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Small merchants, big opportunity: the forgotten path to financial inclusion

A new report - commissioned by Visa and authored by Dalberg and the Global Development Incubator - explores how financial service providers can engage micro and small merchants to unlock the social and economic potential of digital payments.

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Understanding smallholder farmer attitudes to commercialization

Using the case of maize production in Kenya, this study reframes the challenge of smallholder commercialization in the context of staple food crop production and individual farm-level decision-making by a heterogeneous population of smallholder farmers. While many smallholder growers of staple crops find themselves trapped in a cycle of poverty, they differ greatly in their abilities to break this cycle and in their attitudes towards using commercial farming as the pathway for doing so. With an appreciation for the heterogeneity of smallholder farmers comes an understanding that supporting policies and programmes must move from traditional one-size-fits-all approaches to more targeted, customized approaches that are more likely to facilitate the sustainable uptake of a more commercially oriented approach to smallholder farming. Based on extensive primary data analysis, various innovative options for such strategies are presented in this study.

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Evaluation of FAO’s contribution in Guyana

The Country Programme Evaluation of FAO’s contribution in Guyana was conducted in 2015 with the main aim of informing the development of the new CPF cycle starting in 2016. It is intended that this exercise will provide inputs to better orient FAO’s programme in the next biennium, making it more relevant to the government priorities for the country. The evaluation was also intended to assess the strategic relevance in the national context of FAO’s programmes and interventions in Guyana.

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Non-wood forest product value chains in Lebanon

This report triangulates qualitative and quantitative primary and secondary data to analyze Lebanon’s main NWFPs value chains: pine nuts – Pinus pinea -, honey, Syrian oregano and sage – Origanum syriacum and Salvia fruticosa -, and laurel - Laurus nobilis. For each value chain, the report proposes recommendations for the development of innovative and adaptive interventions that allow for the improvement of forest-based sustainable livelihoods.

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Developing gender-sensitive value chains

The purpose of this publication (part of the FAO series on sustainable food value chain development) is to facilitate the systematic integration of gender equality dimensions into value chain development programmes and projects. It raises awareness on gender inequalities and discusses the importance of addressing these dimensions in value chain development, while also building a common approach for work on gender-sensitive value chain development. It achieves this by bringing together key concepts from value chain development and gender and by providing concrete guiding principles for the integration of gender concerns into value chain development projects and programmes. This conceptual framework has a companion publication, Developing gender-sensitive value chains: Guidelines for practitioners, which provides specific tools to support practitioners in designing, implementing and monitoring gender-sensitive value chain programmes.

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Meeting our goals: FAO’s programme for gender equality in agriculture and rural development

FAO recognizes the potential of rural women and men in achieving food security and nutrition and is committed to overcoming gender inequality, in line with the pledge to “leave no one behind”, which is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. The publication illustrates the consistent and sustained work of FAO towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, which are at the core of the Organization’s work to eliminate hunger and rural poverty. Each chapter highlights the relevance of gender work to achieving the FAO Strategic Objectives, and describes main results achieved, showcasing activities implemented at country and international levels. Stories from the field demonstrate the impact of FAO’s work for beneficiaries, highlighting successes and significant insights gained.

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Promoting the leadership of women in producers’ organizations

This paper explores aspects of promoting rural women’s leadership in producers’ organizations (POs). Despite the vast amount of work that women perform in the agriculture sector, their role remains largely unrecognised. The concerns and issues of women farmers are scarcely heard at the local, national and global levels. One reason for this silence is that there are not enough women in leadership positions to be able to represent the interests of rural women. This shortage is compounded by women’s lack of voice in decision making processes at all levels − from households to rural organizations − and in policymaking. Ensuring that women have a greater voice is not only a matter of gender equality. Women’s leadership, especially in POs, is essential for increasing the production of smallholder agriculture, as women make massive contributions to the sector. Women leaders can advocate for women’s better access to and control over assets and productive inputs, thus boosting their productivity and incomes, leading to food security and increasing their employment opportunities and real wages. This paper has three main purposes: (i) to identify relevant aspects that relate to the promotion of rural women’s leadership within POs; (ii) to identify related good practices that are implemented by IFAD, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and their partners; and (iii) to present key messages and recommendations for guiding the design and implementation of interventions in support of women’s leadership.

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IFAD’s approach in Small Island Developing States

This paper outlines IFAD’s strategic approach to enhancing food security and promoting sustainable smallholder agriculture development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the context of exacerbated impacts of climate change and persistent challenges to market access. A renewed approach will provide an opportunity for increasing results and impacts from agriculture and fisheries, reducing the high transaction costs of project delivery in SIDS, adjusting to an ever-changing development environment and – most of all – avoiding the overlooking of SIDS’ persistent fragility and the risk that they are cut off from development assistance.

