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CSOs and VCscs, Blum-Samuelsen 29Oct13


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The paper starts out by examining the civil society strategy of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which forms the basis for public NGO financing in Denmark. The assessment of the Danish policy environment includes extensive reference to a paper on the role of civil society in pro-poor growth initiatives prepared by CISU, an umbrella and fund for smaller Danish NGOs. Secondly, a couple of studies on the experiences of Danish NGOs working with the private sector are presented. Starting from a short reference to the role of NGOs and private sector in the area of microfinance, the paper then presents the role of the NGO in the development of pro-poor value chains including the planning and analysis process. Interventions are further specified in terms of a number of areas in which NGOs can support lead firms and small producers followed by a presentation of a number of ways that NGOs can ensure that working with the private sector indeed benefits the very poor. (Taken from the paper)

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CSOs and VCscs, Blum-Samuelsen 29Oct13

  1. 1. Civil Society and Value Chains An overview of policies and practices Edited by Peter Blum Samuelsen Based on materials from Action for Enterprise, Practical Action and World Vision International October 2013
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 1 The Civil Society Strategy ........................................................................................................ 1 The Danish experience .............................................................................................................3 The role in microfinance ..........................................................................................................4 The role in value chains ........................................................................................................... 5 Participatory Market System Development ........................................................................... 6 Areas of intervention............................................................................................................... 8 Very poor producers................................................................................................................ 9 References: ............................................................................................................................. 12 2
  3. 3. Introduction The Civil Society Strategy Studies of Danish NGOs promoting income generation and pro-poor growth highlight that there is a great uncertainty about the role of NGOs in private sector development and to which extent the civil society strategy allow NGOs to engage with market actors in their efforts to alleviate poverty (CISU 2012; NGO Forum 2012). Also there is a sense that the private sector is an enemy to development rather than a necessary source of income to the poor themselves. This paper seeks to clarify the role of the Danish civil society in the area of income generation and pro-poor growth based on existing policies and studies and particularly based on the overall approach of value chain development (VCD) and making Markets work for the Poor (M4P). The objective of the Danish Civil Society Strategy (CSS) emphasizes the importance of economic development and the private sector as a central force of society which the civil society needs to relate to and engage with. The Strategy states as follows: The paper starts out by examining the civil society strategy of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which forms the basis for public NGO financing in Denmark. The assessment of the Danish policy environment includes extensive reference to a paper on the role of civil society in pro-poor growth initiatives prepared by CISU, an umbrella and fund for smaller Danish NGOs. Secondly, a couple of studies on the experiences of Danish NGOs working with the private sector arepresented. Starting from a short reference to the role of NGOs and private sector in the area of microfinance, the paper then presents the role of the NGO in the development of pro-poor value chainsincluding the planning and analysis process. Interventions are further specified in terms of a number of areas in which NGOs can support lead firms and small producers followed by a presentation of a number of ways that NGOs can ensure that working with the private sector indeed benefits the very poor. Finally I would like to stress that this short paper is only presentation of relevant policies and practices in the area of value chain development as seen from the perspective of the civil society in Denmark. It hopes to provide an overview but is not an analysis or a review in its own right. The overarching objective of Danish development assistance is to reduce poverty by promoting sustainable development through - broad-based, pro-poor economic growth with equal participation by men and women… The long term overarching objective of Danish Civil Society Support is to contribute to the development of a strong, independent and diversified civil society in developing countries… A strong civil society creates a necessary balance in the development of society that would otherwise be dominated by the private sector’s economic resources and the state’s wish to uphold supervisory control and authority. (MOFA 2008, p 7) The Strategy emphasizes the need for Danish civil society to work with the private sector for mutual benefits: Denmark will support initiatives promoting dialogue and cooperation between civil society organizations and the business community .... The ambition is not simply that the business community should finance the organisations’ activities. In many contexts, there is much to gain by mutual sharing and utilisation of each other’s competencies within technological, technical, administrative and management-related areas (MOFA 2008, p. 17 – 18). Thus, the strategy clearly emphasize that fulfilling core human rights to food, education, health etc. requires overall structural change, including the market conditions. A rights-based approach for the poor is not just about the development of democratic structures and the mobilization for access to public services. Sustainable poverty reductionrequires that the poor are included as 1
