Facilitating Propoor Value Chain Development & Actor Empowerment

Facilitating Propoor Value Chain Development & Actor Empowerment

13 Aug 08:00 - 17 Aug 17:00 - Kampala
Kampala, Uganda


The future of African small-scale producers depends on their ability to play an active and meaningful role in market dynamics. By effectively participating in and influencing the value chains that link them to suppliers, traders and consumers, smallholders will be able to earn more from their crops, livestock and small businesses.

This 5 days training programme equips researchers, trainers, rural development practitioners and service providers with the competencies needed to assist small-scale farmers, traders and businesses to strengthen their position in value chains and, by so doing, contribute to economic development and poverty reduction.

Overall the workshop consists of a mixture of:

Brief interactive lectures to introduce various concepts, principles and approaches (questions and discussions encouraged during the presentation)
Plenary exercises
Role plays
Group work, followed by presentations and plenary discussions
1 day of field work for Value Chain mapping and analysis on a selected value chains located near the training centre.
The Learning Programme

Making Markets Work For The Poor - course addresses the issues related to the empowerment of small producers and traders for them to become more involved in their value chains by participating in activities such as bulk sourcing of supplies, processing, quality control and grading produce, and by becoming involved in accessing and managing information, markets, contracts and cooperation with other actors.

More specifically, it aims at enhancing the capacity of researchers, rural development practitioners and service providers to assist smallholder farmers strengthen their position in value chains and by so doing, contribute to economic development and poverty reduction.
Participants learn innovative approaches to value chain and stakeholder analysis, monitoring and evaluation. The programme also addresses issues such as the identification of potential value chains and the design of chain development trajectories. Participants will not only increase their knowledge of value chain analysis but also enhance their operational skills. Developed and implemented by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction () and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the uniqueness of the course lies in the fact that it is fully based on real-life examples of value chains in Africa.


After this course participants will be able to: Explain the Value Chain, its concepts, principles and approaches and its role in sustainable economic development
Explain pro-poor Value Chain Development and Actor Empowerment (VCD&AE)
Analyze the Value Chain using a variety of tools and steps, identifying constraints and opportunities for innovation
Identify the steps for building engagement among and between chain actors and between chain actors and chain supporters
Elaborate and Design an effective chain development strategy and develop the related action plan,
Set up an effective monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment plan for a VCD&AE process

Develop or strengthen their role as professional Value Chain Development Trainers, Researchers or Facilitators


The training workshop uses a competency based approach. This implies that content as well as facilitation methods are used that contribute to the participants learning processes. “Learning by doing” and “Learning from each other” are the principles underlying the training and learning processes.
Facilitation is highly interactive with the facilitators aiming to link the contents to the participants’ personal experiences and expertise. All examples and cases for plenary exercises are from real life African origin. They are drawn from the -KIT book series on value chains:

Chain empowerment: Supporting African farmers to develop markets (2007) that focuses on farmer organizations and their support agencies

Trading up: Building Cooperation between Farmers and Traders (2008) that addresses the role of traders in value chains.

Beyond microfinance: financing the rural value chain (2010) that presents innovative financing models from around the world. The “running cases” for group work are the value chains selected by participants and which they are familiar with.

Module 1 Introduction to propoor value chain development, gives an introduction to the value chain approach. It defines the concept of a value chain, pro-poor development and gender in relation to pro-poor value chain development. It outlines how the value chain approach can contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development. Finally, it discusses how the Value Chain approach can be integrated in the African development context.

Module 2, Chain Selection, starts with explaining the five steps of the value chain development process. It then zooms in on Step 1: Selecting the product or market from among the various development options in a community or target area, that is likely to contribute significantly to its development. Subsequently, Module 2.1 addresses the basic components of Step 2: Value chain analysis and focuses on chain mapping.

Module 3, Economic sustainability of Value Chains, introduces the financial analysis of a value chain and the concepts of gross margins, added value and value shares for each of the actors. It explains how insight in chain economics can help identifying where the chain can be strengthened to meets its potential. It also explains how the information derived from this analysis can be used for lobbying purposes among chain actors and with actors operating in the enabling environment.

