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Dec
02

Beyond Numbers: measuring investment impact

Cimory - INNOVATE partner

According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), impact investing can be defined as “investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.”

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Dec
02

The MEDA Approach: Human Rights in Business

Ghana GROW farmerA woman from MEDA’s GROW project exercising her economic rights protected under 2 of the 9 core human rights instruments: the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

The international development industry’s understanding of human rights stems from a commitment to the fulfillment of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights; a seminal document for human rights policy and goal-setting. More recently, development actors have used the fundamentals as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to consider and express the dynamic relationship between duty-bears, right-holders and responsibility bearers.

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Nov
26

Smallholders as Customers, Not Pupils: Making the Case for Good Agricultural Practices

Woman harvesting in her field - INNOVATE ProjectPhoto courtesy of Swathi Sridharan

Since the early 2000s, governments, commercial firms, NGOs and international organizations have expanded the market incentives for adhering to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), such as incorporating GAP certifications into supply chains and procurement decisions.


Practices addressing “environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes,” as the FAO defines, brought with them the promise of improved food safety, food quality and environmental stewardship.

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Oct
09

Want to invest in social change? There's a way to do that

Photo of MEDA-supported business owner in Tanzania
 
Impact investment approaches have become increasingly sophisticated, targeting very specific improvements, such as increased gender equality and environmental protection.  Gender lens investment, or GLI, can promote greater gender equality by increasing capital for women-run businesses and supporting enterprises that want to create more gender-equitable workplaces. Green finance can incentivize the adoption of energy efficient technologies or practices.
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Oct
04

Doubting your professional capabilities? Learn how a mentor can unlock your potential

Picture of Rylan Miller - MEDAx 2019 Committee Member
 

Think of a time when you were starting a new job. How did you feel?


Nervous?


Vulnerable?


Unsure of yourself?

Often, when we’re feeling this way – it’s essential to have someone a little more experienced to guide and encourage you.

For Rylan Miller, having that mentor was essential for his success as a young professional.
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Sep
25

Interview with a development worker: reflections on the impact of gender equality

Image of data points and graphs that is representative of how Carl monitors and measures MEDA

To mark Canada's second Gender Equality Week, MEDA is highlighting important issues and voices around women’s empowerment and gender equality in the area of economic development. This is the third installment of our #EveryoneBenefits blog series. This blog is an interview between MEDA Project Manager (Gender), Calais Caswell and Carl Asuncion - Program Manager (Monitoring and Impact Management) on how a gender equal world benefits everyone - including men and boys. This interview has been edited for clarity. 

At MEDA, we believe that achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and other marginalized individuals requires the support and active engagement of men and boys. This is because gender equality is not just about women and girls and gender diverse people, but about addressing and dismantling a social system (patriarchy) that is also oppressive to men, boys, and others that express a masculine identity

In our programming, we do this through our work with Men Gender Champions as well as other community-based social dialogue activities including working with community and business leaders as allies to influence positive change.

Within our MEDA offices we have many men allies that support and endorse the message that gender equality benefits everyone, including one who has volunteered to chat with us today!

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Sep
25

The reality of sexual harassment in the workplace: a reflection on Women Deliver 2019

White woman protesting with sign that says,

To mark Canada's second Gender Equality Week, MEDA is highlighting important issues and voices around women’s empowerment and gender equality in the area of economic development. This is the second installment of our #EveryoneBenefits blog series. This blog is written by MEDA Project Coordinator, Allison Nafziger on the reality of sexual harassment in the workplace and what MEDA's doing to ensure its staff and clients are trained and protected.

In June I attended Women Deliver 2019. Heralded as “the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women,” this conference had a lot to say about the theme of sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

The #metoo movement incited an important conversation about sexual harassment in different areas of society; from street-level harassment to board rooms. However, consensus among the general public about what sexual harassment is, how prevalent it is, who it impacts and, perhaps most importantly, what institutions can do about it has not been discussed. This is a lost opportunity.

In this blog, I’d like to explore these questions, drawing on discussions at Women Deliver as well as MEDA’s work in the area of gender equality and social inclusion.

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Sep
24

Gender equality for a new generation of Ethiopian entrepreneurs

To mark Canada's second Gender Equality Week, MEDA is highlighting important issues and voices around women’s empowerment and gender equality in the area of economic development. This is the first installment of our #EveryoneBenefits blog series. This is written by MEDA Project Manager, Catherine Walker on the importance of integrating youth into the gender equality discussion.

MEDA

Young men and women are the future leaders and employers of tomorrow. If we can educate youth now on the benefits and importance of gender equality for all there is huge potential for positive change.

Agriculture as a sector is a particularly important vehicle for gender equitable employment going forward. Agriculture is central to the economies of many developing nations; however, there are generally low levels of interest among youth in engaging in agriculture as a career. Young people are migrating to cities in search of jobs when there is huge potential in agricultural production. That is if we can convince young people that this potential exists and give them the skills and resources needed to harness it.  

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Sep
13

What tofu can teach us about trade wars

Nigeria WAY - Lami

Vegetarians take note! MEDA’s work in Nigeria is promoting better business for those growing plant-powered protein. One such power protein is the mighty soybean.

Farming is complicated; the farmer must manage pests, work in variable weather and an ever-changing climate. They often to have finance their own crop production and sometimes face economic and land barriers. Moreover, being profitable in a global economy can be difficult.

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Aug
30

Clean technology saves money. Here's how

Client in Jordan

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 provides access to finance and works in food processing; community-based tourism, and clean technologies, ensuring these sectors strive for environmentally sustainability and gender-responsive practices.

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Aug
15

Measuring what matters in smallholder agriculture: Key takeaways from ‘Lean Impact for Ag’

INNOVATE project clients in Malawi

Why does measurement and the type of metrics we use matter? In a rapidly changing and complex world, we need to leverage data-driven insights to prove our approaches and programs create lasting impact for the clients we serve.

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Aug
01

Clean technology ambassadors are changing Jordanian communities

Ahmad NahnoushAhmad Nahnoush

Ahmad Nahnoush is a 27-year-old geology engineer, community mobiliser and ambassador for teaching families and communities on how to integrate clean technologies into their everyday lives. Clean technology is simply any process, product or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through energy efficiency improvements, resource sustainability or environmental protection practices.

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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
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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