  4. 4. actors in economic development and that inefficiency and inequality in market structures are addressed notably through evidence based advocacy. Such market structures can be caused e.g. by lack of market information, conflicts between market actors such as buyers and transporters, lack of pro poor policies and infrastructure. This notion is emphasized by key organizations such as the ILO, and also in the new Danish development strategy focusing on rights, social sectors and green growth. CISU being a Danish umbrella organization (250 members) administering Danida funding under the Civil Society Strategy on behalf of Danida did a study in 2012 on “Poverty oriented growth and the role of civil society” which clearly concludes on the role of the civil society in pro-poor growth (CISU 2012): Civil society organizations are contributing to poverty oriented growth in a number of different ways. This is nothing new, and it draws on a tradition of combining different approaches to development – i.e. a rights based approach with growth for the target group, or a capacity building approach with supporting growth for local cooperatives. Civil society has a potential that reaches beyond that of the private sector. Our approach and our purpose are different – and this gives us a number of advantages when it comes to working with marginalised and vulnerable groups which we simply have a better chance of reaching. Civil society has a history and a tradition of building on the local context and starting with the people and building from there. This approach is valuable and has a set of inherited advantages when it comes to promoting income generation that is distributed and reaches marginalized people. Civil society in Denmark and south should become better at looking at synergies with the private sector where it makes sense. At the same time it is important to acknowledge that now all 2 CSO’s should be collaborating with PS and the role of “watchdog” which is not that apparent in this investigation should also be recognized and supported. Civil society organizations should build capacity regarding access to markets and value chain approaches and entrepreneurship training in south. CISU could play a role in this. CISU should continue to work with poverty oriented growth and through exchanges of experiences among members and development of promising practices, enhance and support the knowledge and initiatives among members.
  5. 5. The Danish experience According to a study done by NGO Forum on the experiences of Danish NGOs in the area of growth and employment in 2012, seventeen percent of Danish NGOs allocates between 20 and 50% of their budget for activities that seek to promote growth and employment in developing countries. Other seventeen percent allocates more than half of their budget (NGO Forum 2012). The vast majority of NGOs estimate that there is a growing trend for private sector orientation in the NGO environment (72%), the Danish NGOs should do more to prioritize growth and jobs (67%) and that the Danish NGOs should seek out business partnerships in development work (61 %). At the same time, there is a growing interest among Danish companies to involve NGOs in their work in the south. According to this study, Danish NGO working with growth and jobs typically include: (1 ) the strengthening of civil society organizations in the South ( 2 ) promotion of income-generating activities through training and microfinance ( 3 ) cooperate with companies in donor countries (4 ) advocacy around public frameworks and standards for business operations in the south. Danish NGOs are not clear about the technical area and its development in the years to come. Market knowledge and business development is far from the Danish NGO competence. Danish companies are interested in CSR and sustainable growth, but have difficulties in integrating the social dimension in the south. Danish NGOs often have problems in cooperation with companies due to divergent objectives. Few Danish NGOs play an active role as a watchdog and advocate for responsible framework conditions and sustainable growth model. in this study promotes growth that is distributed; CS has a multitude of different strategies for working with poverty oriented growth reflecting the very diverse context that CS works in; CS in most cases connects the growth orientation with working with organization, capacity building, rights and advocacy; CS has an outreach beyond that of the private sector. The challenges are that CS does not always base work with income generation on proper market analyses and business plans; CS is not good at measuring how to contribute beyond the “good stories”; CS can have difficulties in engaging with the market, and is in some cases still not perceived as a relevant and competent stakeholder; CSO‟s shall be careful not to end up as a mere service provider, without linkage to rights, capacity building (CISU 2012). . According to the CISU study mentioned above, working with poverty oriented growth is not new to Danish CSO‟s and their partners. It is something that they have been doing for long, as a natural part of a strategy for working with poor and marginalized people. The participating CSOs 3
