International Development Technical Writing

I write technical documents about international development  that are compelling, insightful and a pleasure to read.

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Explore some of my published technical writing on poverty alleviation, economic development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Technical Note: Financing Farm Inputs through a Risk-Sharing Mechanism in Ghana and Burkina Faso

Increased agricultural production and well-functioning agribusiness ecosystems are keys to rural economic development, food security, climate change resilience and enhancing the livelihoods and living standards of smallholder farmers. Since improved crop production benefits many different ecosystem actors, shouldering a portion of the risk makes sense not only for farmers but also for input suppliers, farm produce buyers and financing partners. This document summarizes key lessons from a longer case study on an innovative model to support smallholder farm production and risk management.

Leveraging the Power and Progress of Women’s Financial Inclusion to Tackle Global Challenges

In the fifth in a series of blog contributions throughout the year to complement the European Microfinance Award 2022 on 'Financial Inclusion that Works for Women', Myka Reinsch Sinclair reviews Alex Counts’ latest book ‘Small Loans, Big Dreams: Grameen Bank and the Microfinance Revolution in Bangladesh, America and Beyond’, which tells stories of how financial inclusion has, leveraged small but crucial gains to released women’s dormant economic potential and tackle global challenges.

Removing Roadblocks: Leveraging Digital Technology to Increase Smallholder Farm Mechanization

In many places where the majority of smallholder farmers still operate with manual or animal labor, mechanization holds tremendous potential for increasing farm yields, opening new market opportunities for smallholders, attracting youth to the sector and boosting agricultural production. But a tractor is a major investment, and few individual, small-scale farmers have the financial resources or the justification to purchase such equipment. Meanwhile, equipment owners who could earn extra income by providing mechanization services confront the hurdles of finding and aggregating customers for profitable delivery of mechanization services.

The Business Case for Financial Inclusion of Female Smallholder Farmers

Women play a key role in small holder farming and
represent 50% of the potential customer base for
financial and other products and services geared
toward SHF. Their limited participation in parts of the
agricultural supply chain results in lost business
opportunities for SHF themselves, as well as for
agribusinesses and financial service providers. This study applies a gender lens to AGRA's five-year Mastercard-funded ‘Financial Inclusion for Smallholder Farmers in Africa Project’ (FISFAP) in analyzing why and how to tackle the disparity between women’s and men’s access to and uptake of their services.

Why Measuring Child-Level Impacts Can Help Achieve Lasting Economic Change

Significant global investment is currently devoted to “economic strengthening” activities in developing countries with the goals of addressing the short-term needs of poor people and enabling entire communities to overcome poverty and live healthy, productive lives. This paper presents an argument for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of child wellbeing related to such economic strengthening efforts.

Costs and benefits of microfinance institutions offering health protection services to clients

Five microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Bénin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, India and the Philippines developed and offered health protection services to microfinance clients: health education, health loans, health savings, health micro-insurance, linkages to health providers and distribution of health products. After about two years, the services were collectively reaching over 300,000 clients and are continuing to scale up. The cost to the MFI was generally low for each service (average annual net marginal cost of US$0.29 per client and average total annual cost, including allocated expenses, of $1.59 per client). Some were expected to become profitable in the near term.

Youth Financial Inclusion: Promising Examples for Achieving Youth Economic Empowerment

The purpose of this publication is to contribute to the microfinance sector’s collective knowledge base by sharing examples of promising youth financial inclusion programs around the world and the lessons emerging from them. By sharing case studies that illustrate a variety of service combinations, approaches and delivery models, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) seeks to provide the reader with useful reference points for offering savings, credit and non-financial services (especially training and mentoring) to youth.