2.5 Value Chains

The value chain approach has traditionally been associated with rural farmers, typically older males. For the past several years, the YED sector has been adapting the approach to work with non-traditional populations, such as adolescent girls and young women or urban populations. This year, presenters at the 2012 GYEOC described rich learning experiences that deliver on a key challenge for equitable enterprise development—drawing marginalized or vulnerable young people into the market economy. From rural girls in conflict-affected Nepal, to “unattached” urban males in the slum neighborhoods of Jamaica, to food-aid dependent HIV-affected populations in Kenya, presenters discussed how to tweak value chain approaches to work for these non-traditional populations.

Winrock International, a non-profit organization that works to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources, identified the following concepts for a value chain approach: mutually-beneficial or “win-win” linkages, innovation or upgrading products and processes, and adding value for producers, consumers, and other linked value chains. The Competitiveness Company, a global project management and consultancy firm based in Jamaica and specializing in data- and market-driven implementation, analytics, research, and strategy, developed this model to illustrate program design with a value chain approach 1.


  • 1. The Competitiveness Company Presentation at the 2012 GYEOC.