  6. 6. The role in microfinance Danish Forum for Microfinance has issued some basic microfinance guidelines (DFM 2011) for its members. These guidelines are structured into three sections: provide, promote, protect. They describe the different roles a Danish organisation can play when working with microfinance. The determining factor behind the decision on anyone of these roles is the analysis of the market demand and supply situation. Provide: A provider of microfinance supplies financial services either directly to the client at the retail level or via wholesale loans and equity investments. Providers of microfinance include all types of organisations providing financial services to clients as well as the institution providing loan capital to these organisations in terms of grants, revolving funds, loans, or equity investments. building on existing structures; by linking with an MFI to reach a specific target group; by improving service provision through capacity building and training; or by establishing community based structures, where financial services are offered through independent savings and credit groups. Protect: To protect refers to organisations seeking to protect microfinance clients by advocating and supporting implementation of consumer protection principles; by providing information and education about the costs and benefits of financial services; and by advocating for the establishment of proper national regulations and support systems. The figure below is a visualization of this. Promote: An organisation promoting microfinance does not provide financial services neither directly at a retail level nor indirectly as wholesale loans. Promoters seek to give beneficiaries access to financial services by PROTECT Flow of funds PROMOTE Other relation Loans disbursed SECONDARY PROVIDER IMMEDIATE PROVIDER CLIENT Savings deposited and recycled to fund portfolio (Banks, MDIs, SACCOs, and savings and credit groups) 4
  7. 7. The role in value chains and thus create more harm than good to the small producers. This also goes for microfinance services which sometimes is provided by NGOs at subsidized rates and without due assessment of the clients demand and capacity to repay. NGO Forum's study on growth and employment also points to international experience amongst NGOs. The reference is mainly to some specific British, American and Dutch experiences with market-based approaches or "Making Markets Work for the Poor" (M4P), which has wide international support from donors, including Danida through The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development. M4P highlights that the poor are depending on market systems for their survival. By understanding why market systems fail to include the poor on fair terms, NGOs can facilitate structural improvements in market conditions and thereby help to ensure sustainable change to the livelihoods of the poor. Before considering any form of intervention to support micro enterprise, NGOs need to analyze the markets in which their target group is operating, and on that basis identify sustainable and market-based solutions that meet their rights (CISU 1989). NGOs should not be commercial actors, but may work temporarily as change agents for sustainable change by supporting mobilization and organization of the target group or by facilitating private sector collaboration, advocacy, technical assistance etc. The following graph presented by AFE depicts the role of NGOs as the facilitator (AFE 2012): Typically, NGOs fail to carry out in-depth analyzes of market conditions before they take action (CISU 1989). This can result in market distortion e.g. by providing subsidized services that already exist on the market thereby undermining the long term availability of such services. Without market analysis, NGOs also tend to promote products (crops or handicraft etc.) that fail in the market Facilitation of Market-based Solutions Among VC Actors Public sector Private sector MSME Lead Firm Donor Facilitator Lead Firm (project, NGO) Lead Firm MSME MSME MSME MSME Legend: : market-based solutions : facilitation activities 5
  8. 8. Participatory Market System Development Civil society with the agenda to foster pro poor economic development can play an important role at every step in the development of value chains. A number of leading international NGOs, government and UN agencies are promoting best practices in the area of pro poor value chain and market development. Danish Forum for Microfinance has teamed up with Practical Action who has been developing an approach called Participatory Market System Development (PMSD) to make markets more inclusive, reduce poverty on a large scale and protect the environment (Practical Action 2013). PMSD has evolved with the frameworks of value chain development and Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P). PMSD is designed to bring all of the key people within a particular market together. These people are known as stakeholders, or market actors. The PMSD process works to build trust and a joint vision of change between these market actors, and helps them to collectively identify obstacles and opportunities affecting their market system. NGOs trained in PMSD techniques support the group of market actors to come up with joint strategies and action plans that will overcome these obstacles, and take advantage of potential opportunities to improve market conditions for everyone. It is based on Practical Action‟s field experience across Africa, South Asia and Latin America, and fourdecades of learning about the best ways to build sustainable enterprises in rural contexts. It is based on three broad principles: participation, systems thinking, and facilitation: Systems thinking: Markets are complex systems that adapt to new information constantly. They are made up of large numbers of actors who are connected to one another and whose decisions are influenced by, and have an influence on each other. 6 These “complex and adaptive” systems behave in ways that achieve more than the sum of their parts. In other words, we cannot predict how the system will behave by looking at the individual people or parts; we need to understand the relationships and the interactions. Participation: Applying systems thinking to markets forces us to recognise that no single actor can determine how the system will change. Some very powerful actors can influence the trends or general direction of change, but how this change manifests in reality is a product of the decisions of all the actors. As a consequence, if we want to influence how a market system develops, we need to bring strategic players together to gain an understanding of the whole system, to jointly assess blockages and opportunities and to implement collaborative strategies and actions that will improve how the system functions. Facilitation: Facilitation can be understood here as creating the conditions for public and private market actors to drive change themselves. If we want to become effective facilitators, we have to therefore avoid becoming actively involved in the market as market actors. Facilitators can provide support, and even use subsidies as a way to build trust and joint visions, and to contribute to the introduction and dissemination of new ideas, practices or business models; however this must always be as part of an exit strategy. Good facilitation is at the heart of sustainability, because it is underpinned by the ownership that the key actors have over their own process of change. The process The above principles shape how we work on the ground. Whilst the reality of the process is messy, organic, and interactive, the following describes
