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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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Corporate Rankings Measure Social Impact

October 22, 2020
What kind of companies pay their median workers more, give more to charity, emit fewer carbon emissions — and have a 56 percent higher total shareholder return over the past five years than other companies? Just companies. And JUST 100 companies.

Time to Invest in Africa’s Green Growth Potential

October 22, 2020
As investors search out bankable opportunities within green growth sectors, they would do well to look to Sub-Saharan Africa, where renewable natural capital assets account for a higher share of total wealth than in any other region.

A Practical Framework for Assessing Informal Norms in a Market System

October 21, 2020
The term “enabling environment” often conjures a singular focus on policies, laws, and regulations. These formal rules are important and necessary, but they alone are an incomplete picture of the market system. The Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security (EEFS) project recognizes this, and takes a broader view of the enabling environment which holistically considers the incentives and barriers for market actors operating in complex systems.

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.

A Well-Timed Investment: How Investing in Tech-Driven Healthcare SMEs Is Boosting Africa’s COVID-19 Response

October 15, 2020
Companies across Africa are using digital technologies to solve health care challenges. American investment can help them improve their products and reach larger customer bases. With USAID assistance in support of Prosper Africa, Field Intelligence — a U.S.-led, Nigerian-based healthcare technology enterprise focused on strengthening the pharmacy supply chain in Nigeria and Kenya —closed its first round of fundraising. This financing will support the scaling-up of company’s Shelf Life service, which helps local pharmacies manage their inventory and avoid stockouts.

Smartphone App Benefits Shrimp Farmers in Bangladesh

October 9, 2020
With the right techniques and knowledge, shrimp farmers in Bangladesh, even those with small-scale production, have the potential to maximize their income and further provide for their families while making significant returns on investment. To achieve this, farmers must follow rigorous production practices that require strict technical precision.

What is a Resilient Health System? Lessons from Ebola

October 5, 2020
The fragility of health systems has never been of greater interest—or importance—than at this moment, in the aftermath of the worst Ebola virus disease epidemic to date. The loss of life, massive social disruption, and collapse of even the most basic health-care services shows what happens when a crisis hits and health systems are not prepared.

Youth Inclusion in Market Systems

September 28, 2020
Youth — who make up a large portion of the potential workforce in developing countries — are often left out of markets systems, representing a significant lost opportunity to deliver social and economic benefits. 

Youth, Women, and Market Systems Development in Agriculture

September 24, 2020
Attention to inclusivity of youth and women in market systems development (MSD) is gaining traction around the world as part of work to strengthen inclusive agriculture-led growth, food security, poverty reduction, and improved employment. In recent years, at least 15 agriculture-related MSD activities valued at a combined half a billion U.S. dollars have targeted women and, increasingly, youth.

Can Rural Development Programs Build Resilience to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

September 18, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures national governments around the world are taking to contain it have created new challenges for families who were already vulnerable to a number of climate-related disaster risks. New research supported by USAID is learning whether investments in broadly based resilience helps families to withstand even this completely unexpected and global shock.