Banyan Global- Innovative market approaches to development

Innovative market approaches to development

Banyan Global

Enterprise Development

Growth, Enterprise, Employment and Livelihoods (GEEL) Contract

Somalia, 2015 – 2020

GEEL is a sole-award, five-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with a goal of promoting inclusive economic growth in Somalia and with an overall ceiling price of $74 million. The contract addresses multiple constraints to economic growth in Somalia, including lack of financial institutions, issues with business climate and commercial law, lack of demanded work skills, and constraints unique to women and youth. As a sub-contractor to Engility, Banyan Global is leading the design and development of Gender and Youth Empowerment Action Plans (GYEAP) and implementation of gender and youth integration activities. Banyan Global’s full-time international gender and youth expert will oversee a national team integrating youth and gender considerations into all project activities, and together they will develop Youth Engagement and Protection Policies which establish protocols and procedures to ensure safety and prevent exploitation and abuse of youth who participate in project activities. Throughout the duration of the contract, Banyan Global will deliver trainings tailored to Somali gender and cultural norms to all project staff on gender and youth integration tools and techniques, gender- and youth-sensitive facilitation, and integrating gender and youth in M&E processes.

Engility and Banyan Global will be implementing the first task order on increasing competitiveness of agricultural value chains under this IDIQ mechanism. Banyan Global is currently undertaking a participatory project gender analysis in South Central, Somaliland, and Puntland regions of Somalia, examining gender dynamics across four value chains. Banyan Global also implemented a Women In Agribusiness Forum that brought together women business leaders, organizations, business associations, agricultural/farmer groups from across South-Central, Somalia to identify the specific needs of women in business and opportunities and potential solutions to address these needs.

Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices Project

Asia and Middle East, January 2013-September 2016

Banyan Global is a sub-contractor to Chemonics on the USAID-funded Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices project (AMEG), which provides USAID missions in those regions with the tools to conduct successful economic and financial management assessments, strategic planning, diagnostics, pilots, and program designs. With USAID funding, AMEG promotes systematic policy and institutional reforms in support of expanded trade and investment, broad-based economic growth, and poverty reduction in Asia and the Middle East. Its work also includes identifying and promoting interventions, best practices, and pilot activities that support economic, financial management, budget, and public sector performance reforms; private sector investment; and more sustainable inclusive growth. Identifying and promoting these activities, interventions, and best practices emphasizes the importance of knowledge-sharing and management of critical economic and financial policy issues facing the region.

AMEG also focuses on key issues that are unique to the region, including workforce development, unemployment, and underemployment —particularly among youth and women —rates of investment, domestic production and trade, small and medium enterprises, and informal markets. AMEG activities promote the policies and best practices that support more equitable outcomes and inclusive growth. Banyan Global work across all technical areas on the project.

Lebanon Competitiveness Assessment, USAID Middle East Bureau

Lebanon, 2015

Banyan Global is a sub-contractor to Chemonics on the Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices (AMEG) Project. Through this mechanism, Banyan Global conducted the Lebanon Competitiveness Assessment, identifying impediments to private sector growth — particularly the growth of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) — and opportunities for the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to remove or alleviate these impediments in the future. In line with a “buyer-led” approach, this assessment examined the needs of SMEs and high-growth lead firms within key sectors and value chains to identify specific bottlenecks to growth and to identify strategic interventions to support SMEs developing goods and services for which demonstrated demand and commercial matchmaking opportunities exist. The assessment examined SME needs across five areas and made recommendations to support the following: 1) improved business enabling environment and institutional capacity of business associations and chambers; 2) demand-driven business development services; 3) increased trade and export linkages; 4) enhanced workforce development; and 5) opportunities for growth in special economic zones. Furthermore, this activity examined opportunities that exist for potential public-private sector partnerships to leverage resources to contribute to increased SME, productivity, sales, and exports. The recommendations also addressed the role of technological innovations to increase economic growth and private sector competitiveness, gender-focused programming, and synergies with USAID/Lebanon’s current economic strategy and ongoing portfolio.This work was coordinated and integrated with the “Lebanon SME Strategy, a Roadmap to 2020” developed by the Government of Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy and Trade.

Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor (IPEC): Coordinated Regional Trade Analysis

Asia and Pacific, 2014-2015

This work supports the United States’ vision of an Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor (IPEC) that bridges South and Southeast Asia to promote regional stability and economic prosperity. In collaboration with the State Department and USAID under the Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices project, Banyan Global conducted a regional trade analysis in order to promote greater regional economic connectivity in Asia by: 1) fostering economic growth and regional trade in South Asia; 2) increasing private sector competitiveness in the region by enhancing the business environment; 3) engaging the private sector on economic issues, particularly regional trade, in South Asia and trade between South and Southeast Asia; and 4) encouraging stronger economic integration between South and Southeast Asia, engaging such regional institutions as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The regional trade analysis included trade data and literature reviews, a map identifying major trade corridors and product/service flows, an analysis of regional agreements and their implementation, and a list of the regional, national, private, and donor initiatives that support trade facilitation.  The document also identified the key top line objectives/indicators for increased regional trade, including the priority objectives for the next five to 10 years that would increase trade values/volumes and other key indicators of regional trade integration (such as reduction in transit times in key corridors or key legal/regulatory/procedural reforms). In addition, the analysis prioritized a list of potential interventions in sectors and countries that would help to further integrate trade regionally.

New Economic Opportunities Impact Evaluation

Georgia, April 2012—April 2015

Banyan Global is the prime contractor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Georgia to manage the longitudinal impact evaluation of the New Economic Opportunities (NEO) project. NEO aims to increase rural incomes, reduce poverty levels, improve food security, and address critical, small-scale household and agricultural water constraints in targeted communities. NEO also targets internally displaced persons (IDP) to sustainably maintain their households and assist communities distressed by natural or other disasters. Banyan Global is leading an evaluation of NEO in consortium with Counterpart International and the United Nations Association of Georgia. During the next three years, the evaluation team will measure NEO’s effectiveness and provide project implementers with data to help direct resources to high-impact interventions. The team will employ a mixed-methods evaluation, utilizing a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques to answer questions related to NEO’s community-level impact. The NEO evaluation will generate important knowledge about economic-growth programming: what has worked, what has not worked, and why. This learning will inform USAID decision-makers and project designers to refine and improve future interventions. The NEO project evaluation is part of a new evaluation trend within USAID to hire third-party experts to assess ongoing projects as a means of identifying elements of project effectiveness and guiding future resource allocations.

Monitoring and Evaluation System for Middle East North Africa Investment Initiative

Middle East, 2015

USAID launched the Middle East North Africa Investment Initiative (MENA II) as an approach to improve investor and business access to equity capital, contribute to the development of the investment ecosystem, advance development of the financial system, and encourage increased equity investment in early stage businesses in participating countries. USAID has made selections and awards to partners to implement MENA II in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and West Bank. USAID is interested in measuring the impact of this initiative within and across these countries. The purpose of this project has been to conduct the following to assist in the development of an impact evaluation program and plan:

  • Develop MENA II regionwide impact indicators. Indicators across all countries are being developed as a way to measure impact and compare effectiveness.
  • Develop initial country-specific impact evaluation approaches. Because of the uniqueness of each country, the impact indicators may need to be measured using different data collection or evaluation methodologies that recognize local contextual nuances, country-specific MENA II approaches, and resource or evaluation constraints. Through this activity, Banyan Global will help USAID review options for evaluating MENA II’s impact and then select the most appropriate evaluation methodologies.

The identified indicators and evaluation approaches will serve as a precursor to collecting baseline data and then impact data periodically throughout the life of MENA II. Ultimately, these efforts will support an analysis of this innovative initiative’s development impact and help compare MENA II’s performance across the aforementioned countries.

Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS)

Global, October 2009–January 2016

SHOPS is the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) flagship project to increase the private sector’s provision of high-quality reproductive health, family planning, HIV and AIDS, and other health services and products in developing countries. To achieve these goals SHOPS provides technical leadership in optimal private-sector strategies; explores innovative approaches to expanding and improving the private sector’s provision of priority services; synthesizes and disseminates proven strategies, research findings, and tools; and provides country-level support in developing and scaling up successful private-sector approaches. As a subcontractor to Abt Associates on SHOPS, Banyan Global led the access to the access to finance component of the project.  Banyan Global provided technical assistance to financial institutions to lend to the health sector; supported the structuring and utilization of USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) guarantee to share risk with local banks; developed business training and consulting services for private health providers to improve business and financial management capacity; and improved market linkages through private sector trade fairs and association capacity building. Banyan Global also worked to support human resources for health by strengthening private medical training institutions and exploring options to expand medical student financing. Banyan Global worked in Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Senegal, Benin, Uganda, Kenya, and Bangladesh through the SHOPS project.