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Learning from each other: South-South and triangular cooperation in East and Southern Africa

South-South and triangular cooperation has an enormous potential role in agriculture and rural development in developing countries, both in unlocking diverse experiences and lessons and in providing solutions to pressing development challenges. From the cases in this publication, a number of common lessons emerge. Meanwhile, the importance of adaptation also emerged from these documented cases. Inspiring examples in other regions or countries encourage people to take up certain approaches, but they can almost never be copied exactly into any new context.

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Youth and agriculture: key challenges and concrete solutions

Global population is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, with youth (aged 15–24) accounting for about 14 percent of this total. While the world’s youth cohort is expected to grow, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for youth – particularly those living in developing countries’ economically stagnant rural areas – remain limited, poorly remunerated and of poor quality. In recognition of the agricultural sector’s potential to serve as a source of livelihood opportunities for rural youth, a joint MIJARC/FAO/IFAD project on Facilitating Access of Rural Youth to Agricultural Activities was carried out in 2011 to assess the challenges and opportunities with respect to increasing rural youth’s participation in the sector. Over the course of the project, six principal challenges were identified. For each challenge, this publication presents a series of relevant case studies that serve as examples of how this challenge may be overcome.

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Fostering inclusive outcomes in sub-Saharan African agriculture

Despite strong per capita income growth, the structure of sub-Saharan Africa’s economies has not changed markedly in recent decades. In spite of a rapidly growing labour force and urbanizing populations, employment growth in rural areas in general and in non-farm sectors in particular has been slow, and poverty levels in those areas remain relatively higher than in urban areas. So, the key question is: how to catalyse economic transformations that foster inclusive and sustainable development? This is where the role of agriculture is key, given that the overwhelming majority of the population across the continent depends on it as a livelihood source. The case for increasing agricultural productivity to accelerate transformation, investment and industrialization is strongly supported by well-established conceptual frameworks and historical empirical evidence. Though recent gains have been encouraging, agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa still lags behind other regions. The relatively low productivity has led to a loss of competitiveness in agricultural exports and the declining share of the region’s participation in global agricultural trade. Nonetheless, the potential of building on recent gains and developing an agribusiness sector that is responsive to and benefits from the work of smallholder farmers is enormous. This requires the prioritization of two main areas for policy and investment: (i) supporting the emergence of a modern agro-industrial sector; and (ii) developing the potential of smallholders to engage in high-value activities across agricultural value chains.

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Rural-urban linkages and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa

Given the context of transitions related to rapid urbanization, the roles that rural economies and societies will have to play (particularly smallholder farmers and other rural producers) in creating sustainable and inclusive food systems, in generating employment and incomes and in contributing to more balanced, equitable and mutually reinforcing patterns of rural-urban development in Africa require the attention of analysts, policymakers and development programmes in the years ahead. Addressing challenges related to a bulging population of young people will be particularly important in any work on the rural-urban nexus, in which youth migration plays critical roles. This is borne out by an analysis of evidence from sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, which stresses the importance of increasing productivity and incomes among rural people, particularly smallholders, during processes of economic and social transformation. Emerging trends and opportunities – such as the increasing demand for food and the changing nature of that demand as consumer preferences evolve, urbanization, demographic patterns that mean young people are an increasingly important proportion of the overall population, and more integrated food value chains – all point to the importance of ensuring key rural dynamics are taken into account in developing rural-urban linkages. Taking account of these dynamics will mean addressing key rural-urban inequalities and connectivity gaps, developing more integrated and inclusive links within food systems and agricultural value chains, testing spatial and territorial approaches to development that provide valuable tools to integrate the rural dimension into debates surrounding urbanization, the promotion of a more sustainable urbanization, and building decent employment in food value chains. Nonetheless, the review of evidence in this paper suggests that, while urbanization potentially opens up opportunities for inclusive rural and structural transformation, this can only be achieved when suitable policies and investments are put in place to adequately address the particular needs of often-neglected rural people who play critical roles in food systems.

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Rural Development Report 2016: fostering inclusive rural transformation

The 2016 Rural Development Report focuses on inclusive rural transformation as a central element of the global efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, and build inclusive and sustainable societies for all. It analyses global, regional and national pathways of rural transformation, and suggests four categories into which most countries and regions fall, each with distinct objectives for rural development strategies to promote inclusive rural transformation: to adapt, to amplify, to accelerate, and a combination of them. The report presents policy and programme implications in various regions and thematic areas of intervention, based on both rigorous analysis and IFAD’s 40 years of experience investing in rural people and enabling inclusive and sustainable transformation of rural areas.

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Climate-smart smallholder agriculture: what's different?

There is a growing consensus that climate change is transforming the context for rural development, changing physical and socio-economic landscapes and making smallholder development more expensive. But there is less consensus on how smallholder agriculture practices should change as a result. The question is often asked: what really is different about ‘climate-smart’ smallholder agriculture that goes beyond regular best practice in development? This article suggests three major changes.

