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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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Bolstering Economic Dynamism in the Western Balkans

June 16, 2022
In early 2022, the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) started to emerge from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, boasting rising industrial production, exports to the European Union (EU), increases in wages, and credit growth. The region is ripe for investment, but Russia’s war against Ukraine threatens this recovery, through higher energy and food costs, disruption in supply chains, and interruptions in trade.

This February, Marketlinks explores some key considerations for promoting local and regional manufacturing of health products

February 1, 2022
Stockouts and shortages of quality-assured medical products — including those required to prevent maternal and child deaths, and combat and control infectious disease threats — are still common in many countries despite being critical for saving lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted global health supply chain vulnerabilities, including an overreliance on a small number of suppliers for key active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as on a large concentration of pharmaceutical manufacturing in Asia.

This Bond Could Be a Breakthrough in Combatting West Africa’s Housing Shortage

December 8, 2021
For most West Africans, homeownership is out of reach. Rapid population growth and urbanization have created a housing shortage, exacerbated by the lack of access to affordable mortgage loans to finance purchases. With support from USAID INVEST, the Caisse Regionale de Refinancement Hypothecaire (CRRH) is bringing a new investment opportunity to U.S. markets that offers investors attractive financial and social returns — and West Africans the resources to make homeownership a reality. By Lauren Yang, INVEST Communications Advisor

Private Sector Engagement in the Bajo Cauca Region of Colombia

October 29, 2021
By Erin Magee, Regional Advisor, Latin America & the Caribbean, USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance For Diana Arismendy Schroeder, establishing a community-centered approach is critical when working in fragile and conflict-affected settings.

Making a Measure: Capturing Vendor Business Health in Local Markets

September 1, 2021
By Clare Clingain and Emily Sloane, International Rescue Committee (IRC) If you want to understand something, you probably need to measure it – and measure it well. Chances are, someone has already tried to measure what you want to examine, but if that’s not the case, it’s important to design a tool that’s fit for the intended purpose and to test it out in multiple contexts.

Using a Systems Approach to Adapt to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

August 4, 2021
In March 2020, the Government of Uganda introduced a series of preventative measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. These measures, including the closure of businesses and restriction of movement, were anticipated to have an impact on the economy and on agricultural production. USAID/Uganda was interested in understanding the impact of COVID-19 and these government measures on the agricultural market system, to anticipate how resilient the system would be and to identify opportunities to adapt existing programming or introduce new emergency measures.

Cash Transfers and Economic Resilience

June 1, 2021
With pandemic lockdowns crippling labor demand and supply around the world, government interest in social protection and labor market programs in general, and cash transfers in particular, has increased dramatically.

Pandemic Challenges Reveal Cambodian Adaptability: A Case Study in the Vegetable Sector

January 13, 2021
As COVID-19 circumvented the globe impacting every nation, sector, business, and family, it brought numerous challenges in its wake.  In developing countries – where market systems are often fragmented, connections between market actors weak, and businesses’ reserves limited – perishable products like vegetables were particularly hard hit. Both the supply and demand were affected by the shock. As the crisis deepened, some market actors lost considerable revenue and some went out of business.

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.