  9. 9. the typical sequence of steps that field staff follows when carrying out PMSD. The PMSD process starts with field staff analysing factors such as the potential to reach those most in need, and a particular market‟s potential for growth, so that they can establish which markets within an area (for example, dairy or rice) provide the best opportunities for reducing poverty on a large scale. The next step is to get a better understanding of that market system, and the problems within it, by mapping out how the system fits together, and researching each connection and market actor in detail. Facilitators then work to engage the key public and private actors within that market who can drive change – i.e. actually make the system work better – and find “hooks”, which are essentially just a set of convincing incentives that can motivate them to attend participatory workshops with all the actors within the market chain. At the same time, the facilitators work to empower representatives of the marginalised actors so that they can engage with the rest of the actors in a meaningful way in these participatory workshops. By improving their business language and helping them to better understand the market, it puts them on a more capable and even footing to have an influence on how the process of change will take place. Within the workshops, tools and activities are used to help the actors to visualise the market, and staff facilitate the market actors in understanding where the opportunities and blockages are within the market system. It is through these interactions that the market actors can develop a joint vision, to build trust, and to coordinate their actions and collaborate, to achieve positive changes within the market system. As facilitators we support the actors throughout the process of strategic thinking, planning and action, in ways that help them to overcome potential conflict and risks. Throughout this time, we work to ensure that they steadily gain ownership of the process, so that once our intervention has come to an end, they can continue driving change in the future without us. These steps are collectively known as the PMSD Roadmap.The PMSD Roadmap is not a recipe that has to be followed step by step. Rather, it is intended to provide practitioners with the tools and inspiration to build the capacity of their staff and partners to become effective facilitators of PMSD. The following flow chart depicts the steps as developed by Practical Action: 7
  10. 10. Areas of intervention NGOs can help address barriers to pro-poor growth through facilitation of change in a number of areas such as access to markets, sale of products or services needed by MSMEs, procurement from MSMEs, access to finance, technology / operations / product development, management and organization, resolution of policy and regulatory issues. Action for Enterprise presents seven areas of value chain constraints within which NGOs can facilitate and support Lead Firms (LFs) or value chain actors to initiate interventions that can address these constraints on a long term market based and sustainable basis. The following list holds a number of examples of interventions (AFE 2012): 1. Access to Markets participate in trade shows or exhibitions visit potential buyers receive visits from potential buyers gain certifications (organic, ISO, HACCP) develop websites / online marketing conduct market assessments and develop marketing strategies 2. Sale of Products or Services to MSMEs develop demand for their MSME products or services conduct market research for MSME markets they sell to adapt products or services to specific needs of targeted MSMEs develop/improve distribution networks develop alternative financing or payment mechanisms that promote MSME access to their products/services 3. LF Procurement from MSMEs identify MSME suppliers develop outgrowing operations build capacity of MSME suppliers through training, technical assistance, demonstrations, field days, etc 8 develop aggregation models / procurement models (for purchasing in economies of scale) develop credit programs for MSME suppliers develop seed multiplication programs and introduction of higher yielding varieties (seeds can be provided/sold to LF‟s MSME suppliers) 4. Access to Finance create linkages with financial institutions work with financial institutions to adapt their lending products business plan development develop tripartite arrangements between LF, banks and MSME producers they source from develop crop insurance schemes with insurance companies 5. Technology/Product Development access technical specialists (e.g. product design, processing, storage, etc.) conduct learning/exposure visits to companies with exemplary operations conduct visits to suppliers of needed equipment and inputs develop improved IT skills optimize product development processes conduct strategic review of product portfolios develop R&D capacity identify sources of finance for new equipment and materials 6. Management and Organization develop improved management information systems develop business plans develop management systems (financial, inventory, HR, administration etc.) develop quality control / quality assurance / traceability systems build capacity of staff
