Walmart, WDI Team Up Again on Inclusive Supply Chains

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WDI’s Scaling Impact Initiative is working with Walmart to chronicle what the retail giant has learned from its efforts to include small producers in global supply chains.

A woman decorates her clay dish with a bamboo stick brush. Image credit: Nevil Zaveri, via Flickr.

The successes, challenges, and lessons learned will become a policy brief and a teaching case, both written by WDI in collaboration with Professor Linda Scott of Oxford University’s Said Business School. Both documents will be published this spring, and are geared toward Walmart and other retailers looking to develop more effective sourcing programs in the future.

WDI Vice President of Scaling Impact Ted London and Research Manager Colm Fay, along with Scott, are studying two Walmart programs.

One is Empowering Women Together, which sources handicrafts from women-owned base of the pyramid businesses in East Africa, Nepal, India and other emerging markets to sell online. The other is Direct Farm, which buys fresh fruits and vegetables from small- and medium-sized farmers to supply Walmart’s stores in Central and South America, Mexico, South Africa, and India.

The team has interviewed managers from Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, and their implementing partners.

This is the second collaboration between WDI and Walmart. Last year, WDI Publishing released a case study on the evolution of a global cross-sector partnership between Walmart and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The case looked at what had been gleaned – both positive and negative – during the 15-year collaboration between the two organizations.

The free case, “Walmart and USAID: The Evolution of a Global Cross-Sector Partnership,” focused on partnerships that sought to engage smallholder farmers in the developing world, and highlighted examples from Honduras, Guatemala, Rwanda and Bangladesh. It explored the ways in which these collaborations came about, how they were supported by the partners, and the level of success achieved as measured by Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, and USAID.

The case also identified lessons learned for the future of the Walmart/USAID collaboration, and insights that may apply to the development of public-private partnerships for development more broadly.

In addition, NextBillion’s Kyle Poplin wrote a post on how the case was developed. And Beth Keck, senior director of Women’s Economic Empowerment at Walmart, sat down for a video interview with WDI’s London about the company’s global work.

Image courtesy of Navel Zaveri/Flickr.

Back to Top