Understanding and developing value chains is receiving more attention as a systems-based approach for accelerating and scaling-up development processes. By their nature, value chains involve and connect multiple actors. A value chain approach is, additionally, applicable across economic as well as social domains. In this interesting case, Duncan Mwesige describes a capacity-development intervention in an agricultural value chain in Uganda. He shows how particular multi-stakeholder processes (MSPs) were pivotal in helping chain-connected actors to develop new forms of cooperation that strongly improved efficiency, trust and pro-poor results at many levels. The practitioner will also find a number of practical lessons on the application of MSP methodologies.
The brochure is a compilation of various case studies illustrating the impact of SNV's work in the life of millions of people in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
It portrays the approaches and methods used by SNV to empower local communities, businesses and organisations to break the cycle of poverty by providing them with the tools, knowledge and connections they need to increase their incomes and gain access to basic services.
The case sketches a rapid development in Uganda’s oil seed sector; with increases in production of over 400% from 2005 to 2009. It focuses on a combination of two interventions; a) a collaboration between the leading Uganda processing firm Mukwano and SNV, to develop a contract farming scheme for more than 50,000 farmers; and b) the facilitation of multi-stakeholder platforms at both national and regional levels to facilitate joint agenda setting. The emerging collaboration between various actors led to improvements in general farming practices, business relations and input provision. Jointly they also influenced government policies and financing streams. The combination of these two interventions was particularly powerful and eventually helped to improve the incomes of more than 100,000 farmers. A strong focus was put on improving farmer capacity to deal with markets and vibrancy of the farmers-market interface. It led to major productivity increases and an increase in price of oilseeds of 350% with a corresponding rise in farmers’ incomes, and significant substitution of national imports.
This Practice Brief shares experiences from SNV’s practice in supporting small town water companies in several African countries. As part of sector-wide reforms being undertaken in these countries and elsewhere in Africa, dedicated agencies have been created to deliver water and sanitation services to local populations. Their emergence marks the transition from poorly-managed and inefficient water utilities to more commercially viable service providers that can expand and sustain access to affordable basic services. SNV has provided extensive capacity building support to enable the nascent utilities to improve their service delivery, with a focus on enhancing their planning and operational capacities. Linked to this, significant efforts have been made to strengthen relations between small town water companies, their customers and other stakeholders.
One of the arguments commonly advanced against commercialisation is that this will take place at the expense of the poor. While this risk is acknowledged, the experiences discussed in the Practice Brief confirm that poorer groups in small towns and peri-urban areas - who are disproportionately affected by inadequate services - can benefit from socially responsible commercialisation. However, targeted support needs to be combined with pro-poor policies if it is to deliver the desired results.