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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Cooperative Mentors: Serving Beef Farmers in South Africa by Unlocking Markets

June 3, 2022
During the height of the COVID lockdown, beef farmers in South Africa working with the GENEX Cooperative Development Program (CDP) were faced with the complete shutdown of cattle auction sites due to COVID travel restrictions Which meant farmers were not able to sell their product on time. They were losing revenue and they were incurring extra expenses to feed cattle they earmarked for sale. At that moment, CDP mentors saw an opportunity.

Investing with a “Refugee Lens”: Private Capital Creates New Opportunities for Refugees

June 2, 2022
As private foundations and investors take more interest in refugee services, we are seeing more innovative solutions and approaches for delivering services to refugee communities. The Smart Communities Coalition (SCC) brings the humanitarian and private sectors together to foster innovation in refugee settings, and at the SCC’s 5th Annual Meeting, one theme resonated: there is a strong economic case for refugees, who present a large untapped market as productive members of their host communities and would benefit from tailored services, not just humanitarian aid. 

Cooperative Policy Engagement in Kenya: Including Local Voices in Legal Reform

June 1, 2022
In Kenya, the law governing cooperative businesses predates the 2010 Constitution. As a newly decentralized nation with 47 ‘distinct but interdependent’ counties, the 1997 national cooperative law needs to change to reflect the new government structure. What is harder to agree on is how. It is important to get it right because cooperatives are key contributors to Kenya’s economy.

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.

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. 

Turning the Lights on Is Just the Beginning

May 24, 2022
The story doesn’t end when the lights come on for the first time in rural communities – electric service is a powerful foundation for strengthening communities. It’s critical to also provide enough knowledge to help them generate more income, improve healthcare services, and access better education. With electricity, farmers can mechanize their mills, coffee growers can process their own harvest, and dairy farmers can chill their milk.

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.

Green Jobs are the Future

May 17, 2022
This blog was authored by Obed Diener, Technical Advisor, Economic Participation, Global Education, Employment and Engagement, FHI360, and was originally published on the FHI360 website.

Introducing: PSE Opportunities Tool

May 13, 2022
Private Sector Engagement (PSE) is about pursuing market-based approaches and investment as a means to address development or humanitarian challenges. PSE represents an opportunity for USAID to expand its impact and achieve development objectives in a scalable, sustainable way.