  11. 11. 7. Resolution of Policy and Regulatory Issues establish or revise industry standards for products or services establish or revise industry codes of conduct create or strengthen coalitions or associations to: lobby for specific changes in policy or regulation carry out industry-wide assessments, etc. Very poor producers For each step in the value chain development process, NGOs / civil society has a critical role. The following list of specific roles comprises examples of what NGOs could do to facilitate the process for sustainable pro-poor value chain development. World Vision has published a field guide with FHI 360 and USAID support entitled “Integrating Very Poor Producers into Value Chains Field Guide”. This guide specifically focus on this step of addressing the many constraints of very poor producers (Limited capacity and resources; Vulnerability and over-indebtedness; Strong risk aversion; Inadequate access to products and services; Limited mobility and freedom; Unequal distribution of entitlements; Limited knowledge of market; Social exclusion/lack of empowerment. The guide includes lots of ways of working with producer groups helping very poor producers to overcome barriers to market entry, share assets, information, and risk, as well as obtain easier access to a variety of services and inputs. Operating as part of a group can build the confidence necessary to be active participants in markets (WVI 2012). A. Effective buyer and supplier relationships The NGO should facilitate linkages with buyers and suppliers that: facilitate the development of long-term, winwin business relationships, rather than focusing on increasing once-off sales facilitate continued access to appropriate information – such as what appropriate quality standards and specifications are and how to meet them, knowledge on how to use inputs most effectively, or how to use specific equipment to improve a product in a way that the buyers want facilitate beneficial embedded service arrangements – such as linkages to businesses that prepay for crops before they are harvested to reduce initial cash needed by very poor producers support everyone in getting higher profits, more stable income, or more consistent income – such as ensuring that producers can earn a living from what they get paid while buyers are still able to make enough profits to stay in business support processes that increase trust – such as taking small steps to slowly demonstrate trustworthiness from both sides B. Embedded support from buyers and suppliers Support services provided by buyers and suppliers to very poor producers in return for their business are known as „embedded services.‟ Buyers provide a much-needed service to producers, with the expectation that the producers will sell the higher quality products in return. Suppliers provide a much needed service to producers, with the expectation that the producers will buy their inputs, resulting in increased sales. Producers adopt the new technology or practice, or make the new investment, feeling secure that they will have a market in which to sell their improved goods at a fair price. 9
  12. 12. These services aren‟t entirely without cost: buyers and suppliers will cover their costs by paying a slightly lower price for the products or charging a slightly higher price for the inputs. If done well, embedded services can be a very useful win-win situation for producers and buyers in terms of access to finance, training and skills building assistance, certification / compliance and technical assistance, market access, assured supply and demand, equipment access and maintenance. C. Trust between very poor producers and their buyers and suppliers Trust can be built through: Continuous dialog between producers and other market actors Low risk and early return activities to show that each side will follow through on commitments. Incrementally expand depth and outreach as stakeholders become more open. Repeated exposure to other businesses and cross visits between each partner in the relationship Contracts: Formal, written agreements that stipulate all aspects of the business relationship Checks and balances: If there are government or NGO officials that very poor producers can go to if they feel taken advantage of by suppliers or buyers, then they may feel more trust Recognise that it takes time: Building real trust and long-term business relationships often take years. Price incentives, payment terms, and other support for producers Loans to producers: Providing loans and training to farmers will tie them to the contract. Loans are used by the producers to buy inputs, and training is provided by the buyer up front. When it is time to sell, farmers are obligated to sell to the buyer because of the loans they received. 10 D. Learning & information flow to and from buyers & suppliers Ensure access to explanation and interpretation of information. Ensure information is presented visually where appropriate. Support access to other selling options. Support system that provides ongoing, updated information. Facilitate access to appropriate communication technology where appropriate. Support access to information in close proximity to producers. E. Working with the private sector NGOs should select Lead Firms that have the following qualities: They should ideally be lead in innovation and technology; have links to large number of poor producers; able to provide technical assistance, credit, inputs, and other support aspart of the business relationship. The LF is financially stable, can make the needed investments, and are willingto be patient in waiting for results to materialize. They have strong demand for their products to ensure a steady market for theproducers; are respected thought leaders in the business community; have a good business reputation; can influence others in the industry to enter into similar relationshipswith producers; have shown interest in working with very poor producers. NGOs can use smart subsidiesin order to build capacity or incentivize other businesses to provide productsand services to very poor producers on a long-term, sustainable basis.Types of subsidies include:Cost share, Vouchers, Community-level assets, Cash or asset transfers. Subsidies should ideally be unknown to the producers, mimic reallife market interactions, gradually withdraw or phase out (e.g. slowly decreasing value of vouchers), decrease risk to businesses of taking on full cost or taking time to builddemand for products, only used when absolutelynecessary, used to increase the supply of and demand for products and services, used to build human and
