Banyan Global operates seamlessly within four practice areas:
For decades economic-development practitioners have been exploring the links between economic growth, poverty, and conflict. Support to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) often is assumed to contribute to reducing poverty and mitigating conflicts, particularly when such interventions are connected to a broader industry or value chain development approach. But the specific dynamics involved in this process have not been investigated thoroughly. With a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Banyan Global is leveraging its expertise in enterprise development, gender mainstreaming, and research and evaluation to design and assess support to MSMEs in conflict environments, focusing on MSMEs owned and operated by women entrepreneurs.
In July 2009, Banyan Global was awarded one of five grants under USAID’s Grants Under Contract 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 household- and community-level instances of conflict and poverty. Banyan Global is creating a baseline and final assessment tool and broader research methodology to assess the impact on poverty and conflict of entrepreneurship and enterprise development support, particularly to women. The tool is being designed and piloted in collaboration with the Business Council for Peace (Bpeace), which supports female entrepreneurs in conflict and post-conflict countries. The tool focuses on evaluating the impact on employees of Bpeace-supported enterprises, which will provide a broader picture of the diffused impact of enterprise-development activities while making the framework relevant to a wide range of early economic recovery interventions that often concentrate on employment generation.
In addition to designing this individual methodology, Banyan Global is participating in a learning network with the other four grantees. This network synthesizes lessons learned and practical applications from the five individual projects, resulting in a common pool of indicators and easily adaptable tools.