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Jul
29

How to collect data during a global pandemic: Lessons from phone surveys

MIM team at work!

 

By mid-March 2020, many MEDA offices in North America and around the world were working from home. As the weeks mounted, projects had to find new ways to monitor progress amidst COVID-19 pandemic. This provided MEDA with an opportunity to pilot a new lean data approach which used phone surveys to monitor project impact.

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Jul
29

Engaging Men: A key to equality and rights for women in rural Tanzania

Women in Tanzania

 

Moving the needle on equality and the rights of women in rural Tanzania requires a multi-faceted approach. Girls grow up watching (and helping) their mother conduct all household tasks, care for the children, and still find time to engage in farming or minor trade to support the family. Boys watch their fathers leave for the farm in the morning and return in the afternoon, often to sit and sip coffee or tea with their friends or sometimes head to the local bar.

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Jul
07

Leveraging technology to reach farmers in Ethiopia

Project of Farm Radio International (FRI)

 

As face-to-face interactions stall across much of the world in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has presented extra challenges for those working to support underserved communities in rural Africa. In Ethiopia, the situation is no different.

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Jun
30

MEDA Concludes Project in Libya

Libya1

 

MEDA’s Libya Economic Empowerment (LEE) project began in Oct. 2012 and successfully completed in March 2020. Originally named Libya Women Economic Empowerment (LWEE), the project was designed specifically to release the unrecognized economic potential of youth and women’s entrepreneurship and thereby contribute to Libya’s economic growth and political stability.

 

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Jun
29

At the nexus of belonging and ‘othering’: Reflections from a racialized international development worker

Aniqah

 

I have had the opportunity to spend time in Amman, Jordan, as part of the Jordan Valley Links team. This Government of Canada-funded program works to support economic and social development for women and youth in the Jordan Valley. My experience has been generously funded by MEDA’s private donors. While this internship was initially created to support hopeful international development workers in gaining practical, on-the-ground experience in the communities in which MEDA works, my experience has been eye opening in other ways.

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Jun
29

Let us introduce you to our 2020 international interns!

Interns2020From left: Indra Sarju, Calyssa Burke, Denis Gaudet & Aniqah Zowmi

 

At MEDA, we believe in the next generation of development professionals. That's why we invest in their careers and help them to gain practical, hands-on international experience that compliments the skills they have learned through their education. Although our international interns have had to return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are still working with our international teams to achieve goals and create long-standing impact through businsess.

Let us introduce you to these four amazing people!

 

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Jun
16

Responding to crisis and building resilience: A look at one microfinance institution’s response during a global pandemic

JVLblog1

 

With the COVID 19 crisis erupting globally, financial institutions have been forced to quickly respond and rethink how they can offer quality services to their clients who are now faced with unemployment and stacking debt.

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Jun
02

Mother nature throws a curve-ball - COVID-19, floods and locust challenges in Kenya

Kenya1Photo: by Forbes

 

The current global pandemic coupled with frequent natural disasters puts Kenya’s food basket in a perilous position. Towards the end of 2019 and early 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Kenya’s food security status was already under pressure following the devastating desert locust swarms that invaded parts of the country just after an excessive rainfall. This, coupled with inflation and weaker purchasing power, left many Kenyan households’ unable to afford their basic needs such as healthcare and food. The Kenya Food Security Steering Group estimated that nearly 10 million Kenyans were food insecure by the end of 2019, of whom 4 million were already in need food aid.

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Jun
02

PAVE Pakistan team responds to COVID19

PAVE1

 

Did you know that farming for seed is sometimes an even more viable income than than traditional agricultural produce? Our project in Pakistan is doing just that by partnering with Engro, a private business and combined funding from Australia.

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Jun
01

Visiting Queen Elizabeth Scholar sees how social and cultural change is possible with proper program design, dialogue & measurement

Nigeria WAY

 

My love for social science research is not new. Growing up as a girl in a rural village in East Africa, I witnessed and experienced the impact of gender inequality on my life and the lives of my friends.

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Jun
01

The way to scale impact? Working together.

GraceGrace Mvula harvesting cassava seed in her field.

 

For Africa’s Yellow-Billed Oxpecker, its sustained survival relies on the partnership it has with African mammals, such as giraffes and water buffalos. The relationship is mutually beneficial as the mammals’ skin does not become ridden with parasites and the birds have a steady source of food, the parasites.

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Jun
01

How table banking has paved the way for innovation and economic empowerment for women in Kenya

Kenya Equator4

 

Table banking is an economic loaning system derived from the principals of Muhammad Yunus‘s practice of microfinancing which was catalyzed in Bangladesh and is based primarily on trust.

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May
21

Gender equality and social inclusion in a COVID-19 world

COVID and Gender Equality

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds around the world at varying speeds and levels of intensity, one thing has become clear - the socio-economic effects are felt very differently by women and men, and by minority and excluded populations.

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May
12

Moving to a Green Economy: This crisis can prepare us for the next

 GreenEconomy

 

As the world shifts from the adrenalized shock of shutdown to a more measured management of this terrible respiratory threat, the economic forecast is bleak. In some places, especially in Africa and Latin America, the forecast is not yet clear, but upheaval is certain. COVID-19 has imploded financial markets and unemployment has sky-rocketed. What could a post-virus world look like? 

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May
12

How to better serve smallholders: Key learning from INNOVATE's 3-year initiative on non-traditional finance for agriculture

wrr innovate

This blog is co-written by Kyla Levin-Russell (Senior Specialist, MarketShare Associates) and Clara Yoon (Project Manager, MEDA). The quotes from the online learning event were edited or condensed for clarity.

Four years ago, MEDA set out to address the research question, “which financial services can catalyze change among smallholder farmers?” Through a series of regional roundtable events and consultations with agricultural finance experts, a research opportunity emerged:

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May
06

Ukrainian clients pivot in response to COVID-19

Ukraine clients

 

Changes in the global business climate, affect all business no matter the place, size or industry. Although many businesses try to prepare for a variety of potential economic shocks, being prepared for a global pandemic was something that few businesses both large and small saw as necessary.

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May
06

In the midst of difficulty lies opportunity

IMG 20200501 134734 01

 

J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Balancing our work and our personal life is not an easy task, but we never stop pursuing it. Work, life, family, and responsibilities are still a priority. We always have something to do, places to go, bills to pay, dishes to wash, clothes to fold, but when was the last time we stopped what we are doing to hit the pause button? While we are all working from home and still can’t escape most of our responsibilities, we see ourselves in an unprecedented situation.

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Apr
22

Earth Day 2020 - global climate action is possible

EarthDayCleanup MR

 

Every year on April 22, the world comes together to mark Earth Day – birthed from the early environmental movements of the 1970s. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and brings together over 1 billion individuals from across the world to advocate, mobilize and defend our Earth.

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Apr
21

The Critical Role of Security, MEDA Global

Security Training

Security at MEDA – always an important part of operations – has taken on an even more critical role as we navigate the COVID pandemic. Scott Ruddick, MEDA’s security director and the individual responsible for directing the security response to the pandemic, credits the project security focal points ( SFP) for helping to ensure staff safety.

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Apr
21

Want a different worldview? Take a look outside your window.

Rwanda

 

In 2019 I travelled to Rwanda to visit World Relief, MEDA’s partner through the INNOVATE project. World Relief works through associations of local churches to empower poor women and other underserved populations with financial, agricultural and other important livelihood skills.

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