USAID Final BoP Report
The WDI research team that spent a year examining donor- and enterprise-led value chain initiatives and exploring how a BoP perspective can enhance the integration of these efforts – as it relates to base of the pyramid (BoP) producers – completed its report.
You can visit a USAID online publication to read an article about the report and access the full report by clicking here.
The WDI team of Senior Research Fellow Ted London and Ross School of Business Professor Ravi Anupindi did extensive desk research, talked with a variety of field experts, and spent two weeks conducting research in Zambia and Kenya in March 2010. This was followed by two weeks in India in May 2010 visiting additional value chain programs and BoP enterprises.
Afterwards, the two presented their core findings to a group of USAID and AED officials in Washington, D.C., as well as implementing partners involved in USAID value chain projects. A second presentation was given at the offices of The QED Group, also in Washington, D.C., in order to reach as many implementing partners as possible. The project was funded by USAID.
London and Anupindi collected input from the meetings as well as from a three-day online “e-consultation” to complete their report.
In the final report, London and Anupindi said the donor- and enterprise-led value chain initiatives have overlapping objectives but different perspectives on how to serve the poor. For these initiatives to achieve their promise as sustainable and scalable approaches, development and business efforts must become better integrated. The emerging base of the pyramid (BoP) domain offers insights into how this can occur.
Donor-led initiatives target industry sub-sectors and often entail intervention within multiple value chains. This approach, based on the donor’s design, ensures that certain goals and objectives will be met on the ground. The positive results, however, may be constrained by the limited duration of the project and the level of investment provided.
In contrast, the premise of enterprise-led initiatives is to identify business opportunities and build competitive advantage. It emphasizes minimizing risks and small-scale experimentation to test business models, and thus does not ensure that a specific investment will be made. The opportunities for scale and continued growth, however, are substantial.
London and Anupindi said the BoP perspective, which relies on a proposition of mutual value creation, can enhance the integration of these two approaches by developing a partnering model based on collaborative interdependence.