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MEDA Green Team Guide

Tagged in Environment and Climate Change

MEDA Green Team Guide
This guide will help you set up a Green Team at your own MEDA office. In ‘How to get started’, we provide answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs),
but always remember that MEDA’s HQ Green Team is available to help! Then in ‘Ideas for promoting a greener office’, we suggest a few actions you can take to help your office be more conscious of waste, conserving energy and water, becoming healthier, and connecting with others who are celebrating our natural environment around the world. Finally, in ‘Resources’ you will find links to a few videos that you can share with your team and your office from time to time, to keep you motivated.

The Role of the Facilitator: Taking a Systems Perspective

The Role of the Facilitator: Taking a Systems Perspective

Linda Jones, MEDA, and Perveen Shaikh, ECDI. Technical Note, (June 2005) No 3. PLP Learning Paper, The SEEP Network.

Much of the current literature on Business Development Service (BDS) market development focuses on the role of the facilitator in program implementation. Yet, one of the lessons that emerged from the Practitioner
Learning Program (PLP) in BDS Market Assessment was the importance of the role of the facilitator in market assessment and program design. This technical note provides advice on how to operationalize a systems
perspective with reference to the role of the facilitator in the market assessment stage of BDS market development. This technical note offers practical advice for facilitating organizations, based on the hands-on experiences of PLP participants and other practitioners in the field.

Paupers, Princes and Paper: Vouchers Revisited - can small enterprises save government programs?

Paupers, Princes and Paper: Vouchers Revisited - can small enterprises save government programs?

Linda Jones, Jerome Quigley and Greg Foster. (2006) .

This paper presents a case study that highlights the roles of small enterprises and vouchers in a government program that is distributing subsidized insecticide-treated nets to vulnerable populations across Tanzania. Within the context of a large publicly-funded campaign to roll-back malaria, the private sector is the mechanism by which even remote rural consumers are being reached. In essence, micro and small businesses are providing a cost-effective service to the public sector, receiving their usual commercial mark-up as payment for this service. Vouchers are the vehicle of exchange throughout the system, enabling target clients to acquire nets, and providing the means for tracking the impact and outreach of the program. As results are being monitored, there is evidence that not only is the public-private partnership a success, but that the commercial distribution of unsubsidized insecticide-treated nets has been strengthened and widened.

Middlemen as Agents of Change MEDA and ECDI in Pakistan

Middlemen as Agents of Change MEDA and ECDI in Pakistan

Linda Jones, MEDA, and Perveen Shaikh, ECDI. Learning Paper, (June 2005) PLP Learning Paper, The SEEP Network.

Middlemen are not often seen as agents of change. After all, middlemen have come to be regarded as an exploitative force in the lives of poor producers, controlling production, paying unfair prices for labor or goods, and participating in fraudulent practices to maximize their own gains. This learning paper describes an alternative perspective that The Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) and the Enterprise and Career Development Institute (ECDI) in Pakistan have developed based on their work with poor women microentrepreneurs. The paper posits that that middlemen provide an essential service and have the potential to become active contributors to the development of more equitable value chains; MEDA and ECDI’s work has led them to see middlemen as often an essential component of a dynamic value chain who provide the critical link to markets and market information that can lift disadvantaged rural producers out of poverty.

Market Development in Crisis-Affected Environments: Emerging Lessons for Achieving Pro-Poor Economic Reconstruction

Market Development in Crisis-Affected Environments: Emerging Lessons for Achieving Pro-Poor Economic Reconstruction

Tim Nourse, Tracy Gerstle, Alex Snelgrove, David Rinck, Mary McVay. (2007) The SEEP Network.

