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  • Communications/Impact Assessment Intern
    and others but that s a discussion for another post The fact is it s not easy to get around Tamale unless you live and work within a tight area of the city or you have your own private vehicle As the city expands more roads will have to be built or public transportation will have to adapt to meet citizen demands In a conversation with longtime Tamale resident my co worker we discussed her disappointment with the current state of Tamale transportation She then abruptly ended the conversation by dropping a stat one moto rider was killed each day in Tamale Hmm Don t worry mom I fact checked this and it s actually less than that in the whole of Ghana Tags Communications Impact Assessment Intern Country Culture MEDA Interns 2013 Women Economic Opportunities Continue reading Ghana 3843 Hits Wednesday 15 January 2014 Climbing Mt Meru in under two minutes Daniel Penner Communications Impact Assessment Intern Women s Economic Development A benefit of living and working abroad for MEDA is travel What used to be across an ocean is suddenly a short or maybe just shorter distance away Also through our network of fellow interns we have places to crash and people to travel with Not bad at all In December I took advantage of that Here s a short video that I made from a portion of a Tanzania trip Tags Economic Opportunities Sightseeing Women MEDA Interns 2013 Communications Impact Assessment Intern Continue reading Ghana 3558 Hits Tuesday 12 November 2013 Oh shoot I m supposed to talk Daniel Penner Communications Impact Assessment Intern Women s Economic Development That is my immediate thought as I am given the go ahead nod from Yunus expert technical advisor for GROW and my translator for the day Twenty women farmers from the village of Gilang are seated in the large village shade tree in front of me waiting for the meeting to start Chickens dart through the center of the circle babes suckle milk from casually exposed breasts and the cool morning breeze graciously stymies any chance of sweaty armpits I wasn t counting on this meeting all these women here under this formal tree in the center of Gilang I was planning on meeting a few women individually get an idea of how the program was going hear their concerns rejoice in their successes and be gone But instead I am meeting with a group of twenty GROW farmers all of whom were staring at me right now So I start Why am I here Mostly to listen I tried to ask my questions and get out of the way I m in Ghana for six short months just five now and I needed to figure out what s the best use of my time These women were to provide me with ideas they re the reason everything in this project happens so it seemed like a natural place to look I head a variety of concerns consistent credit rain tractors and successes paying for a child s education expanding production They talked about how they received information from radio or how lead farmers worked to disseminate crop price info Lots of info all jam packed into one session I think Einstein said that if you give him an hour to solve the problem he d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes solving the problem So maybe this is part of my 55 minutes I don t know the sort of work I ll have completed in six months time and to right now the time seems frustratingly short And in order to contribute something meaningful come April I need to spend this time soaking up as much info as possible to get an idea of what s going on In order to do that it involves talking with people There is a large group of people with valuable experiences and perspectives from the MEDA staff to our facilitating to the woman talking in front of me So right now I m listening Tags Internship Experience Communications Impact Assessment Intern Economic Opportunities Women MEDA Interns 2013 Continue reading Ghana 3980 Hits Monday 28 October 2013 How much for a bag of soybeans Daniel Penner Communications Impact Assessment Intern Women s Economic Development 70 80 cedis roughly 35 40 That was the tentatively agreed upon price for a 100kg bag of soybeans in Ghana The Oct 24th meeting to decide said price was held in the refreshingly air conditioned PreHarvest Forum s Conference Room A a welcome respite from the sunny and sweaty outdoor booths The PreHarvest Forum was from my perspective a mix of information and networking sessions on improving yields and strengthening local markets were broken up with snacks and the swapping of business cards The event was attended by farmers aggregators processors ag equipment manufacturers and more all hoping to connect with the right people and inform themselves With these thoughts MEDA arranged for both the local partners and some lead farmers from the GROW project to attend and set up a booth of its own But let s go back to the soybean pricing It was perhaps the most interesting event of the day and it was definitely the most intense Determining an acceptable price for soy for both buyers and sellers while trying not to price out local chicken farmers who use the soy for feed and who will if the price is too high import soy from neighboring countries requires a great deal of consideration conservation costs and markets Brothers and sisters let us remember that we are in a global village was one sound bite from a persistent refrain The meeting attendees understood that all parties soy farmers chicken farmers producers and aggregators had to benefit if they wanted to protect this new and fragile crop from being swallowed up by the global market The debate was one part theatre and two parts substance B etter than daytime television

