Our Signature Tools embody our most effective strategies to empower people to succeed in the global economy. Our diverse tools help projects communicate behavior change, strengthen individual capacity, facilitate collective action, locate value chain opportunities, foster smallholder growth, determine market return, parlay farms into businesses, evaluate risk and open credit, and boost farmers’ profitability, among others. By helping practitioners meet the unique challenges of the markets and communities in which they operate, these tools result in more successful and sustainable projects.
The members of the vulnerable and food-insecure communities with whom ACDI/VOCA works are among the least able to adapt and most likely to be seriously affected by climatic changes and their impacts. Overcoming climate threats and increasing resilience will require a transformation of smallholder agricultural systems and the markets with which they interact.
The Mosaic suite covers a range of situations in which emerging climate vulnerabilities have required rethinking how we support agricultural communities and markets.
Ensuring equal access to productive resources and economic decisions can significantly increase yields and enable families to allocate more income to food, health, and children. GenderFirst identifies interventions in households, markets, enterprises, and community groups to ensure equitable benefits for all people. GenderFirst empowers all people – both women and men – to succeed in the global economy.
Too often, rural households have limited means to grow or acquire diverse foods. This lack of vital nutrients results in severe illness, child malnutrition, and even death. NutriMap defines pathways for smallholder farmers to access adequate amounts of nutritious foods. NutriMap identifies accessible channels of nutrition through increased income, production, and women’s empowerment.
The MarketFinder toolkit includes a group of four tools (Market Window, Cost Benefit, Risk assessment, and Trade Analysis) which allow a project or company to identify the most profitable products to promote. These four tools can be used independently or in combination. Together with Market Flow and Market Facilitator, these tools form the basis of ACDI/VOCA’s Market Intelligence Suite.
Inefficient value chains limit profitable transactions and critical investments, disproportionally affecting the incomes of rural households. MarketFlow provides a strategic approach for improving overall market competitiveness. MarketFlow identifies value chain constraints in reaching end market opportunities while surfacing the best intervention points to foster inclusive growth of small firms and smallholder farmers.
Without access to credit, farmers cannot purchase the improved seed, fertilizer, and other inputs needed to increase their yields and incomes. Profit Planner provides lenders with insightful modes of analysis to identify the appropriate financial products that will enable smallholders to become more productive. Profit Planner empowers financial institutions and agribusinesses to analyze the financial constraints smallholder farmers face.
Smallholder farmers have limited capital to invest in their farms. It is not always clear to which activities they should commit their efforts and resources. Cultivate assesses all practices and inputs throughout the production season to provide farmers with clear options and profitability estimates. Cultivate systematically identifies the inputs and production practices that will result in the highest return for farmers.
Smallholder farmers have difficulty accessing markets due to limited product volume and inconsistent quality. Belonging to a well-managed group can link farmers to these markets. Sell More For More (SMFM) empowers farmer cooperatives and aggregators to develop marketing plans and meet buyer specifications. SMFM develops the capacity of these groups to sell more product for more income.
Project staff and stakeholders often feel isolated from the bigger picture of project design. The STAIRS work-planning guide helps projects and external stakeholders to effectively plan activities in an inclusive and participatory manner. Through the open and transparent process of STAIRS, all staff and stakeholders can inform the work plan and gain a complete understanding of project activities.
Local organizations have the potential to offer critical services and products to their communities, but often lack the skills and resources needed to meet client needs. Aptitude develops local organizational leaders so that they can attain sustainable practices and establish viable networks for continued growth. It also empowers local organizations to strengthen individual capacity and to improve their ability to act collectively.