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Guides for Value-Chain development: A comparative review


This article reviews 11 guides for value-chain analysis and development. It compares the guides’ concepts, objectives, and methods and identifies strengths, weaknesses, and gaps. The assessment characterizes the state of the art for designing interventions and interactions that seek to build value chains with smallholders. The article is organized as follows: the next section presents the methodology applied in carrying out the review, the following section presents the results of this review, and the final section provides concluding comments.

For the purposes of this review, we considered a guide to include a book, document, or Internet-based platform that provides users with a logical sequence of activities for designing and implementing VCD with smallholders and other chain actors. At a minimum, implementation of a guide must contribute to the generation of a strategy for (1) the design of interventions by development organizations for building mutually beneficial chain relations, (2) the design of new interactions between resource-poor chain actors (often smallholders and businesses in the upstream chain segment) and larger, better-endowed businesses further downstream, and/or (3) the design of policies that improve the institutional environment in which value-chain actors operate. Guides whose primary audience is researchers rather than development organizations or private-sector representatives were excluded in this review. In some cases, guides may aim to facilitate the building of value chains with smallholders without actually applying the concept of value chain or VCD.

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