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/communications-impact-assessment-intern (2016-02-17)
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  • Ethiopia
    for over two months she had managed to sell enough eggs to make close to 75 money that for her and her family could support their expenses for quite some time Asrat shared that it was at this time that she was forced to sell her chickens because she had to travel to visit a sick relative The sale of these chickens made enough money for her travels and a few additional expenses Once she returned home after a number of weeks of caring for her family she immediately purchased another fifty one day old chicks And these were the chicks we were looking at in the small room Asrat explained that she was also involved in a number of other farming activities as most Ethiopian smallholder farmers are though she believed that her poultry business was an excellent income generating opportunity and was already having visions of expanding it in the near future Tags Ethiopia Womens Economic Opportunities Continue reading Women s Economic Empowerment 396 Hits Tuesday 15 September 2015 Red Roads Over Green Hills Contemplating Gender Equality in Ethiopia Adam Bramm Senior Project Manager The state of the roads in Ethiopia s Oromia region a western region bordering South Sudan are not for the faint of heart nor week of spine Worse yet was the speed with which our driver dodged crater sized potholes and slip slided through meters of slick red mud This drive might have been a teeth clenching test of endurance had it not been for the verdant green pastoral landscape that stretched out from the road on all sides Having traveled in numerous countries in western and eastern Africa I was more accustomed to views of dense tropical jungles or semi arid savannah not to a landscape that more closely resembled Ireland with its greener than green fields dotted by grazing animals The only striking difference being the dirt road that blazed like a red ribbon lain haphazardly over green velvet Tags Women s Economic Opportunities Women in Development Gender Equality Ethiopia Continue reading Women s Economic Empowerment 1459 Hits Monday 27 July 2015 Improving Workplaces and Working Conditions for Young Employees Farah Chandani Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities This blog is a follow up to one posted on 13 January 2015 titled One Workplace At A Time by Shaunet Lewinson featuring the E FACE project The Ethiopians Fighting Against Child Exploitation E FACE implements various livelihood strengthening interventions that tackle the issue of child exploitation due to reduced livelihoods E FACE targets households at risk of or engaged in the worst forms of child labor in the Ethiopian textile and agriculture sectors as well as young workers under the age of 18 One E FACE intervention focuses on improving workspaces and working conditions for young workers using a three component system that places young workers rights and safety at the forefront while creating a participatory environment for both the young employees and their employers to get involved in the development of

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/ethiopia (2016-02-17)
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  • Women's Economic Opportunities
    Program Manager Evaluation How might vegetables and marital harmony be connected In the spring of 2014 the staff in MEDA s Women s Economic Opportunities team may have shrugged and said nothing By the spring of 2015 they had a different perspective A study based on a MEDA pilot project in northern Ghana around Key Hole Gardens found that 58 of participants reported increased marital harmony as a result of the gardens Although surprising at first the study found that women s increased access to vegetables allowed them to both cook more diverse food at home a fact their husbands enjoy and obtain some financial income which is also viewed positively within the household Tags Keyhole Gardens Women s Economic Opportunities Ghana Agriculture Family Continue reading Women s Economic Empowerment 622 Hits Friday 16 October 2015 Should we be working in Myanmar Ariane Ryan Consultant Women s Economic Opportunities I started working in Myanmar almost two years ago At that time in order to have access to a phone I rented a sim card for over 200 ATMs were non existent and Yangon was still relatively traffic free My first assignment for a large INGO was to study three separate markets in the country s central dry zone I looked at goats groundnuts and plums The latter seemingly banal as a crop turned out to be the more exciting of the three A plum farmer could channel the components of her plums to five separate markets from dried fertilizer to juice to fire fuel and Chinese medicine Tags Myanmar Women s Economic Opportunities Gender Equality Continue reading Women s Economic Empowerment 1051 Hits Tuesday 15 September 2015 Red Roads Over Green Hills Contemplating Gender Equality in Ethiopia Adam Bramm Senior Project Manager The state of the roads in Ethiopia s Oromia region a western region bordering South Sudan are not for the faint of heart nor week of spine Worse yet was the speed with which our driver dodged crater sized potholes and slip slided through meters of slick red mud This drive might have been a teeth clenching test of endurance had it not been for the verdant green pastoral landscape that stretched out from the road on all sides Having traveled in numerous countries in western and eastern Africa I was more accustomed to views of dense tropical jungles or semi arid savannah not to a landscape that more closely resembled Ireland with its greener than green fields dotted by grazing animals The only striking difference being the dirt road that blazed like a red ribbon lain haphazardly over green velvet Tags Women s Economic Opportunities Women in Development Gender Equality Ethiopia Continue reading Women s Economic Empowerment 1459 Hits Tuesday 01 September 2015 Engaging Women in the Economy in Latin America Katherine Arblaster Project Manager and Consultant at Mennonote Economic Development Associates MEDA I was recently asked to join a panel discussion at the Inter American Development Bank on better engaging women in the agricultural sector in

