Blog

Stories from the work MEDA does around the world.

How social norms impact women entrepreneurs’ access to finance

Women’s economic empowerment (WEE) is integral to the growth of any economy. However, women entrepreneurs face restrictive social norms, attitudes, and practices that exclude them from fully participating in the economy, including from accessing financial resources.

Bridging the Digital Divide on International Women’s Day

For International Women’s Day, we are pleased to share some of the International Women’s Day events MEDA staff will be participating in. This year’s theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” We encourage you to join us where possible. We hope that our International Women’s Day content and events will give you some useful insights that will shape your thoughts about how we can advance gender equality, at home and beyond.

How partnerships drive prosperity for local Haitian businesses

Haitian businesses have the raw talent and ambition to create businesses. But in Haiti, they face an uphill struggle. The cost of borrowing is high. The business development services provided are not tailored to the needs of MSMEs. MSMEs also find hiring a trained and skilled labor force difficult due to few educational opportunities, and many skilled professionals have emigrated to other countries.

Four things we learned from Let’s Talk Agriculture, episode nine with Jennifer Denomy, MEDA’s Technical Director, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

A recent episode of the “Let’s Talk Agriculture” podcast focused on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and included an engaging conversation with MEDA’s Technical Director, GESI, Jennifer Denomy. Jennifer Denomy and podcast host Sharon Idahosa explore why GESI in agriculture matters, the challenges that exist, and how gender equality benefits businesses, farms, and the world in general.

Does biodiversity matter to small-scale producers?

It would be simple for most development organizations, including the UN, to say that biodiversity matters to everyone. This is why most high-income countries, particularly those involved in COP15, provide investment support to tackle biodiversity problems. For lower to middle-income countries such as the Philippines, the question is, does biodiversity matter to political leaders?

How digital finance creates decent work for women in agriculture

With equal access to resources, women could contribute much more to the economy. The FAO estimates that if women farmers (43 percent of the agricultural labor force in low and middle-income countries) had the same access as men, agricultural output in 34 low and middle-income countries would rise by an estimated average of up to four percent. This could reduce the number of undernourished people in those countries by as much as 17 percent, translating to 150 million fewer hungry people.

Listen to our take on the state of agriculture today!

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve joined the podcast universe! Four MEDA staff members have contributed to the “Let’s Talk Agriculture” podcast that focuses on gender equality and social inclusion, agricultural financing, climate finance, and how to build inclusive agrifood market systems [Insert link].

When you subscribe, you’ll be able to hear the following:
Zakaria Isshaku, episode 6 – Building an inclusive agrifood market system [Insert podcast link and photo]

Agri-food market system expert Zak Issahaku breaks down what agri-food market systems are and their value to communities worldwide.

Dennis Tessier, episode 7 – Climate finance for sustainable agriculture [Insert podcast link and photo]

In this episode, Dennis explores how climate finance can play an essential role in mitigating the effects of climate change on the environment and communities in the Global South. This episode also covers MEDA’s services to its clients to adopt environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.

Regina Nyakinyua, episode 8 – On innovations for inclusive agricultural financing [Insert podcast link and photo]

Regina talks about the major challenges of agricultural finances and the current opportunities. The episode also covers MEDA’s unique approach to agri-finance.

Jennifer Denomy, episode 9 – Gender Equality and Social Inclusion [Insert podcast link and photo]

In this episode, Jennifer talks in detail about the value of gender equality and social inclusion in agriculture and how this will benefit communities, and the challenges and ways that local business owners can use to overcome gender equality challenges.

Stay in the loop! Remember to sign up for “Let’s talk Agriculture” for the latest podcast episodes.
The Storehouse [Insert link] has more content for you to explore. Read more to find out how MEDA provides those living in poverty with technical assistance and decent work opportunities to create prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities.

The Face of Sustainably Produced Cacao: MEDA’s Approach in Integrating Gendered Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) in the Philippine Cacao Market System

Globally, the face of sustainably produced or sourced cocoa tends to be more of an
environmental concern. Historically, cacao production is linked to deforestation,
biodiversity loss, and soil degradation in major cacao-producing countries. However,
taking the fundamental elements of market systems approach, sustainability transcends
environmental considerations. In MEDA’s integrated market systems approach, sustainability does
not only entail environmental aspects, but economic, social, and governance factors as well.

Pathways to Careers in Development: A Conversation with Mujtaba Ali, Technical Specialist (Level II) in Environment and Climate Change

In our “Pathways to Careers in Development” series, we interview staff members about their journey towards careers in international development. In our second blog, we talk with Mujtaba Ali, Technical Specialist (Level II) in Environment and Climate Change, about what drew him er to the international development sector, hiser thoughts on the sector today, and advice she can provide for future practitioners.

Why Biodiversity matters for our economies

The world was watching Montreal last week for the 15th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Early this morning, conference leaders announced a deal to protect 30% of the planet’s biodiversity by 2030 and restore 30% of degraded ecosystems.

Shifting power back into the hands of the communities we serve: MEDA’s localization approach

There is a long-standing tension between international development assistance and local knowledge, agency, ownership, and decision-making. Government commitments to aid, fundraising efforts, technical assistance, and the distribution of international agency staff between “headquarters” and “country offices” has been the subject of debate, criticism, and much-needed organizational change.