Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Collaborative Learning on Inclusive Market Systems: A New Blog Series

Authored by

Kristin O'Planick
Kristin O'Planick
Enterprise Development Specialist

Kristin O’Planick is an Enterprise Development Specialist in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment. Ms.

O’Planick provides assistance to market systems, enterprise development, and workforce development programming. She also manages the Leveraging Economic Opportunities project.

For more than a decade, the Microlinks community has been learning together about good practice in using the value chain approach. Through this collaborative learning, practitioners in the community have experimented with new ideas and refined their approaches, which has resulted in measurable increases in yield, sales, and incomes for the poor. This is an achievement of which we can all be proud, given that our shared knowledge has brought us together to greater success.

Now, recognizing that local actors, especially smallholders, typically engage in multiple value chains, we have reoriented our lens to the broader market system. This will have programmatic implications that we are only just beginning to realize. How does this expanded view challenge the way we design, implement, and manage projects? As this community begins to gather evidence and distill the emerging good practices that come from this generation of research and field implementation, we want Microlinks to continue to serve as a hub for this collaborative effort. So we are launching this blog space dedicated to inclusive market systems to help us process the learning and generate new ideas on the path forward.

Welcome to “Market Systems: Expanding Our Thinking, Deepening Our Impact.” We’ll be sharing our learning from the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) project over the coming weeks but hope that the broader Microlinks community will also contribute content through guest blogs. Please do engage with us! We want (and need) to hear what you are learning out there – the good and the bad. We’re looking forward to your comments, questions, and suggestions for guest posts.

For our Microlinks community members who are focused more specifically on finance, we have also created a sister blog, “Financing Growth While Seeking Inclusion for All.” That blog series will explore the emerging pathways to financial inclusion and ways to catalyze private capital for development objectives.

Happy reading!