Last week I found out that I will be working with EWB’s Agriculture Value Chains(AVC) team in either Kenya or Uganda.
My initial thoughts on this: East Africa? Sweet! I’m gonna climb Mt. Kilimanjaro! But AVC? I’ve been part of EWB for two years, and I still don’t understand what AVC does! I have no idea how to explain this to my friends…
Since last week, I’ve done my best to boil down AVC’s approach and strategy to the absolute basics, in infographic form. This is definitely over-simplified, but now I feel like I have a better understanding of the system I’ll be working within, and hopefully this will make sense to you too. If you have any questions about AVC, or feedback on the infographic itself, I’d love for you to comment below!
(Click to enlarge)
I know that the circular visual above has been a bit unclear to some of my friends. I’ve copied it from an AVC team powerpoint, but here’s how it works in my mind: “Organizational Capacity” is like the axle of the wheel. It provides support and stability, but it isn’t attached to the wheel. “Relationships”, “Ownership”, “Incentives” and “Light Touch & Exit Strategy” are the active outcomes that drive the market system forward. When the wheel gets spinning fast enough, you can carefully pull the axle out, and the wheel will continue spinning on its own. (Engineer friends, this is a very loose analogy. Please don’t get too caught up in analysis of the physics behind this. Things get shaky if the wheel hits a bump in the road… Haha, I’m soo punny!)
Also, Market Facilitation seems to be a bit like Enterprise Facilitation (which I touched on in an earlier post) applied to larger systems, rather than just individual entrepreneurs.