A Synthesis of Practical Lessons from Value Chain Projects in Conflict-Affected Areas
May 1, 2008 | by
Over the last year, at the behest of USAID, 10 organizations captured results and lessons learned from projects that used value chain programming in conflict-affected environments. The goal of this paper is to extract larger lessons that emerge from these implementing organizations and the programs they developed across 14 value chains in conflict-affected environments. Based on these lessons, the paper strives to articulate the potential of value chain programming in conflict-affected environments, and to highlight “better practice” that leads to greater programmatic success in such difficult contexts.
The fundamental objective of value chain programming is to move poor individuals and households out of saturated, low-return activities and into higher-return, growing markets. This is done by linking poor producers to other privatesector actors who have access to growing markets and who have a clear business interest in partnering with poorer producers as part of their supply system. The value chain—so named because of the flow of product from early stages through higher value-adding stages until it reaches the ultimate consumer—focuses on upgrading the products and processes used by the various participants within the chain so that the entire group of actors can compete successfully in profitable markets. For a brief summary of value chain concepts, see Section II.
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