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/2015-08-11-17-31-14 (2016-02-17)
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  • Morocco
    through targeted information gathering analysis and conducting interviews with current clients and non client to discern their needs and wants from a new product Tags Microfinance Institution Morocco Praxis Series Continue reading Youth in Development 1757 Hits Sunday 14 June 2015 Praxis Series Entry 3 Is there a business case for youth services We think so Nicki Post Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities Youth under the age of 30 comprise over 50 of the global population However when thinking about offering financial services targeted at this age group financial service providers FSPs often overlook this up tapped reservoir particularly in rural areas MEDA s YouthInvest project worked closely with Moroccan Microfinance Institutions MFIs Fondation Ardi Attadamoune and INMAA to explore questions around the feasibility of integrating youth into their portfolios and whether this made good business sense Through intensive discussions with MFI management and tailored frontline staff training we discussed the benefits of working with youth as well designing new financial credit products that would enhance the MFIs bottom line Tags Financial Inclusion Morocco Praxis Series Financial Service Providers Microfinance Institution Continue reading Youth in Development 2456 Hits Monday 20 April 2015 Praxis Series Entry 2 Don t forget the loan officers Nicki Post Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities Although youth between the ages of 18 30 often represent between 15 30 of total active clients in MFI portfolios they are often labeled as undesirable and risky and many more youth applicants are turned away by Microfinance institutions MFIs MEDA s financial institution partners in Morocco Attadamoune Microfinance and INMAA wanted their staff to better engage with youth clients as they saw youth as a segment with great market potential These innovative MFIs with MEDA support developed a training program to train frontline staff better address the financial needs of young clients MEDA documented the efficacy of this training and explored any stated youth client interaction change amongst loan officers LOs and MFI staff in our recent Loan Officer Case Study The sessions within the training helped LOs and staff identify new techniques for prospecting potential youth clients and provided fundamental training on financial education only 34 of LOs had been exposed to financial education sessions previously The LOs added that due to the training they would be able to improve their communication with youth aid in increasing th e share of youth in their respective portfolios be able to better cater to youth clients and provide them the basic information on budgeting debt management savings and financial negotiation all sessions covered in financial education training Tags Financial Education Microfinance Institution Loan Officers Morocco Youth Continue reading Youth in Development 2485 Hits Monday 30 March 2015 Praxis Series Entry 1 Financial Capability at Work in Morocco Nicki Post Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities Youth unemployment in countries like Morocco rank as one of the largest development obstacles Demographic challenges gender barriers and education skill mismatch are among some of the problems that youth face

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/morocco (2016-02-17)
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  • Praxis Series
    new youth friendly product In the product development PD cycle we begin with phase 1 the identify phase to support partner MFIs in identifying the needs of their new target client This is accomplished through targeted information gathering analysis and conducting interviews with current clients and non client to discern their needs and wants from a new product Tags Microfinance Institution Morocco Praxis Series Continue reading Youth in Development 1757 Hits Sunday 14 June 2015 Praxis Series Entry 3 Is there a business case for youth services We think so Nicki Post Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities Youth under the age of 30 comprise over 50 of the global population However when thinking about offering financial services targeted at this age group financial service providers FSPs often overlook this up tapped reservoir particularly in rural areas MEDA s YouthInvest project worked closely with Moroccan Microfinance Institutions MFIs Fondation Ardi Attadamoune and INMAA to explore questions around the feasibility of integrating youth into their portfolios and whether this made good business sense Through intensive discussions with MFI management and tailored frontline staff training we discussed the benefits of working with youth as well designing new financial credit products that would enhance the MFIs bottom line Tags Financial Inclusion Morocco Praxis Series Financial Service Providers Microfinance Institution Continue reading Youth in Development 2456 Hits Monday 30 March 2015 Praxis Series Entry 1 Financial Capability at