Call for papers: “Enterprise Development and Microfinance” special edition on value chain development in agriculture


by Evgeniya Anisimova | February 26, 2016

Enterprise Development and Microfinance (EDM), a peer-reviewed international journal providing a forum for those involved in designing and running value chain and private sector development programs and microfinance in developing countries, invites researchers and development practitioners to share their unique insights on the topic in the new special edition titled “Value chain development in agriculture: improved support for smallholders and SMEs”. The issue will be published in December 2016; deadline for abstract submission is 13 May 2016, for article submission – 29 July 2016.


Value chain development (VCD) features prominently in development programming aimed at stimulating poverty reduction, economic growth, increasing the competitiveness and resilience of the rural sector. The approach challenges governments, private sector, and civil society to pay special attention to individual actors, such as smallholders or cooperatives, but also to look at value chains as complex systems. There is also increasing interest in how to measure improvements in value chain performance and how such gains can contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

VCD initiatives typically focus on one or more of the following three areas:

  1. Policy environment (government rules and regulations, private sustainability standards)
  2. Links between value chain actors (bottlenecks, opportunities for win-win relationships)
  3. Service environment (access to and quality of technical, business, and financial services)

Despite the proliferation of VCD over recent years, with multi-billion dollar investments, surprisingly little is known about the methods and tools used to support VCD work, whether VCD has lived up to its expectations, what trade-offs or undesired effects have been induced, and which combinations of VCD elements, under what conditions have a higher likelihood to deliver on poverty and overall development goals.

Special issue

Topics of particular interest for this special  issue of EDM include:

  • Selection methods to target specific value chains for target farming communities
  • Success factors for achieving impact at scale (scaling models)
  • Differentiated approaches to take advantage of opportunities in local, regional, national and international markets
  • Tool kits designed to support VDC upgrading and their effectiveness in supporting vulnerable to well-endowed farmers
  • Inclusiveness (gender, youth, poor, landless) in value chains
  • Governance structures and management models for economically viable and socially inclusive rural enterprises
  • Trade-offs between specialization induced through VCD and diversification of rural livelihood strategies
  • Institutional innovations for managing risks and sharing benefits
  • Options for improved coverage and impact of technical, business and financial services for smallholders and SMEs
  • Public policies enabling VCD and fruitful interactions with the private sector (public-private partnerships)
  • Innovation in business models and investment schemes (e.g. green bonds, impact investments), and their implications for smallholders, SMEs and companies
  • Metrics used to assess the performance of the VCD interventions
  • Chain wide digital data management systems to register partners, and monitor transactions

Please send a 300-500 word abstract of your planned contributions to the issue editors (below) by May 13, 2016. Please note that all submissions will go through peer review and we cannot guarantee that papers by authors invited to submit an article will be published.

Special edition editors:

Jason Donovan (ICRAF,

Dietmar Stoian (Bioversity International,

Shaun Ferris (Catholic Relief Services,

For more details see Call for Papers EDM Special Issue 2016 (pdf, 600 kb)

Jason Donovan and Dietmar Stoian as well as many other members of the EDM’s editorial board are members of the PIM’s multi-CGIAR-center team of Flagship 3: Inclusive Value Chains and Efficient Trade.

Read our recent blog about VCD: Guides for value chain development: a comparative review>>