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A Local Certification System in Georgia: Steppingstones to Meeting Market Demands

This brief focuses on the role of certification schemes for agricultural products by tracking the creation of Georgian Good Agricultural Practices (GeoGAP. GeoGAP is a scaled-down version of the internationally recognized Global Good Agricultural Practices (GLOBALG.A.P.) and helps meet local demand for safe, traceable food. The certification was created by the Georgian Farmers’ Association with support from the USAID-funded, Zrda Activity which is implemented by Chemonics.

LEAP III Bangladesh Policy and Regulatory Assessment

The U.S. Agency for International Development in Bangladesh (USAID/Bangladesh or the Mission) engaged Integra Government Services International (Integra) through the Learning, Evaluation, and Analysis Project III (LEAP III), to conduct an assessment (the Assessment) and prepare a draft scope of work (SOW) for an upcoming five-year, $10-15 million activity under the Mission’s Feed the Future (FtF) program (the Activity). Through this new activity, the Mission will improve policy implementation in four key pillar areas: 1) seeds, 2) food safety, 3) social safety nets (SSN) and 4) nutrition.

Tracking the First- and Second-Order Impacts of COVID-19

In March 2021, the USAID Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning (USAID/PPL) COVID Analytics Team prepared "Tracking the First- and Second-Order Impacts of COVID-19," a concise landscape analysis examining the pandemic's impacts across USAID sectors and regions after one year.  The analysis explores six broad areas -- the health crisis, macroeconomic and mobility shocks, household-level impacts, shifts in democratic governance and civic engagement, national security, and climate change -- and leverages the best available data from USAID and external institutions to unders

mSTAR/Bangladesh Final Evaluation

mSTAR's activity in Bangladesh ran from September 2013 until September 2017. Its primary objective was to assist USAID/Bangladesh to integrate digital payments in the programs and operations of implementing partners, as well as to support expansion of the digital payments industry in ways that are beneficial to USAID programs and USAID’s broader development objectives at an ecosystem level.

Guide to Increasing Women’s Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh through Digital Financial Services

This guide seeks to outline the barriers women in Bangladesh face with accessing financial services, and offers a resource for NGOs who are looking to include digital financial services (DFS) in their programming and for DFS providers who are looking to understand the segment better. Through design, deployment and education, organizations can better address women’s perceptions of and challenges with using DFS.

Workshop on Digital Payments for AIRN Members through Agent Banking

mSTAR/Bangladesh received a technical assistance request from the Agro-Inputs Retailers Network (AIRN), which is supported by USAID’s Agro-Inputs Project, in February 2017 to support them to explore DFS adoption among AIRN members. In connection with that request, mSTAR/B conducted two technical workshops for AIRN members in March 2017 about using agent banking for digital payments. Md. Ataur Rahman, mSTAR/B Team Lead, facilitated the workshop sessions.

Increased Income Earning Opportunities: Bala’s Story

Kuber Chandra Bala is a fish farmer who had previously participated in trainings offered by USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) project. In 2014, AIN began paying training incentives to farmers like Bala via mobile money. Bala soon started using his MFS account to make purchases and top up his mobile airtime, saving him time and money. With the time saved, he was able to engage in other income-earning opportunities. This is the tenth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of digital financial services on people's lives.

Digital Financial Service Product Innovation #2 - IFIC Mobile Banking

The Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice Value Chain (RVC) project funded by USAID and implemented by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Bangladesh, is partnering with IFIC Bank Limited with support from mSTAR/Bangladesh to pilot a new agri-credit facility for farmers in Jessore and Satkhira districts. This learning document provides more details about this exciting DFS product innovation, including its benefits and the roles of those involved.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Use Cases of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh (by Payment Type)

This document illustrates some of the different ways that mobile financial services (MFS) are being used in Bangladesh. It intends to help USAID’s implementing partners learn more about how mobile financial services are being and have been used for different purposes across different projects and programs implemented by government agencies, private sector players and development organizations.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Use Cases of Mobile Financial Services in Bangladesh (by Beneficiary)

This document illustrates some of the different ways that mobile financial services (MFS) are being used with different types of beneficiaries in Bangladesh. It intends to help USAID’s implementing partners learn more about how mobile financial services are being and have been used across different projects and programs implemented by government agencies, private sector players and development organizations.

