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COVID-19 Rapid Market Impact Report

This post shares a new report from Mercy Corps highlighting how government restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 has impacted businesses, supply chain, markets and local economies.

Poverty Outreach in Fee-for-Service Savings Groups

This research paper shares findings from a large-scale randomized control trial conducted in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The paper describes the poverty profile of community members that participate in CRS' Savings and Internal Lending Communities and shows that CRS is reaching the very poor. Additionally, communities that paid for SILC services through Private Service Providers achieved greater resilience than those that received subsidized support through the traditional field agent approach.     About SILC Innovations

EMMA: Emergency Market Mapping & Analysis

EMMA is a set of tools and guidance notes. It encourages and assists front-line humanitarian staff in sudden-onset emergencies to better understand, accommodate and make use of market-systems. It does not offer a simplistic blueprint for action. However, EMMA does provide accessible, relevant guidance to staff who are not already specialists in market analysis. The EMMA toolkit adds value to established humanitarian practices in diverse contexts.

Lessons Learned From 25 Years of Food Security Research, Capacity-Building, and Outreach

This resource provides a coherent and helpful summary of the Michigan State University (MSU)’s Food Security Group’s research, primarily from Sub-Saharan Africa. Lessons are presented in four areas: The first, Agricultural Growth and Food Security Strategies, suggests that small shrinking farm sizes in many countries will prevent many farmers from escaping poverty from on-farm production alone. Investments in education and non-agricultural sectors will be important.

Market-based approaches to nutrition improvement and food security and linkages to agriculture: TechnoServe’s Evolving Strategy

This presentation by TechnoServe presents the organization's strategy for improving nutrition through its work with the private sector. Five strategies are outlined: nutritional reviews, food fortification, commercialization of nutritious food, crop diversification, and encouraging embedded nutritional services by value chain actors. The presentation briefly examples two examples of how this strategy could be applied.

Smallholder Commercialization: Processes, Determinants and Impact

This paper by the International Livestock Research Institute reviews the available literature on smallholder commercialization. Of particular interest, the paper discusses the arguments for smallholders to scale-up and commercialize existing food crops versus beginning to produce completely new crops specifically for sale. The production of high-value crops typically generates greater returns for producers, but also typically implies greater risks and barriers to entry. In general, commercialization is found to be positive for families, though the impacts vary.

Global Food Crisis Response Program: Review of Lessons Learned

The Global Food Crisis Response Program: Review of Lessons Learned is a helpful and balanced analysis produced by the agency that implemented the program:  Mercy Corps. Reaching 75,000 people over 18 months across five countries facing food shortages, the ambitious project aimed to use rapid market analysis to inform quick-impact interventions, while also addressing longer-term needs.  Its interventions varied significantly by context, but always included a focus on specific agricultural value chains. Short-term resource transfers in the form of vouchers or cash for