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Jun
27

Experimentation in smallholder agriculture: A key takeaway from ‘lean impact for Ag’

 INNOVATE

How can we leverage learning and experimentation to better design agricultural innovations for smallholders? A ‘lean approach’ to testing and learning from pilots, demos, and other experimental methods can help validate assumptions with potential users before committing to costly interventions with low adoption or unintended consequences.

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Jun
27

Celebrating Micro-, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Day

Woman in Myanmar

 

In a world where large businesses and corporations seemingly dominate international markets; there is a small, but salient actor that plays a pivotal role in all economies worldwide. Micro-, small and medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are the eyes and feet on the ground and can be credited for significant employment and income generation opportunities. As a result, MSMEs have been identified as a major driver of poverty alleviation and economic development.

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Jun
26

Sharing the joy of composting: Earth Day at the Canadian Embassy in Jordan

Jordan Valley Links staffAnwar, the author, Anwar’s daughter, and Eithar (Access to Finance Specialist) at the event

The Jordan Valley Links (JVL) project aims to improve the entrepreneurial and business acumen of women and youth and reduce both market and socio-cultural barriers to their entry for enterprise development. The project works in access to finance, food processing; community-based tourism, and clean technologies, ensuring all these sectors strive for environmentally sustainability and gender-responsive practices.

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May
29

Jordan: Impressions from an aspiring development worker

Jordan

My name is Connor Taylor, and I am the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Intern stationed in Jordan for MEDA’s Jordan Valley Links (JVL) project. I began my assignment in January 2019 and will be in Jordan until July 2019. My educational background is in Middle East History and my dream is to serve people around the world by supporting international development initiatives.

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May
27

Putting technology into the hands of women

GROW Ghana

Women in northern Ghana have limited access to agricultural technology and are forced to do most of their farming activities manually, from clearing land to planting, harvesting and processing. This limits their agricultural productivity in multiple ways. Women can only cultivate as much land as they can clear, and since they rarely have title deed to the property, they are frequently forced to move to new plots of land every few years, as their now-improved fields are taken over by male farmers. Traditional planting, scattering seeds by hand, results in low yields, and manual harvesting and processing results in products of inferior quality, which fetch lower prices at market. In addition, farming manually is extremely time- and labour-intensive.

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May
27

Is 'gender' just a buzzword?

Gender and Tanzania

*Trigger warning - domestic violence*

The past few months I have had gender equality and women’s rights on my mind. As a proud feminist, this is not unusual for me, however, something has been gnawing at me recently. It began with International Women’s Day March 8th, and several corresponding events around the day. It is clear that gender equality is a hot topic for NGOs, government, businesses and society. For many, this seemingly elusive, yet ever present term ‘gender’ seems to pop up everywhere these days, to the chagrin and skepticism of some.

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May
27

Myanmar, a country of kindness

Teresa in Myanmar

In the beginning in a new place you feel like you’re floating because everyone else is busy. They are not used to including you in their plans and you don’t have any of your own busy-ness yet. My first day in the MEDA office in Kayin, Myanmar there was a matching event between rice millers and milling equipment suppliers. With so many people around, it took me awhile to figure out who my colleagues were! In my first interactions, Burmese people came across as very kind and often shy. I felt shy too because I couldn’t express myself in the ways I was used to; but whenever I smiled at someone I received a genuine smile in return and I couldn't shake the feeling of being so very lucky to be in such a beautiful country.

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May
13

MEDA’s Karen Walsh talks about food security in Ghana

Ghana GROW Learning

Empowering women soybean farmers to improve food security and nutrition in Ghana

What’s high in protein, fiber and other essential nutrients? Would you have guessed the humble soybean?

This adaptable legume can be used in anything from tofu to soy flour. Due to its many uses and nutritional value, this legume is paramount to food security around the world. Northern Ghana is no exception.

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May
10

Imagine having only 0.1% of your country covered by forests – and those forests are under threat

Forests in Jordan

Forests are vulnerable and can easily be taken for granted in countries like Canada that are rich in this natural resource. In Jordan, a country experiencing the impact of climate change and deforestation through desertification, only 0.1% of its land is covered by forests. Forests are considered a novelty in Jordan; every year, thousands of tourists visit the country’s forests.

However, Jordan’s forests are under threat. As temperatures soar, drought and desertification are encroaching on the country’s forest reserves. This is in addition to the urban pressures brought on by population growth, urban sprawl and lack of awareness about environmental challenges.

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Mar
07

Avoiding the Motherhood Penalty in the Jordan Valley

motherhood penalty photo 1What gender-based constraints do women face when accessing training or skills upgrading opportunities? Do training invitations indicate inclusiveness of all women, especially those pregnant, breastfeeding or with children?

The motherhood penalty is often defined as the price women pay for raising a family. In North America, it is focused on systematic disadvantages in pay, hiring, and perceived sense of competence of women with children, as compared to men with the same qualifications.1

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Jan
02

Supporting Your Local Staff with Their Next Challenge

training in Ghana with EQWIP3Tindana, an EQWiP Hub Training Coordinator explaining how to write a professional CV and cover letter at the Wa GROW office

“Today was a really good day.” Those were my exact thoughts while I left the MEDA office on a sunny Wednesday in September after we had finished an afternoon-long training on interview skills facilitated by a team of local trainers from EQWiP Hub Ghana (Educational Quality Work Improvement Program). The Tamale EQWiP Hub is one of 18 dynamic youth innovation spaces located around the world. These spaces connect youth – where they are – with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace and to innovate entrepreneurial ideas.

