Women living in poverty occupy a large and growing role in agricultural production in developing countries, leading many development practitioners to focus interventions targeting women on production-related activities where scale can more easily be achieved. However, with the spread of the market systems development approach, practitioners are identifying innovative ways to address market constraints and catalyze women’s economic empowerment through new entry points. Examples include interventions that promote roles for women as traders and intermediaries, as key providers of extension or veterinary services, or in marketing and retail sales.
This webinar followed the recent publication of a BRIEF supported by the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) project, which seeks to enhance USAID programs, projects, and activities focused on creating inclusive market systems. Building on examples provided in the brief, which outlines strategies and entry point for promoting women’s roles beyond production, presenters provided learning from a range of innovative strategies for expanding how women can benefit more fully from market systems development.
Jenn Williamson, ACDI/VOCA
Jenn Williamson is Director of Gender Mainstreaming and Women’s Empowerment at ACDI/VOCA, managing the Gender and Behavior Change Unit in the Technical Learning and Application Division. She oversees strategic gender equity initiatives, including the adoption and implementation of ACDI/VOCA’s policy for promoting gender equity, trainings, workshops, gender analyses, and assessments for international programs funded by agencies and foundations including USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank. Prior to taking on a director role, Jenn worked as the headquarters Gender Technical Specialist for Counterpart International, where she led the development of gender integration policies, tools, and resources and provided strategic guidance and technical support in gender integration across the organization. An expert researcher and writer, Dr. Williamson has designed many program tools and resources in addition to publishing three books, multiple research articles, and has served as editor of an academic journal. Dr. Williamson holds a B.A. in Studies in Women and Gender and English from the University of Virginia as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in English, with a concentration in gender, race, and intersectionality, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Adam Bramm, MEDA
Adam Bramm is the Associate Director for the West Africa and MENA region at MEDA. As such, he supports a portfolio of projects both technically and operationally, and develops new business opportunities within the region. He also manages two projects directly in Ghana and Libya that focus specifically on women’s economic empowerment. Mr. Bramm has over 10 years of international development experience and is based in the Washington DC office.
Kamila Wasilkowska, MarketShare Associates
Kamila is a Managing Consultant at MarketShare Associates (MSA). Since joining MSA in 2015, Kamila has led a variety of consultancies including work on challenge funds and women’s and girl’s economic empowerment on the DFID, USAID and Nike Foundation-funded SPRING Accelerator, as well as the DFID-funded Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund. She also works with impact investors across Africa to measure agricultural and gender impact. Kamila specializes in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating development programs with a focus on gender equality. She has experience leading evaluations in a variety of sectors including private sector development, agriculture, health, and nutrition, WaSH, education and Gender Based Violence. Kamila has led a variety of consultancies including work under DFID, USAID, Mercy Corps, UNDP and UNWOMEN across Africa and Asia. She holds a Master of Science in Gender and Research from the London School of Economics, and a Master in Social Anthropology from Edinburgh University.
Krista Jacobs, USAID
Krista Jacobs is a Gender Advisor in USAID's Bureau for Food Security, where she supports Feed the Future. She is a development economist whose work focuses on gender, food security, and assets. Current and recent work includes advising agricultural projects on gender integration, program evaluation, developing methods to measure women’s and men’s land and asset rights, building gender capacity of community-based programs, and building the monitoring and evaluation capacity of local civil-society organizations. Her work has focused in East and West Africa. Dr. Jacobs holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis.