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Hands on experience on the market systems development approach
The Rural Livelihood Development Programme was financed by the Swiss Agency Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by a consortium of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and Swisscontact between 2005 and 2015. It aimed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder producers and related enterprises in the Central Corridor of Tanzania through increased income and employment opportunities. In 2015, the RLDP engaged in a Capitalisation of Experiences (CapEx) process to understand what lessons could be learned from its work focusing on three topics: Programme Management applying the market systems development (MSD) approach, Contract Farming and Gender Mainstreaming.
The learning document Programme Management for Market Systems Development (MSD) Approaches aims to explore the extent to which RLDP’s internal management systems supported effective market systems development. The second document explores Contract Farming Initiatives and analyses the effectiveness of the RLDP efforts to catalyse systemic change at both the farmer and the market systems levels.
The learning document Gender Mainstreaming in Tanzania’s Central Corridor explores RLDP’s experiences with gender mainstreaming in planning, implementing and monitoring to reflect on main challenges as well as to share lessons learned. Applying the MSD approach, the RLDP worked as a facilitator in market development, rather than being an implementing programme. This means that gender mainstreaming had to take place mainly through its partners, and that RLDP could only indirectly influence outcomes at the household level. Its success in gender mainstreaming therefore was in how well RLDP staff could provide awareness, knowledge and skills regarding the benefits of gender mainstreaming to their partners. RLDP facilitated gender awareness training in the cotton, sunflower and rice sectors and supported women-targeted initiatives in poultry keeping and with village savings and lending (VSL) groups in the rice sector. There will be a special emphasis on RLDP’s work with VSL groups targeting female rice farmers, which was successful in enhancing women’s economic empowerment.
This hands-on experience in implementing MSD is now available for download – in short and long versions.