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942 Hits
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Dec
24

GROW Intern Spotlight: Farida Latif

intern farida2

At MEDA's GROW (Greater Rural Opportunities for Women) project office in Tamale, Ghana, we understand the importance of practical teaching opportunities, which is why both the Tamale and Wa GROW offices host local interns throughout the year. Since January of 2018, the Tamale GROW office has had the pleasure of hosting a Monitoring & Evaluation intern, Farida Latif. Farida is a student completing a post graduate diploma in Community Development. As part of her curriculum at the Trent-In-Ghana Program offered at the University of Cape Coast, Farida was required to complete a 3-month mandatory internship with a non-government organization. Farida had a list of a dozen organizations to choose from and decided to apply to three organizations in the Northern Region. The two organizations she heard back from were MEDA and CARE International. She decided to proceed with the opportunity at MEDA.

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Dec
07

Supporting Youth Entrepreneurs: Monitoring the Youth Entrepreneurship Business Support Plan

YEBSP field visitEmeka (Youlead Finance Inclusion Officer) visiting one of the YEBSP grantees at her place of business
For the last five years, MEDA has partnered with Cuso International in Nigeria on the Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Access and Development (YouLead) project. The Youth Entrepreneurship Business Support Plan (YEBSP) is just one of the many activities aimed at improving financial inclusion for young entrepreneurs in Cross River State. Three cycles of the business plan competition have been launched over the course of the project (see last blog with full update at Youth Enterprise Business Support Plan (YEBSP)).
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Dec
05

Myanmar: welcome to the Golden Land

Myanmar - Daw Maw Maw LwinDaw Maw Maw Lwin planting rice in her farm in Kayin State

When I moved to Canada at the age of 11 from the Philippines, I found the transition to a new culture and climate to be quite challenging. Being back in Southeast Asia for my MEDA internship, I am reminded of home.

When I landed in Myanmar, I was a reminded of my childhood; from the simple village lifestyle where everyone knew each other to the bustle of the city. The Philippines of my childhood (perhaps even my grandparents’ childhood) is the Myanmar of today. Myanmar only recently began implementing democratic principles and policy after many decades of economic isolation and military rule. Currently, the country and its people are facing many challenges due to conflict, climate change, inequality and poverty.

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Dec
03

Embracing the aches and pains: recruiting cassava seed entrepreneurs in Tanzania

PartnershipMeeting with prospective CSEs at the local government offices in Kisasa ward.

I’m now just over halfway through my internship na kazi imenimeza kabisa – and I’ve been completely engulfed by work - but trust me, I love it! No coffee runs for me!

In my internship, I have the privilege to witness how MEDA’s BEST Cassava project is changing lives for the better.

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Dec
03

Dream big - just ask Christina

ChristinaOne of Christina's employees designing a beaded pair of sandals.

We sat on a wooden bench in a small shop tucked in behind the bustling street of Bagamoya in Manzese, Dar es Salaam. We had walked past many similar shops to find her, being embraced by the sights and smells of leather sandals being made, street food, and the dusty roads typical of the Dar dry season.

Christina is a small entrepreneur (SE) who has been in the shoe-making business for the past nine months. Her entrepreneurial spirit, however, has been alive for much longer. She graciously shared her journey with us as we sat in her shop watching customers come and go and her fundis (which in Swahili means employees) make sandals across from us.

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Nov
23

Gender inequality, power and accountability

Genderblogpic

This blog was originally published on Social Value UK. You can find the original article here. This is the first in a blog series exploring how we can tackle inequality through greater accountability. This blog illustrates the huge gender inequality and accountability gaps that exist throughout our society as has been seen in many of the recent sexual abuse scandals across many different sectors and institutions. It was written in collaboration by Catherine Manning, with overview and advice from Social Value UK Gender, Inclusion and Impact Management working group members Yasir Dildar (MEDA Associate Director, Monitoring and Impact Measurement), Kai Hopkins and Seirian Sumner, SVUK board member Jenni Inglis, and SVI board member Jeremy Nicholls.

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Nov
20

Bringing Rural Cooking to the City

soykit1
GROW women farmers had until Tuesday July 31 of this year to purchase new technology from the GROW technology fund. This fund gives them access to purchase machinery and supplies which will make them more effective, efficient and safe farmers at an affordable price. Some of the inventory they have been able to choose from were:

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Nov
19

The key to being a successful entrepreneur? Dream big and be brave.

UHBDP Client - OlgaOlga

There was once a woman in Ukraine who lost her whole crop to frost.

Some would describe this as failure.

But she didn’t give up.

She chose to dream big.

She chose to rise to the challenge.

Her name is Olga and she is from Ukraine.

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617 Hits
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Oct
29

Addressing one barrier for women entrepreneurs: Pop-up Daycare for Jordan Valley Links

daycare children Jordan Valley LinksChildren of various ages at the JOHUD daycare

The Jordan Valley Links project aims to improve the entrepreneurial and business acumen of women and youth and reduce both market and socio-cultural barriers to their entry for enterprise development. The project works in three sectors: food processing; community-based tourism; and clean technologies. On a recent monitoring trip, I visited our food processing partner – the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD). They are working on South Shouneh in the Jordan Valley, focusing on technical and financial management training for women entrepreneurs, and linking them to more profitable markets for their processed herbs and pickles. These women have been processing herbs and vegetables since a young age, but very few have the skills and market knowledge to graduate their food processing endeavors into a viable economic activity. The JOHUD-MEDA partnership is accelerating the number of women getting trained and linkages to market created for the aspiring women entrepreneurs.

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1009 Hits
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