Economic Growth

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

Market Systems and Value Chain

We are a global leader in implementing market systems development programs, expanding the frontiers for driving competitive, inclusive, and resilient growth. We have been at the forefront of integrating the value chain approach and the Making Markets Work for the Poor approach (M4P) within the broader systemic thinking. Since 2010, we have implemented more than 50 market systems development projects in 42 countries, and for clients including the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Chevron, and Kosmos Energy. Our approach addresses the root causes of systemic constraints, empowering local actors in the market system to understand underlying problems and find solutions, all while adopting a facilitative approach to ensure long-term impact at scale.

We engage private sector actors to co-design and co-create market-based and enterprise-led interventions that value and actively engage a broader set of system actors, specifically the rural poor and other marginalized groups.

  • In Bangladesh, DAI forged agreements with 42 of the most influential private sector firms and helped facilitate $19.4 million in new private sector investment that drove inclusive growth.
  • In Mozambique, DAI leveraged project funds to strategically buy down risk and co-finance with farmers and agribusiness to promote investments in equipment upgrades, climate-smart agriculture, input distribution, smallholder farmer access to finance, and women’s empowerment.
  • In Nigeria, DAI applied a market systems approach in the conflict-affected areas of the Niger Delta across 17 sectors—agricultural, livestock, manufacturing, renewable energy, and the entertainment industry—by facilitating relationships between lead firms and local service providers, who supported 700,000 smallholder farmers through commercially driven models.

Our most successful market systems projects work at the nexus of government and its interactions with the private sector to create a conducive enabling environment for inclusive growth.

  • In Ethiopia, we have assisted the government to develop sectoral growth strategies in conjunction with the private sector and then supported their implementation using market systems approaches.
  • In Mozambique, we have enhanced the regulatory framework for seed certification and supported the rollout of new licensing regulations to make commodity trading easier and less expensive.
  • In Nigeria, we worked with state governments to adapt their policies and implementation to include sustainable approaches. In each case, changes made it easier for the private sector to drive inclusive growth.

Our Experts


Melanie Bittle is a Principal Global Practice Manager for DAI’s Agriculture, Market Systems, and Resilience practice.

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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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Arsalan Faheem works with our London-based Private Sector Development practice, where he is responsible for advising DAI’s portfolio of economic development programmes, as well as growing the practice through client development.

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Bill Grant is a pioneer in developing market systems development approaches through his work on developing and applying value chain and Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approaches on 25 long-term projects in more than 30 countries.

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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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Tom Lenaghan is a specialist in agricultural value chain and market systems approaches to development.

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James McIntyre Brown is the Health Practice Director for Europe and joined DAI in May 2017.

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Kirsten Pfeiffer leads the design and implementation of complex agriculture market systems and investment facilitation projects.

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Zaki Raheem is private sector development specialist, where he engages in market assessments that look to link micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises and producers to growing markets.

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Bhairav Raja is a Client Lead in DAI’s Sustainable Business Group, based in London.

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Kongkona Sarma is an economist with more than 15 years of experience working primarily in areas of investment facilitation, business environment reform, and monitoring and evaluation.

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Katja Silva-Leander is a Director at DAI, specialized in inclusive economic growth, with 20 years of experience working in the financial services and international development fields.

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David Tardif-Douglin is an agricultural economist with expertise in capacity building, training, and managing and overseeing multiple technical teams operating in multiple project sites.

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Our Projects


Worldwide—Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP)

The Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships activity (MSP) helps the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) advance learning and good practice in integrating private sector engagement across all activities, while at the same time deepening market systems development across the Feed the Future program cycle.

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Uganda—Feed the Future Inclusive Agricultural Markets (IAM)

The Feed the Future Inclusive Agricultural Markets Activity works to increase incomes and improve livelihoods in Uganda by promoting agriculture-led economic growth.

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Ethiopia—Strengthening Host and Refugee Populations (SHARPE)

SHARPE works to bring about systemic improvements in the protracted refugee situation affecting three regions in Ethiopia, enabling refugees and their host communities to become more economically resilient.

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Afghanistan Value Chains (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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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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Mozambique—Feed the Future Agricultural Innovations (FTF Inova)

The Feed the Future Agricultural Innovations (FTF 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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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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Uzbekistan—USAID Agricultural Value Chains Activity (Uzbekistan AVC)

The USAID Agricultural Value Chains Activity in Uzbekistan improved the quality and volume of agricultural production and post-harvest handling and production, facilitated market linkages, and linked educational institutions with private sector demand.

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Ghana—Market Development (MADE) in Northern Ghana

This project is part of DAI’s framework contract with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and is being implemented by Nathan Associates UK. DAI is consulting the project on aspects of climate resilience.

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Ethiopia—Enterprise Partners/Private Enterprise Programme Ethiopia (PEPE)

This program helps generate access to finance, good quality jobs, and increased incomes for Ethiopia’s poor. DAI works with consortium partners First Consult (Ethiopia), Itad (United Kingdom), Enclude (Netherlands), and BCaD.

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Ethiopia—Land Investment for Transformation (LIFT)

The Land Investment for Transformation programme is raising incomes for the rural poor and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia and enhancing economic growth through second-level land certification and improved rural land administration.

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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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