Work in Morocco Nicki Post Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities Youth unemployment in countries like Morocco rank as one of the largest development obstacles Demographic challenges gender barriers and education skill mismatch are among some of the problems that youth face searching for economic opportunities To exacerbate these challenges Moroccan youth have limited access to financial services that can help address their unique needs According to the World Bank only 12 3 of youth aged 15 24 in the MENA Middle East and North Africa region have a formal bank account the lowest rate in the world 1 In this context access to appropriate financial services has the potential to lead to many positive outcomes for youth including a heightened capacity to manage money and build assets as well as increased opportunities for entrepreneurship employment and future education YouthInvest 2008 2014 a six year five million dollar initiative in which MEDA partnered with leading microfinance institutions MFIs and Non governmental Organizations NGOs with the generous support of The MasterCard Foundation to develop innovative financial and non financial products and services tailored to the needs of economically active youth in Morocco and Egypt In Morocco young people constitute 30 of Morocco s population and one tenth of the region s total youth population 1 This youth segment serves as a platform for opportunity and has proven through the Arab Spring that they are ripe for growth and are an important source of entrepreneurship development and innovation Yet in many MENA Middle East and North Africa countries including Morocco these energies are not harnessed or

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/praxis-series (2016-02-17)
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  • Business Development Advisor Intern
    is to help households that are at risk of having their children engage in child labour improve their livelihood and income through other means In this case potato is the chosen commodity and will provide the targeted households with options i e supplemental income for school tuition besides child labour During the visit the farmers explained their excitement in the project and the techniques they learned from the E FACE facilitated agronomy training sessions The excitement of the farmers was contagious and I found myself eager to see the results of the hard work when harvest time arrived Down the hill from the potato farm was the village school facilitated by World Vision E FACE in partnership with World Vision provides the livelihood programs for the working youth and households involved in the textile industry World Vision provides the education portion of the project ensuring that the at risk children are in school The visit to the school was by far the most rewarding and inspirational part of the entire trip When we arrived we were immediately greeted by children eager to have their picture taken during lunch break I happily obliged and held an impromptu photo shoot We were then lead to a classroom to view the improvements being made to the structure The school had recently added educational paintings improved lighting and better desks to encourage the students to learn It was amazing to observe the difference between a rural Ethiopian classroom versus the Canadian classrooms I have grown accustomed to seeing I experienced a major wakeup call about the importance of education and how difficult it can be to access a proper education for some communities Tags Business Development Advisor Intern MEDA Interns 2013 Private Sector Development Agriculture MEDA Projects Continue reading Ethiopia 3975 Hits Tuesday 26 November 2013 E FACE Field Visit in Arba Minch Part One Textile Intervention Shaunet Lewinson Business Development Advisor Market Access Agriculture After a month of anticipation I was finally able to go to on my first site visit for the MEDA E FACE project To give a bit of background E FACE Ethiopians Fighting Against Child Exploitation aims to reduce exploitative child labour by improving market access to textile and agricultural markets for vulnerable families and improve working conditions for working youth Having worked on many of the contracts for the programs being implemented I was excited to see my contribution to the project in action During our nine hour car ride the first thing that stood out to me the most was the abundance of cattle donkeys and goats in the road In past posts I have mentioned animals in the road but the trip to Arba Minch was by far the craziest Our wonderful driver Mekdem did an amazing job avoiding each donkey or goat that decided to wander into our path Although bumpy and extremely long the trip was so beautiful that I am now certain the Garden of Eden is lost somewhere in Ethiopia We arrived

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/business-development-advisor-intern (2016-02-17)
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  • SEEP Network