Improved Employment Outcomes: Best Practices Assessment, USAID Middle East Bureau


Under the Asia Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices project, Banyan Global worked with USAID’s Middle East Bureau to identify approaches and successful case studies of multifaceted solutions to sustainable job creation in high-unemployment countries. The assignment identified practical tools to integrate job creation and job placement best practices and lessons learned into economic growth programming in the Middle East region. The final deliverable was a Middle East focused job creation and job placement report, “Best Practices and Approaches for Better Employment Outcomes in the Middle East Region,” which includes a primer on best practices, sample indicators, case studies of several types of employment generation/job placement approaches, and sample scopes of work that can be used by USAID field officers. As a diagnostic tool on how best to apply these approaches and case studies to the Middle East context, the report highlights the critical job creation and job placement success factors demonstrated in each approach and the relevance of these success factors to Middle East developing countries. The report also contains suggested indicators to track progress and results of Middle East job creation and job placement programs.

Banyan Global’s team gathered secondary and primary data to analyze approximately 15 projects that incorporated demand-driven, private sector-oriented, and cost effective approaches to job creation for vulnerable populations. We researched and wrote the part of the report focusing on sustainable livelihoods approaches that foster self-employment or enhanced micro or small business employment. We gathered the information through field assessments to analyze a small number of high impact approaches in detail.

Supporting Opportunities in Livelihoods Development Project

Sri Lanka, 2014

As a subcontractor to Chemonics, Banyan Global worked in Sri Lanka in 2014 to assist USAID to expand its livelihoods work through the Supporting Opportunities in Livelihoods Development (SOLID) pilot activity. The SOLID pilot activity’s purpose is to strengthen the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in selected areas of Sri Lanka. SOLID will achieve this purpose through strengthening the capacity of vulnerable households to contribute productively in economically competitive value chains in a manner that generates sustained increases in financial, physical, social, and human capital for targeted beneficiaries. After significant analysis, USAID/Sri Lanka determined that opportunities in the dairy, poultry, and horticulture sectors will be the most viable in strengthening the livelihoods of vulnerable populations and putting them on a path toward a more sustainable future.

Banyan Global proposed districts in Sri Lanka that the SOLID activity will target for implementation, created a short-list of regional implementing partners for future subcontracting based on the district selection, proposed the value chains that the SOLID activity should focus on within each district during implementation, and shortlisted private sector counterparts. Potential target districts include Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, Monaragala, Polonnaruwa, and Badulla. The selection process considered the following: density of vulnerable households; viability of dairy, poultry, and horticulture livelihood activities for targeted beneficiaries; presence of milk production groups and private sector partners to link producers to sustainable markets; and existence of appropriately skilled local institutions through which to implement interventions.

Banyan Global’s Senior Poultry Specialist led the execution of the selection process that considered the potential impact of bolstering the poultry value chain for each proposed district, and the capacity of potential regional implementing partners to contribute to SOLID’s future work in the poultry sector.

USAID Value Chain Assessment in Pakistan

Pakistan, 2013

Under the Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices project, Banyan Global fielded a senior value chain expert who participated on an USAID team to identify constraints and opportunities in Pakistan’s selected value chains based on the value chains’ ability to create employment and increase incomes in urban areas. The team reviewed information technology, garments, leather, pharmaceuticals, herbal medicine, marble, and surgical instruments as value chains. Information technology was highlighted as a particularly important value chain in part due to its potential to increase youth employment. Banyan Global identified the specific business enabling environment issues, including management, technological, labor force, financial, marketing and infrastructure, that hinder improvements in the competitiveness of specific value chains. Based on this analysis, Banyan Global made recommendations for an implementation strategy to resolve these constraints to create employment, target youth, and raise incomes. We also assessed cross-cutting issues of energy, gender, finance, and the enabling environment. In addition, we developed recommendations for USAID for each value chain for follow-up interventions.

Value Chain and Competitiveness Assessment in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan, 2013

As a subcontractor to Chemonics on the Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices project, Banyan Global worked in Kyrgyzstan to help USAID to expand its efforts in the most promising value chains. This was conducted to better inform the mission about key economic problems and issues in the Kyrgyz Republic. It provided analytical support to existing and potential economic projects and supported USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy process. The value chain assessment included extensive literature reviews, in-country focus group and individual interviews with donors, the public, private sector, and civil society. Specifically, the study undertook a value chain assessment of the tourism and textile sectors, coupled with an in-depth review of the business enabling environment.