  13. 13. social capital to enable the very poor to startparticipating in markets etc. Market offer – dialogue and Partnering with the private sector: Practitioners often need to facilitate initial relationships between producers andtheir buyers or suppliers. This involves identifying key businesses to partnerwith, sharing the vision of a partnership, and supporting the initial steps inpartnering. This initial support could comprise some type of shared investmentby the NGO in order to incentivize businesses to startacting in a certain way or taking on certain roles. Approaching businesses aboutthis type of investment and partnership is often referred to by practitioners as“making a market offer.” Contracting for very poor producers with their buyers and suppliers in the form of immediate sale, forward contracting, regular sub-contracting, outgrower schemes, contract farming etc. Such contracts should produce positive results quickly, strengthen social relationships (e.g. savings groups), include a clear understanding of expectations and howrelationship will work, take into account informal rules and norms. F. Effective producer-to-producer linkages Linkages between producers can include linkages promoted by a leadingproducer, or linkages through formal producer groups, informal producergroups, or cooperatives / federations. NGOs should ensure that producers encouraged and incentivized to linkwith other producers to leverage easier and cheaper access to buyers, suppliers, and supportthrough benefitting from economies of scale; improve bargaining power by negotiating with traders or transportersas a group, or exerting increased bargaining power when they buy or sell in bulk; lower costs (for buyers and for the producers), through sharingtransportation costs to be able to access more formal buyers, andby-pass informal traders, who often pay very low prices, or deliverproducts from multiple producers to one central point; improve quality control by obtaining support in meeting appropriatequality standards to increase efficiency; increase production because they can afford the necessary inputsthrough bulk-buying; access savings or credit such as lump sums of cash through savings orcredit, or loans from financial institutions; purchase equipment and services together etc. G. Increase trust Within a producer group setting, encourage clear communication of members‟ roles and expectations, clear understanding of the group‟s goals and vision; shared vision of a business plan; conducting business-like meetings, following a clear agenda and havingwritten minutes; regular rotation of group leadership to lessen potential forcorrupt practices. H. Addressing limited ability to take on risk Encourage multiple sources of income, so that if one fails, or is not aslucrative at a certain time, there will still be income coming to the familyfrom another source; promote crops for consumption and the market; start with small, low risk activities; connect to markets with low barriers to entry and low risks; focus on activities with shortterm, frequent returns, rather than havinglong periods without income etc. I. Addressing limited access to resources NGOs need to work through local businesses and institutionsto allow very poor producers to access provisions from safety net programs – such as advocacy withgovernment or NGOs to include extremely poor families in their safetynet programme; form groups to access government services – such as Ministry ofAgriculture extension programs; use in-kind rotating schemes such as seed banks or animal banks. At harvest time or after reproduction ofanimals, the initial beneficiary has to „pay back‟ the assets received, withinterest, to other members of the community etc. J. Addressing lack of confidence Choose initial activities that are simple, have a high chance of success; foster social relationships thatcan be called on in times ofneed, building on 11
  14. 14. what alreadyexists to improve selfesteem,confidence, and opportunitiesfor reciprocity, rather thanassuming social exclusion. Build basic skills such astraining in functional literacyand numeracy that buildconfidence and prepare verypoor producers to betterparticipate in markets; build understanding of the market such as building group capacityto access and maintain information on prices, trends, and buyers toimprove confidence in bargaining with buyers. K. Addressing exclusion of women The NGO can try to reduce the cultural barriers to women‟s participation by sharing market information using communication channels usedby women; identify labour-saving technologies; encourage community discussions amongst men and women about genderinequalities and the barriers for women; promote value chain selection that favours women‟s participation with lowerbarriers to entry; link women with support structures and networks that build theirsocial capital, skills, and business confidence; facilitate women-only meetings where appropriate if it is not possibleto create womenonly groups etc. References: CISU, 2012: Poverty oriented growth and the role of civil society- Report based upon CISU‟s Danish member organizations experiences NGO Forum, 2012: Vækst og Beskæftigelse. Undersøgelse af danske miljø- og udviklingsNGOers erfaringer med vækst og beskæftigelsestiltag og eksempler til inspiration Project Counseling Services 2000: Handbook on Income-Generating Activitiesfor the use of Danish NGOs andtheir partners in the South Project Counseling Services 1989: Review of Income Generation activitis of Danish NGOs Practical Action 2013: The PMSD Roadmap – facilitating market systems. See also website: DFM 2011: Danish Forum for Microfinance, Microfinance Guidelines, Lone Søndergaard, WVI 2012: Integrating Very PoorProducers into Value ChainsField Guide AFE 2012: Value Chain Program Design: Promoting Market-based Solutions for Micro, Small, and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) 12