-Based Approaches in Bangladesh

September 8, 2022


We tested different business models and found ways to increase the resilience of both large and small agricultural businesses. Our world is entrenched in systemic challenges, from a pandemic to global warming and supply chain issues. So, how do we respond to these challenges effectively and sustainably? Market-based approaches offer one solution, but not all approaches are created equal. And many questions remain regarding how market systems development programs can support communities facing these shocks.   

Strengthening Market Systems Resilience

September 1, 2022


The next three years are expected to be “characterized by either consistent volatility and multiple surprises or fractured trajectories that will separate relative winners and losers,” according to most respondents of a recent World Economic Forum survey. The development industry is seeing this volatility play out through rising fertilizer, fuel, and food prices and worsening impacts of climate change.

Engaging Border Communities in Trade and Investment Programming: Why and How

August 18, 2022


TCA EMD Webinars
This post was written by Jonah Belser for USAID’s Trade and Competitiveness Activity (TCA). Communities located in border regions are economically significant across the developing world. Border businesses provide vital products and services to people in transit—from international traders to migrant families—especially where cross-border trade and travel procedures are slow-moving and inefficient. These businesses range from customs brokerage and currency exchange services to local restaurants, hotels, markets, and more.

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 (FES)
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


Julia Baumgartner
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


LuAnn Werner
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?

Farmer Cooperatives in the Philippines Boast Key Advantage: Knowing the Local Context

May 25, 2022


In the way that cooperatives form when people with common interests come together, apex organizations form when several of those cooperatives organize to achieve common goals. Farming cooperatives have the unique advantage of being engrained in the local context and knowledgeable about their sector. Their value is providing farmers with advantages that make them more profitable than they would be outside of the group. Apex organizations take that farmer support a step further by strengthening the cooperative groups on a larger scale. 

The Market Corner: Discovering and Sharing Market Systems Development Tools and Resources at MSS2022

May 10, 2022


Marketlinks Team
This post was written by Holly Lard Krueger. During the pandemic, opportunities to step out of our day-to-day and into a place of sharing and learning took on greater importance. For many in the market systems development (MSD) community, the annual Market Systems Symposium (MSS) is one of these special opportunities to come together (virtually) to share, debate, and learn.