In May, Connexus designed and conducted a Due Diligence for Agricultural Investments training for financial institutions as part of the USAID-funded Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (FinGAP) in Accra and Tamale, Ghana. The purpose of this training was to build participants’ capacities in reviewing and using financial statements, understanding the key components of conducting thorough due diligence for agricultural investments, and learning how to gather data during an on-site visit to an agricultural enterprise. Overall, 67 people participated in the training, of which 63% were men and 37% were women. The training was very well received, including one participant who exclaimed that this was “by far the best USAID training I have participated in.”
Led by Chemonics International, the USAID Afghanistan Public Financial Management project (APFM) aims to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) in its efforts to improve fiscal sustainability and enable delivery of essential services by strengthening the Government’s ability at national and sub-national levels to mobilize domestic revenues and more effectively manage its budget. As part of the consortium, Connexus is responsible for leading the Public Financial Management Roadmap II (PFMR-II) performance management team. Connexus is working with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Economy and the Afghan Revenue Department to provide technical assistance in policy development and implementation. Connexus is also providing policy advice on expenditure proposals, including forward estimates, and is assisting with revenue forecasting integrated with macro data. Connexus is also supporting the work of the Tax Policy Committee and the High Economic Council in order to strengthen the government’s capacity to forecast, increase, and manage domestic revenues.
While Connexus is not known for health technical services, our work related to food safety and security overlaps with health, as most technical areas of international development do. In fact, our Cracking the Nut® learning events have demonstrated the power of facilitating learning across traditional development stove pipes to identify and spawn new approaches to improve development and access to finance. With guidance from an Advisory Committee of Global Health Specialists, Connexus is applying its successful Cracking the Nut® methodology to facilitate learning in what we perceive to be “the elephant in the room” in development health, the need for more attention and resources to strengthen community health systems from the ground up.
The Ebola crisis of 2014 made us all acutely aware of the fact that the global health system is interconnected and that faulty systems in one country puts people at risk all over the world. We need to move beyond providing short-term funds and solutions to specific maladies to ensure that we have long-term, sustainable mechanisms for early alarms as well as to provide a humane level of health services to poor people in developing nations. Cracking the Nut: Global Health System Strengthening and Resilience will provide a demand-driven, collaborative learning space where participants can share experiences and thought leadership on programs, methodologies, strategies and tools; network to build partnerships; and gain new technical capacities to build the fields of community and global health. For more information, visit www.crackingthenuthealth.com.
The Cracking the Nut Advisory Committee invites interested persons to submit proposals to present at the Cracking the Nut 2016: Regenerating Rural and Agricultural Development conference.
Cracking the Nut is searching for the latest approaches to agricultural development that go beyond environmental conservation to regeneration and repair, as well as ways to encourage the investments that make these strategies possible. Do you—or someone you know—have insightful experience related to developing climate-smart rural and agricultural markets? Submit a Proposal and your approach could be showcased to 300 leaders in climate-smart agriculture; including top buyers, retailers, investors, financiers, donors, and development practitioners at Cracking the Nut 2016 and the resulting publication.
All speakers will be competitively selected to share best practices related to one of the following three tracks:
Two-page application due: 5:00 PM EDT, Friday, September 4, 2014
Conneuxs works in innovative partnerships with public and private sector actors around the world to expand access to finance and connect smallholders to markets. Check out our new video which highlights specific case studies of our work in rural and agricultural markets around the globe.
This year the Cracking the Nut Conference was held in Lusaka, Zambia on March 2 &3, 2015. Our fifth conference brought together around 250 participants representing 34 countries and included a mix of development practitioners,agribusinesses, donors, investors and financial institutions. The theme, Expanding Rural & Agricultural Markets Amid Climate Change, was well received by participants.
Below are a few highlights from the conference:
It was a Cracking the Nut first with live animals attending the conference! iDE brought participants’ senses alive through an exciting and interactive session on how to utilize its Farm Business Adviser Model to develop a value proposition on raising crocodiles for marketable products.
The Honorable Given Lubinda, Zambian Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, made a surprise appearance on the second day of the conference to welcome participants and say a few words. “We need to take care of people as well as climate. We need to choose both.”
We want to thank those in attendance and those that presented in plenary and breakout sessions. We encourage everyone to continue the conversation and we hope to see you at Cracking the Nut 2016!
“The climate change focus was also very timely, and I’m glad it generated discussion.”
“Case studies from different countries were so enriching to the learning component.”
“The contacts we made and the insight that we gained into rural agricultural markets is very valuable.” – Eduardo Mendias, The Toro Company
Every year following the conference, Connexus creates a summary of the main lessons learned which includes highlights of unique innovations and experiences shared. The publication will be available in mid to late April on the conference website: www.crackingthenutconference.com.