Value chains for Pro-poor Development - methodology

The research programme Value Chains 4 Pro-poor Development builds on the premise that pro-poor value chain development needs an integrative approach that combines competitive business strategies with, on the one hand, interventions focused on governance and institutional arrangements inside a value chain and, on the other hand, strategies that effectively link value chains with enabling policy and institutional environments.

Action research provides an experimental setting for designing and testing of socio-technical interventions that may alter the functioning of and institutional arrangements in existing agri-food chains to the benefit of pro-poor development. The formulation of distinct hypotheses is for this purpose an important task; the programme aims to select a few strategic hypotheses that inform policy and practice, are rooted in theoretical discourse, and can be tested with scientific rigour. Conditional for action research is to align with on-going initiatives and/or partnerships that are engaged in change processes in agri-food chains. Therefore, pro-active consultation within business networks and within the networks of AgriProFocus and Agriterra is done to identify promising initiatives. Eventually, translations of the experimental and analytical findings have to find their way to donor strategies focusing on strategic levers for pro-poor development.


Goal: Strategic levers and experimental settings for pro-poor development within existing agri-food chains have been identified and policymakers and practitioners integrated validated sets of interventions and tools related to agro-food value chains in their policies, programmes and projects aimed at pro-poor economic growth and development.

Purpose: The methodological development, the consultative selection process, and the design of an evaluative analytical framework laid the foundation for both scientific rigour and embedding in on-going change process of the implemented action researches, which are translated to donor strategies and action oriented programmes of business and development practitioners aimed at pro-poor economic growth and development.