Economic Growth

Driving trade, technology, agriculture, business, and financial services to create jobs, reduce poverty, and enhance food security.

Agriculture and Food Security

We help communities, nations, and regions address food insecurity by championing solutions that lead to resilient and sustainable livelihoods, including increasing agricultural productivity and production, expanding opportunities to increase and diversify incomes, and promoting socially and economically responsible safety nets.

We build a ladder between subsistence-level family farming and small-scale commercial agriculture. We also work to remove policy constraints that, while well-intentioned, tend to exacerbate rather than alleviate food shortages, especially during a crisis.

Our Experts


Alia Afshar-Gandhi is responsible for overseeing a portfolio of economic growth, workforce development, and competitiveness projects in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

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Edwin Berk has made a career of building the businesses of professional services companies where public and private sectors intersect. After a brief stint teaching at Yale University, he joined a public policy consulting firm.

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Duke Burruss has deep technical expertise in agricultural and rural development, marketing and distribution, competitive value chains, international trade, and public-private partnerships, and has managed numerous complex regional projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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With more than 30 years of experience, Chuck Chopak is Vice President of Development Results

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Lief Doerring is a senior international development expert, leader, and portfolio manager with more than 20 years of experience working in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific.

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Ric Goodman’s focus is on solutions to extreme poverty and vulnerability, often in hard to reach areas. He broadened his work to include the provision of goods and services to populations in remote areas, often in fragile ecosystems and environments, where people’s livelihoods are inherently fragile.

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Bronwyn Irwin is an agricultural economist who specializes in strengthening agricultural market systems to increase competitiveness while preserving natural resources, increasing food security, and integrating gender.

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Rich Magnani has worked in agriculture and agribusiness for more than 30 years—first in commercial consulting and the past 25 years at DAI with a continuing focus on agriculture development by leveraging public private partnerships.

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Robert Salerno a global health and development practitioner with 15 years of experience working on complex development projects for a variety of donor and private sector clients.

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Joe Sanders has 18 years of experience, including more than 10 years of full-time management experience on projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Our Projects


Afghanistan—Regional Agricultural Development Program (RADP–North)

Through partnerships with USAID, Afghan Government agencies, and myriad development projects focused on stability, infrastructure, and agriculture, RADP-North leverages investments in agricultural value chains to optimize cost-effectiveness and incorporate lessons learned.

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East Africa—Trade and Investment Hub

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub is the U.S. Government’s flagship project under the presidential Trade Africa initiative, which works to increase U.S.-Africa trade and investment, regional integration, and competitiveness.

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Guatemala—Nexos Locales

Nexos Locales works with municipalities in Guatemala’s Western Highlands to foster more responsive, inclusive, and effective socio-economic development while reducing local vulnerabilities such as food insecurity and natural disasters. To achieve this goal, the project works at the intersection—or nexos—of good governance.

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Honduras—Technical Assistance to Food Security, Nutrition, and Climate Resilience in the Dry Corridor (EUROSAN)

The work of EUROSAN is focused on the dry corridor in Honduras, home to some of the country’s most marginalised citizens. DAI provides technical assistance under this five-year food security and nutrition project, which is led by Belgium-based Agriconsulting and supported by DAI and Nicaragua-based Simbiosis.

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Kenya—Hunger Safety Net Programme Phase 2 (HSNP2)

Through the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP), more than 600,000 of Kenya’s most vulnerable people have access to cash transfers on a regular basis and up to 2,100,000 people reached with emergency cash transfers in times of drought or flood.

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Lebanon—Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD)

The Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) project is a five-year program aimed at improving Lebanon’s economic stability and providing income-generating opportunities for small business while creating jobs for the rural population, in particular women and youth.

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Mozambique—Innovation for Agribusiness (InovAgro I, II, III)

Innovation for Agribusiness works to increase revenue for small farmers in northern Mozambique by promoting the development of inclusive and sustainable market systems.

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Afghanistan—Regional Agricultural Development Program (RADP-East)

With plans for key infrastructure investments such as electrification and regional airports hubs, the farmers and agribusinesses of eastern Afghanistan are well positioned to take part in the country’s growing economy and benefit from expanding international trade opportunities.

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Somalia—Promoting Inclusive Markets in Somalia (PIMS)

The Promoting Inclusive Markets in Somalia (PIMS) programme addresses critical market constraints in Somalia largely through co-investment with Somali firms, to stimulate the creation of long-term jobs, increase smallholder incomes, and leverage private sector investment.

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Feed the Future Southern Africa Seed Trade Project

This project provides technical assistance to help harmonize seed regulations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which will allow seed trade across the region, thereby integrating smaller and isolated national markets into one larger SADC market for seeds.

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Worldwide—Advisory Service Social Transfers (ASiST III) Programme

DAI is helping the European Commission to increase the impact, quality, coverage, and sustainability of social transfer schemes that target food and nutrition security.

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Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub

The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub engages with partners across Southern Africa to deepen regional economic integration, promote two-way trade with the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and attract investment that drives commercial expansion within the region and to global markets.

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Mozambique—Feed the Future Agricultural Innovations (INOVA)

The Feed the Future Agricultural Innovations (INOVA) project partners with farmers, businesses, and policymakers to explore ways to improve production and increase sales of key cash crops vital to Mozambique’s economy.

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Zimbabwe—Technical Assistance to the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP)

The Technical Assistance to the Zimbabwe Agriculture Growth Programme addresses critical weaknesses in the country’s livestock value chains. The programme takes innovative approaches to strengthening local institutions, building capacity, and promoting policy reforms that improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers.

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Afghanistan Value Chains (AVC)–Livestock

The Afghanistan Value Chains–Livestock project helps livestock farmers and related agribusinesses to increase productivity and create jobs by expanding into new markets, attracting investors, and improving efficiency.

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Afghanistan Value Chains–High Value Crops (AVC–High Value Crops)

Afghanistan Value Chains–High Value Crops works with leading Afghan firms in select agriculture value chains to improve efficiency and profitability, driving rapid growth and creating jobs for men, women, and youth.

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