Livelihoods/Vulnerable Populations Assessment

Sri Lanka, 2012-2013

Banyan Global conducted the Livelihoods/Vulnerable Populations Assessment under the Asia and Middle East Economic Growth Best Practices project as a sub-contractor to Chemonics.  Banyan Global studied the economic climate in Sri Lanka related to addressing the livelihoods of vulnerable populations in historically conflict-affected areas. In particular, the work assessed the impediments to inclusive economic development of vulnerable populations in Sri Lanka (especially in the North, and the Eastern Districts of North and South Trincomalee and West Batticaloa) disadvantaged by the 26 year civil war, in order to increase economic participation and growth and lead to reconciliation. Special attention and analysis was given to the situation of you and women, particularly in the North, to identify constraints that can be relieved (such as reforming land tenure rights to increase farming activities) and opportunities for programming to create livelihood opportunities, particularly for the most vulnerable, such as Tamil women, war widows and youth.

Banyan Global assessed the constraints to economic growth for vulnerable populations, identified opportunities to increase access to livelihoods assistance for these populations, and developed a strategy for the USAID mission to address these issues over the next several years. We presented recommendations for proposed interventions for USAID/Sri Lanka to implement through existing and new activities to increase livelihoods, jobs and income generation for the affected populations, including women, youth, and the disabled.

Expanded Agricultural Trade Project (E-ATP)

West Africa, October 2009–September 2012

Banyan Global was a subcontractor to Abt Associates on E-ATP in West Africa. The project facilitated expanded intraregional trade of staple commodities from surplus to deficit areas of West Africa by strengthening selected value chains. The project worked in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Banyan Global was responsible for the gender mainstreaming component of E-ATP. We supported the project to integrate gender equity considerations into value chain analysis and value chain development interventions, advance policy reform initiatives, facilitate market information and financial services, and integrate gender mainstreaming into the capacity building of institutional partners.

Afghan Small and Medium Enterprise Development Project (ASMED)

Afghanistan, January 2007–January 2012

ASMED was one of the largest and most significant enterprise development projects aimed at supporting the micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sector to create jobs and opportunities in post-war Afghanistan. ASMED is composed of the following components: market information, business-development and management skills, business associations, global development alliances and grants, and human capacity building. As a subcontractor to DAI, Banyan Global led the projects monitoring and evaluation.  Banyan Global provided a full-time monitoring and evaluation specialist who monitored and reported on the results and impact of project activities. In addition Banyan Global provided input to the project’s core technical areas. Banyan Global supported a special research initiative to measure the impact of the project on generating employment. Banyan Global also provided short-term advisory work to strengthen business-development services, contributed to research and impact assessments, and improved linkages with financial-services providers. In late 2008 Banyan Global fielded a short-term training specialist who worked with local BDS firms to revise and develop new materials for an accounting and bookkeeping course targeting MSMEs financed by the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan. After piloting the course, the trainer worked closely with business-development service firms to revise course materials and develop a plan for rolling out the course to other financial institutions in Afghanistan. In 2009 we provided short-term technical assistance focusing on access to finance for potential clients at the bottom of the pyramid, as well as technical support and capacity building to the Afghan Bankers’ Association.

Strengthening Evaluation and Assessment of Poverty and Conflict/Fragility Interventions Grants Under Contract (GUC)

Global, July 2009–December 2010

In July 2009 Banyan Global was awarded one of five grants under USAID’s GUC entitled Strengthening Evaluation and Assessment of Poverty and Conflict/Fragility Interventions. The overall project advances best practices in economic growth and conflict mitigation by providing tools and methodologies for practitioners to measure the impact of economic opportunity interventions on poverty and conflict. Under this grant Banyan Global is designing a monitoring and evaluation framework to measure the impact of enterprise-development and employment-generation programs on conflict and poverty at the household and community levels. Banyan Global is designing a baseline and final assessment tool and broader research methodology to assess the impact of entrepreneurship and enterprise-development support on the employees of supported enterprises, particularly in relation to poverty and conflict. The methodology is being designed around an entrepreneurship-support program in Afghanistan implemented by the Business Council for Peace, which supports women entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict countries. Our focus on impacts at the employee level will provide a broader picture of the diffused impact of enterprise-development activities, while making the framework relevant to a broad range of early economic recovery interventions, which often focus on employment generation.