Module 4, Analyzing the market and market development talks about the factors that influence the supply and demand for products, and how supply and demand, on their turn, influence price. It addresses how to analyze the markets that are currently supplied by the value chain and identify which market segment a chain actor should focus on. Different market segments require different product standards and qualities. The pros and cons of selling to domestic and export markets are discussed and the importance of standardization and certification in these markets will be taken a closer look at.

Module 5, Chain Relations and Governance analyzes the relationships between actors within the value chain and the level of organization in a value chain, its strengths and weaknesses. It identified governance issues in a value chain and the opportunities for strengthening value chain organization and governance

Module 6, Business services and value chain financing, reiterates the role of chain supporters. It makes a distinction between Business services and their providers (which includes the VCD facilitators that are the target group of this learning programme) and financing services. Various innovative financing models that lean on the merits of the actor relationships within a chain are discussed.

Module 7, The Macro environment, addresses the wider political, legal, economic and social context of chains. Value chain actors are directly and indirectly influenced by this (enabling) environment. The module not only looks at the influences of the macro environmental factors on value chain development but also discusses how VCD facilitators influence such factors through advocacy in terms of policy influencing to implementation and enforcing. Special emphasis is placed on social inclusion and equity in value chain development.

Module 8, Developing strategies for chain empowerment, gives an overview of the four main strategies for chain empowerment. It describes how the current situation in which an actor group finds itself, their skills and ambitions, determine their best strategy for progressing in the chain. The module also outlines what skills and assets actors need to implement the strategy and what the interventions are that VCD facilitators would need to focus on.

An essential element of strategy implementation and facilitator involvement is building engagement and obtaining the necessary “buy-in” from other chain actors and from services providers.
Module 8.1 discusses how such engagement October be stimulated and structured. In a simulation game participants play the roles of the various stakeholders, analyzing their core interests and activities, and explore possibilities for interaction and cooperation between the chain actors. Once the individual contributions of chain actors and supporters are known, a value chain development plan can be elaborated.

Module 9: M&E in value chain development. The concept of pro-poor value chain development implies that there should be an impact beyond income increases and economic sustainability. The VCD&AE process should lead to the involvement of farmers in management activities within a sector. This is called “empowerment”. Module 8 presents the importance of M&E in this process and discusses M&E indicators and analytical tools for a pro-poor value chain development programme.

Module 10: Chain learning and Innovation. This module explains how learning and innovation is important to sustain competitiveness. It answers questions as to what extent new ideas and concepts are valued by chain actors, how willing actors share information, learn market trends and how innovative they are to meeting changing consumer preferences. It emphasizes that the extent to which an industry is constantly reading and responding with ongoing innovation is a direct factor for increased competitiveness

Module 11: The competencies of market development facilitators and coaches. Experienced sustainable development facilitators will possess many of the skills required for the VCD&AE processes. However, most of them have been mainly addressing the needs of one of the chain actor groups: the producers, or rather the small holder farmers. Module 10 discusses the specific knowledge and skills that VCD facilitators require to successfully institute, implement, monitor and exit a VCD process. It reiterates the dos and don’ts of chain development facilitators and includes a self assessment of current levels of key competencies. Some short exercises to practice communication and perception skills complement the discussions. The module ends with the preparations for a personal action and learning plan to guide the participants’ further involvement in VCD&AE.

Field work, under the title “Application of acquired skills to a real life situation” covers most of the VCD process components. Participants selected enterprises for which they will try to map and analyze the value chain and search for bottleneck and opportunities. Subsequently they will present results and recommendations (in the form of an empowerment strategy, to the other group in a plenary discussion. The field work has a two-fold objective: 1) Practicing some of the tools learned during the class room and group work sessions and 2) Experiencing how the VCD&AE approach can contribute to Sustainable development. 6.

Fee information:
The training cost is 596 USD per person for 5 days non residential.This cost includes facilitation, food (two teas and lunch) during the training, a toolkit and a field practicum. The participant will bear his/her costs for accommodation, dinners and travelling. For residential we charge USD 1037.

Email training@iirr.org

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