Value chain development in Nicaragua: Prevailing approaches and tools used for design and implementation
This article draws on four contrasting cases of value chain development (VCD) in Nicaraguato assess approaches and tools used in design and implementation. We interviewed28 representatives from the international NGOs leading the interventions, the local NGOsthat participated in implementation, principal buyers, and cooperatives. Despite thecomplexity of market systems, results showed a relatively basic approach to VCD, reflectedin: 1) reliance on a single tool for design and implementation; 2) expected outcomes basedon technical assistance and training for smallholders and cooperatives; 3) local NGOsand cooperatives with key roles in implementation; and 4) limited engagement with otherchain actors, service providers, and researchers. We conclude with a call for a broaderapproach to VCD, based on a combination of tools to account for multiple, context-specificneeds of diverse stakeholders, deeper collaboration between key actors within and outsidethe value chain, and evidence-based reflection and learning.