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Inclusive Economic Growth

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Sustainable, inclusive economic growth transforms lives and reduces inequalities, forging healthier, more resilient families, communities and countries. Supporting small businesses, promoting gender lens investing and innovative financing, strengthening human capital, and connecting entrepreneurs to markets, Abt works across sectors to build capacity at individual, firm and farm levels, and promote competitiveness, productivity, and job creation that serves industries and communities. We work with governments to facilitate a stronger and more equitable business environment by brokering public-private dialogue and partnerships, building industry members’ advocacy skills, and analyzing and helping to develop policies. From technical assistance to data science to project evaluations, our extensive team of professionals draw on their deep project experience to create innovative solutions that empower people, protect the planet, and deliver practical, concrete, and measurable results to businesses, communities, and governments.

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Methods

Abt’s mission is to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide, and inclusive economic growth is a central tenet. Through programs around the globe, we:

  • Engage with the private sector. We listen to and advise the private sector to identify and respond to growth opportunities and policy constraints. We tap into local small business, industry associations, producer organizations, financial institutions, and enterprise ecosystems to facilitate dialogues and chart new opportunities; including in emerging industries such as green, digital, care and creative.

  • Strengthen market systems. We map and faciliate relationships between businesses, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to develop systems that work for all. We conduct inclusive growth diagnostics and work with stakeholders to address market failures and improve business networks, supportive services such as financing, technology adoption, and the rules and norms that govern outcomes.

  • Tailor technical assistance and capacity building. We adapt our support to graduate stakeholders to the next stage of economic progress. From trade policy analysis to developing the capacity of industry associations, we provide targeted support to help private, public, and civil society actors meet their goals.

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Relevant Experience

Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest II

Client: USAID/Cambodia

Abt is accelerating the growth of Cambodia’s high-value and wet market horticulture by improving market participation, strengthening business linkages, and supporting dialogue to advance relevant policies. Using a blended buyer-led and market systems approach, Harvest II is building sustainable commercial partnerships between buyers and suppliers while linking them to technical assistance and financing. The project has also helped market actors coordinate to increase productivity, enhance supply chain management, and meet export requirements. Four years into the project, Harvest II partners have generated $51 million in farm and firm-level sales, invested $14 million in capital improvements, and created the equivalent of nearly 2,000 new full-time jobs.

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Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project

Client: USAID/Egypt

Abt is linking fruit, vegetable, and spice businesses and farmers to new market opportunities and building their skills to respond to domestic and international demand. Through higher productivity and improved post-harvest handling and storage, small farmers and food processors are better able to compete in Egypt’s sophisticated horticulture sector. The project has facilitated $18 million in farm-level sales in three years, created the equivalent of more than 2,200 full-time on- and off-farm jobs. To promote youth engagement and employment in agriculture, the project established partnerships with agricultural universities and technical schools that are building the next generation’s workforce and agripreneurs.

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West Africa Trade and Investment Hub

Client: USAID/West Africa

The USAID Trade Hub project strengthened small and medium enterprises in the cereals, high-value crop, and apparel sectors by catalyzing investments, addressing trade barriers, and facilitating growth in export-oriented trade. The program directly engaged firms, industry associations, regional alliances, and public-private partnerships to connect businesses to finance, promote regulatory reforms, link buyers and investors, and adopt improved business practices and technologies. The Hub promoted livestock and grains for regional trade, and mango, apparel, shea, and cashew for global exports. In four years, the project facilitated $100 million of investment in agriculture and apparel, $136 million in exports, $174 million in sales—and generated more than 20,000 new jobs, empowering and engaging thousands of women in economic participation.

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AgResults External Impact Evaluation

Client: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

The multilateral AgResults initiative is piloting pay-for-results incentives that spur the development and marketing of inclusive innovations benefiting smallholder farmers and promoting food security, health, and nutrition. As the AgResults external evaluator, Abt Associates uses rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the effectiveness of seven pilots. We’re using our findings to develop guidance on pay-for-results design and implementation to shape future use of this innovative approach to fostering equitable growth.

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Investing in Women

Client: Australian Aid

To kindle inclusive economic growth in Southeast Asia, Abt partners with impact investors and ecosystem builders to expand market opportunities and access to capital for small and medium enterprises led by and responsive to women’s needs in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Investing in Women has developed and deployed blended finance structures—including first-loss debt, equity, sidecar syndicates, and revolving funds—while collaborating with key industry networks to champion gender-lens investing. Abt also supports business coalitions and other partners that are shifting workplace cultures, practices, and policy barriers to change social norms about women at work.

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Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience (CEADIR)

Client: USAID

Abt was the technical lead of a consortium implementing CEADIR, which supported clean energy-led inclusive growth in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa and Southeast Asia.

Activities included developing local banks’ capacity to navigate clean energy lending and expose them to clean energy technologies and to identify renewable energy projects for local currency investment. CEADIR also evaluated and developed best practices for renewable energy auctions, connected U.S. renewable energy and smart grid technology suppliers with emerging economy opportunities, and supported Battery Energy Storage System needs for enabling policy, in-country investment, and market development.

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Contact Us

Headshot_Kathry Stillman

Sarah Kozyn

Account Manager, Economic Growth & Agriculture
International Development Division
Rockville, MD
(301) 634-1783 (O)
Sarah_Kozyn@abtassoc.com

Headshot_Kathry Stillman

Nicole Goldin, Ph.D.

Global Head, Inclusive Economic Growth
International Development Division
Rockville, MD
(301) 347-5195 (O)
Nicole_Goldin@abtassoc.com

Headshot_Kathry Stillman

Christine Ohresser-Joumard

Project Director, East, Central and Souther Africa
International Development Division
Rockville, MD
(301) 347-5747 (O)
Christine_Ohresser-Joumard@abtassoc.com

Headshot_Kathry Stillman

Stephanie Landers Silva

Project Manager, East, Central and Southern Africa
International Development Division
Rockville, MD
(301) 347-5187 (O)
Stephanie_Landers@abtassoc.com

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