This paper documents, for the first time, practitioners’ experiences and innovations in market development for income generation and livelihood security in crisis and post-crisis settings. War and natural disasters have devastating impacts on people’s ability to generate income and secure a sustainable livelihood that can help protect them from future shocks. Relief initiatives, in their admirable work to meet the basic needs of people affected by crisis, often inadvertently distort private sector markets and unintentionally create vulnerabilities and dependency. Market development (an approach to enterprise development, livelihood security, and pro-poor economic growth) attempts to avoid market distortion, and use the power of markets to move communities more rapidly from relief dependency to independent livelihood security. This practice is in early stages, but experience to date reveals several challenges (discussed at length in the paper) and these key lessons:

  • It is possible—and recommended—to engage in market development almost immediately after a crisis, or in the midst of low-intensity crisis, as long as populations are relatively stable and security is reasonable.
  • Market development approaches can and need to be adapted to post-crisis settings to be effective, and can be a key component of “building it back better.”
  • Donor funding cycles and targeting criteria need to be adjusted to integrate relief and development goals, to be more flexible in implementation strategy, and to reflect the power of indirect targeting—to larger or less-affected enterprises—in order to benefit poor people affected by a crisis.
  • It is important that market development programs, even in post-crisis settings, tailor program activity to the nature and extent of the particular market disruption. In so doing, although it can be challenging for agencies to understand the specific constraints on the markets they target, it is possible and worthwhile to foster longer-term development that can benefit a greater number of small enterprises.
  • Market development calls for improved coordination, particularly in large-scale, high-profile disasters and conflicts, but there are ways to develop markets even in a highly subsidized, uncoordinated relief environment.
  • Grant programs need to ensure proper feasibility studies of target enterprises and give greater consideration to the timing of grants and funding: they also need to address risks of market distortion that arise with grant programs and devise strategies to ensure that grant goals and objectives are clearly communicated to recipients.
  • It is critical to take the political economy of markets into account, lest market development programs inadvertently exacerbate inequality, vulnerability, and conflict. When appropriately considered, strategies may emerge that work around, transform, or confront powerful interests and benefit the poor on a sustainable basis.
  • Capacity building of the staffs of implementing agencies and the adaptation of market development tools to post-crisis settings are critical in transmitting the knowledge. Donors, implementing agencies, and host governments need to intervene appropriately or contribute effectively.

Further exploration and action research should focus on 1) dissemination of these lessons, 2) ongoing exchange of experience and information, 3) pilot initiatives to spur innovative market-strengthening practices 4) adapting the market development framework to crisis conditions 5) innovative capacity building, and 6) recommendations to donors to adapt their policies and guideline to better support market development in crisis-affected areas.

Appuyer les petites entreprises à travers les "intermédiaires": l’exemple de Meda et ECDI au Pakistan

Appuyer les petites entreprises à travers les "intermédiaires": l’exemple de Meda et ECDI au Pakistan

Sandra Barlet. L’actualité des services aux entreprises, (October 2004) No.8. Un produit d’information de la DGCID (MAE).

Cet entretien réalisé avec Linda Jones porte sur l’expérience en démarrage de Mennonite Economic Development Associates (Meda) et Entrepreneurship and Career Development Institute (ECDI), au Pakistan. Ce projet cherche à appuyer des femmes brodeuses en zones rurales en renforçant le rôle des intermédiaires avec qui elles sont en contact. Il porte, outre sur la présentation du programme, sur la réflexion qu’ont eu Meda et ECDI quant à l’approche à mettre en oeuvre avec les intermédiaires présents dans cette filière.

We may not be big, but we’re small

We may not be big, but we’re small

Linda Jones. (September 2006) Small Enterprise Development Journal. Volume 17 Number 3. ITDG Publishing.

So, is small relevant? No, small is not ‘relevant’ – small is fundamental, small is pivotal, small is indeed beautiful (Schumacker, 1973)!

Towards a MEDA Strategy for Business Development

Towards a MEDA Strategy for Business Development
An overview of how MEDA's perspective, orientation, core skill sets, and institutional learning habits have evolved and helped it to improve its BDS performance in response to key lessons learned.