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Agricultural and rural development reconsidered

This paper is a guide to current debates about agricultural development. It analyses the changes in development approaches and thinking in recent decades and explores today's critical issues in agricultural and rural development policy. With the main focus on Africa, the paper also includes insights from Asia and Latin America.

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Home sweet home: housing practices and tools that support durable solutions for urban IDPs

Despite a long-standing recognition of the need to improve the response of actors addressing urban displacement, there is a lack of guidance on how to do this and a limited knowledge of practices that have successfully addressed the housing, tenure security and livelihood needs of urban IDPs. This report, the result of collaboration between IDMC and the MIT Displacement Research and Action Network (DRAN), presents different approaches and case studies that have been used to overcome recurrent challenges to adequate housing in urban displacement situations. It advocates for the use of a rights-based approach that supports the achievement of durable solutions by providing options that can guide and inform response when designing, funding or implementing housing policies and programmes in urban settings for policy makers and practitioners.

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2016 Africa Report on Internal Displacement

Internal displacement has long been a concern of African governments and the African Union (AU) as a source of suffering for millions of people, a driver of food insecurity and a barrier to the sustained development we all seek. This is the first report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) to focus exclusively on the African continent. It offers a timely reminder of the scale and complexity of the problem as we mark the anniversary of the entry into force of the Kampala Convention, Africa’s landmark commitment to preventing displacement and protecting the rights of internally displaced people (IDPs).

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Pushed aside: displaced for 'development' in India

By providing a first-hand account of development projects and business activities that have caused displacement across India, this report documents and analyses the scale, process and impacts of the phenomenon. Rather than being priority beneficiaries of the projects that displace them on account of their losses, IDPs tend to find themselves trapped in permanent poverty. Given the limited availability of project documents and the lack of systematic monitoring, the true scale of displacement in India is unknown, as are the location and needs of many of those affected. As the world embarks on implementing the post-2015 global development agendas, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) calls for the displaced to be priority beneficiaries of development work. Leaving IDPs behind risks undermining the achievement of these agendas.

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Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report 2016. Education for people and planet: creating sustainable futures for all

The Incheon Declaration for Education 2030 has been instrumental to shape the Sustainable Development Goal on Education to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. It entrusts UNESCO with the leadership, coordination and monitoring of the Education 2030 agenda. It also calls upon the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report to provide independent monitoring and reporting of the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4), and on education in the other SDGs, for the next fifteen years. The ultimate goal of this agenda is to leave no one behind. This calls for robust data and sound monitoring. The 2016 edition of the GEM Report provides valuable insight for governments and policy makers to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG 4, building on the indicators and targets we have, with equity and inclusion as measures of overall success.

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New paradigm for Caribbean development: transitioning to a green economy

This study focuses on the exploration of options for greening Caribbean economies in a variety of sectors. An additional goal of the study is also to contribute to knowledge about, and the understanding of the fundamental requirements for transitioning to a green economy in the Caribbean and the attendant implications for policy and institutional arrangements.

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Youth are the future: the imperative of youth employment for sustainable development in the Caribbean

This study proposes a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to tackle chronic youth unemployment in regional territories. The study focuses on the high levels of youth unemployment in the Region and the consequences for youth and wider socio-economic development. Drawing on global best practices, the study discusses a number of policy interventions and an action plan to reduce youth unemployment and provide decent jobs by 2030.

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Transforming the Caribbean port services industry: towards the efficiency frontier

This publication is a detailed study to identify critical drivers of inefficiency in the Region’s main ports and investment requirements for port development.

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Public-private partnerships in the Caribbean: building on early lessons

This publication considers cases studies and the experiences of other multilateral institutions, concentrating on design and implementation issues, as well as lessons learnt. It seeks to identify priority policy actions that should be taken by Regional governments, with the support of Caribbean Development Bank, to improve Public-Private Partnerships usage and enhance related development outcomes.

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The changing nature of poverty and inequality in the Caribbean: new issues, new solutions

This publication is intended to: (a) provide fresh thinking on the transformative shifts in policies, approaches, strategies and institutions that are required to speed up poverty reduction in the Caribbean and also to expand opportunities for the most vulnerable groups in the society; (b) propose a new framework for assessing the effectiveness of existing approaches to poverty reduction in the Caribbean; and (c) offer new and innovative solutions to address poverty and promote shared prosperity.

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Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development in the Caribbean: towards a new frontier

This publication is focused on four areas: (a) strengths; weaknesses; opportunities; and risks facing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and the strategic implications over the next decade; (b) the “doing business” constraints, including access to finance; (c) robustness of current policy, regulatory and institutional frameworks for MSME development and recommendations for improvement; and (d) opportunities for innovation; enhanced competitiveness; and export expansion. The Study is intended to provide practical policy and other recommendations for MSME expansion and development.

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