    reading Youth in Development 610 Hits Monday 19 October 2015 The Role of Parents and Families in Youth Financial Inclusion Jennifer Denomy Director Youth Economic Opportunities The United Nations Population Fund reports that there are 1 8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 with 89 percent of them residing in less developed countries 2014 With appropriate knowledge and tools youth can be financially empowered to access economic opportunities in a sustainable manner Although they represent a large potential market the integration of youth into the formal financial system is still a relatively new concept in many countries In order to address these operational issues and explore innovations in this area the SEEP Network s Youth and Financial Services Working Group commissioned and wrote four Promising Practices Briefs The topics of the briefs were selected during a series of consultations held with Working Group members in January 2015 Tags Financial Inclusion Youth Economic Opportunities SEEP Network SEEP YFS Working Group Continue reading Youth in Development 903 Hits Tuesday 29 September 2015 Incentives Subsidies and Complementary Services to Promote Youth Financial Inclusion Jennifer Denomy Director Youth Economic Opportunities This blog originally appeared on The SEEP Network Blogg co authored by Jennifer Denomy and Rebecca Hession The United Nations Population Fund reports that there are 1 8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 with 89 percent of them residing in the world s least developed countries 2014 With appropriate knowledge and tools youth can be financially empowered to access a range of economic opportunities over the course of their lives Although they represent a large potential market the integration of youth into the formal financial system is still a relatively new concept in many countries In order to address these operational issues and explore innovations in this area the SEEP Network s Youth and Financial Services Working Group commissioned and wrote four Promising Practices Briefs The topics of the briefs were selected during a series of consultations held with Working Group members in January 2015 Tags SEEP Network SEEP YFS Working Group Youth Economic Opportunities Financial Inclusion Continue reading Youth in Development 1237 Hits Tuesday 15 September 2015 Usage and Dormancy of Youth Accounts Jennifer Denomy Director Youth Economic Opportunities This blog originally appeared on The SEEP Network Blog co authored by Jennifer Denomy and Rebecca Hession The United Nations Population Fund reports that there are 1 8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 with 89 percent of them residing in less developed countries 2014 With appropriate knowledge and tools youth can be financially empowered to access economic opportunities in a sustainable manner Although they represent a large potential market the integration of youth into the formal financial system is still a relatively new concept in many countries In order to address these operational issues and explore innovations in this area the SEEP Network s Youth and Financial Services Working Group commissioned and wrote four Promising Practices Briefs The topics of

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/seep-network (2016-02-17)
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  • Women in Development
    might have been a teeth clenching test of endurance had it not been for the verdant green pastoral landscape that stretched out from the road on all sides Having traveled in numerous countries in western and eastern Africa I was more accustomed to views of dense tropical jungles or semi arid savannah not to a landscape that more closely resembled Ireland with its greener than green fields dotted by grazing animals The only striking difference being the dirt road that blazed like a red ribbon lain haphazardly over green velvet Tags Women s Economic Opportunities Women in Development Gender Equality Ethiopia Continue reading Women s Economic Empowerment 1459 Hits Tuesday 01 September 2015 Engaging Women in the Economy in Latin America Katherine Arblaster Project Manager and Consultant at Mennonote Economic Development Associates MEDA I was recently asked to join a panel discussion at the Inter American Development Bank on better engaging women in the agricultural sector in Latin America A conversation that needs to be had more often Having lived in Central America I know all too well the realities of gender inequality that exists in the region Typically in the household a woman cooks and cleans doesn t work and therefore doesn t have any control over the financial or operational decisions within the home This goes as far as to say that some women were not even privy to the prices of milk or eggs Machismo as they call it is the mindset that the man is better than the women I saw many homes where this wasn t the case however for the majority of women living in the shadows is a reality Recently I performed and managed a short consultancy that worked with 4 agribusinesses in Peru to promote gender equality in the workplace and homes of the farmers working downstream in their supply chains A Gender Coordinator led the efforts at each business and also hosted Gender Workshops for both men and women in the community from which they sourced The Gender Coordinators educated the men and women about gender equality a phrase some had never heard of before and conducted activities such as learning to cook nutritious foods together as a couple The consultancy lasted only 8 months The goal was to determine the financial and operational implications of gender dynamics on the household and business 8 months was rather short to be measuring these things however even within that time a difference could be seen Woman began to engage in agriculture which for these communities is the primary source of income Two of the companies even had enough supply that they began to market a new product coffee specifically grown by women Maybe it is the next fair trade One company found a niche market in Germany and demand is over the roof The most prominent change however could be seen in the women themselves The increase in confidence was astonishing and the community had never been stronger Check out the recording of

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/2015-08-11-17-30-51 (2016-02-17)
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