Agent Banking 101

Agent banking is the latest innovation in banking services available in Bangladesh. It aims to provide formal banking services to the unbanked, including populations that have traditionally been more inaccessible. Although officially sanctioned by Bangladesh Bank in late 2013, agent banking has only recently started to take off in Bangladesh in the past year and a half. It represents another channel, like mobile financial services, promoted by the Government of Bangladesh to promote financial inclusion.

Increasing Financial Independence through Mobile Money: Kallani's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Kallani, a beneficiary farmer of USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) program implemented by WorldFish. Kallani is now popularly known in her community as a mobile money champ. This is the sixth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

Mobile Money Snapshot: Department of Youth Development

This two-page publication details the experience of the Department of Youth Development (DYD) in Bangladesh in their transition from cash to mobile payments. It includes an overview of their activities, the types of transactions they transitioned to mobile, what that transition process entailed, and challenges and benefits associated with their transition. It also includes key takeaways from their experience so that others can apply DYD’s lessons learned to their own transition to digital payments.

Deep Dive into the Mobile Financial Services Offered in Bangladesh: Presentations by two leading providers | Workshop

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

Mobile Money Integration Assessment for Agro-Inputs Project

The mSTAR team received a request from the Agro-Inputs Project (AIP) on April 29, 2015, to investigate the scope of integrating mobile money in their project. The mSTAR team conducted a scoping study covering AIP Khulna field office, members of the Agro-Input Retailers’ Network (AIRN) and farmers in order to: i) Understand the financial behavior of wholesalers, retailers, and farmers during peak and off-peak season. ii) Map the transaction flow between wholesalers, retailers, and farmers during peak and off-peak season.

Mobile Money Tipsheet: Bridging the Mobile Financial Services Gender Divide

USAID promotes increased access to and usage of mobile financial services in order to deepen financial inclusion, accelerate broad-based economic growth, and instill transparency into funding flows. These tipsheets are intended to assist USAID implementing partners in Bangladesh to more effectively make use of mobile financial services.

A Public-Private Model for Digital Agriculture in Pakistan

This innovative pilot implemented in a rural part of the Swat Valley in Pakistan was designed to leverage technologies to provide farmers with low literacy rates with up-to-date market and training information, digitally disseminated through their mobile phones, in their local language, and helping them to increase the quality and quantity of their produce.

From Farmer to a Mobile Money Champ: Sagor's Story

Adopting mobile money does not only bring benefits to development organizations, but it can also bring about dramatic change in the personal and professional lives of staff and beneficiaries. This MM Experience tells the story of Sagor, a beneficiary farmer of USAID's Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition (AIN) program implemented by WorldFish. Sagor is now popularly known in his community as a mobile money champ. This is the fifth in a series created by mSTAR/Bangladesh to show the tangible benefits of mobile money on people's lives.

mSTAR/Bangladesh: Mobile Money Consultative Group Meeting Minutes February 2015

The mSTAR/Bangladesh-organized Mobile Money Consultative Group held its second meeting on February 19, 2015. The MMCG serves as a platform through which stakeholders can share their experiences using mobile money, as well as to identify opportunities for new product innovations and barriers that may exist in effectively using existing products to reach remote and underserved populations. Over 20 representatives from the donor community and development sector attended and contributed to the constructive dialogue. This summary provides meeting highlights. 

Mobile Money in Action: Myths, Facts and Simulations | Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. 

The Future of Mobile Payments in USAID Health Projects and Programs: Workshop Report

USAID’s mSTAR project aims to increase operational efficiency and productivity across USAID Bangladesh’s agricultural and health portfolios through mobile and electronic payment adoption. Aligned with this objective, mSTAR Bangladesh facilitates quarterly and district-level technical workshops to increase awareness and competence of relevant USAID implementing partners (IPs) on the benefits of using mobile payments. This workshop focused on training frontline manager on MM and its benefits, and on the role of the mSTAR project.

FIELD Report No. 21: Understanding Systemic Change in the Vegetable Seed Market – A Qualitative Assessment

This report from the FIELD-Support LWA examines changes in the local market system resulting from the introduction of vegetable seed mini-packets in Bangladesh (facilitated through an Action for Enterprise program), and how those changes affected local farmers and their households. It first presents the findings of a market system assessment based on a review of secondary data and in-depth interviews (IDIs) with market actors.