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Assessment of the Value Chain Analysis Approach

Assessment of the Value Chain Analysis Approach through a Case Study of Nepal’s

Large Cardamom Sector

Prepared by: Denisse Becerra, Elizabeth LoGalbo, Stephanie Ma, Leselle Vincent

Participating in the Global Public Policy Network Fellowship was a great opportunity for our team, and we were excited to be able to learn from our peers and the monthly presentations, as well as from each other. Our group came together out of a desire to improve community-level food security through solutions aligned with the SDGs. After our initial acceptance and preliminary meetings with the students and scientific advisors from participating universities, our vision began to evolve. We eventually decided to focus on evaluating the value chain analysis method after recognizing its limitations with assessing social and environmental factors and incorporating risk management. The informative monthly seminars revolving around various themes related to the SDGs helped us to build our project while centering on sustainable development and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, feedback from discussions with other fellows on our project as well as theirs helped us to strengthen our idea into one that we believe could have significant impact.

Our project took the form of an assessment of the value chain analysis approach using the Nepal's large cardamom sector as a case study. Our goal was to make recommendations derived from value chain analyses more comprehensive by considering all potentially contributing factors, promoting sustainable development and suggesting preventative actions to improve resilience to shocks and disruptions to the value chain. We utilized a modified PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environment and Legal) analysis to assess the key internal and external factors of change relevant to the value chain. We obtained information through a literature review and interviews with various stakeholders involved in the Nepalese large cardamom value chain.

With our work, we hope to facilitate the alignment of future VCAs and their recommendations with relevant SDGs that can support governments with meeting their agreed targets and secure a more sustainable future.

The GPPN Fellows program has been an enriching learning experience, and it has been a delight to witness the fruition of over four months of preparation, adaptation and implementation. We have been inspired by the projects of our peers and seeing some of them take the form of products and services helping build the community and serving those who are often marginalized and overlooked by society. We would like to thank the organizers, the host teams and participants for allowing us to be a part of this. Congratulations to all the teams and good luck with taking your projects to the next level!

Team Biographies

Denisse Becerra

Denisse is a passionate impact-driven professional, and an avid globetrotter. Denisse holds a B.A (Hons) in Global Management and Sustainability from Regents University London, and is currently a in the middle of her Master in Public Administration at Columbia University. Prior to joining Columbia, Denisse worked at BRECA, a family-owned group in Peru leading the development of the Group Sustainability Framework. An effort that was co-created with the top management and implemented across 10 different businesses that range from Mining and Fishing to Insurance. Later, just before joining Columbia, Denisse was leading the Business Development area at Lima Como Vamos, an urban think tank transitioning from a donor-dependent NGO to a social business start-up. Denisse is very committed to working towards the reduction of the opportunity gap, particularly in Latin America. She moved to New York with the plan of deep diving into the finance world and used this time to think about how to better finance development and SDGs.

Elizabeth LoGalbo

Elizabeth is a Master of Public Administration in Development Practice candidate at the School ofInternational and Public Affairs at Columbia University. Prior to graduate school, she was a professional chef who spent the last seven years cooking in Washington D.C. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from George Washington University, she decided to explore the various connections between food and culture. She later published an ethnographic study of food security and mental health in the Community Mental Health journal. Elizabeth’s work in the restaurant industry illustrated to her how tightly food and community are intertwined. It also led her to question the relationship between agricultural policy and our everyday lives. Using her knowledge and unique perspective, she hopes to create more equitable and sustainable global food systems.

Stephanie Ma

Stephanie is a Master of Public Administration in Development Practice program candidate at Columbia University. On completion of her Economics Degree from the University of Delhi, India in 2010 she returned to Nepal to pursue her interest in women empowerment and poverty alleviation. Her ten years of professional experience in the microfinance and development sector is shaped by field visits, interactions with target groups and dialogues with policymakers. She has volunteered with various NGOs in India and Nepal working with marginalized at-risk women and children. During the 2015 Nepal earthquake, she took an active role in supporting the disaster response team. She believes in the potential of each individual to become agents of change provided there is an equal opportunity for all.

Leselle Vincent

Leselle is pursuing a MPA in Development Practice with a specialization in International Organizations from Columbia University. Prior to starting this program, Leselle worked at the Basel Convention Regional Centre for the Caribbean based in her home country, Trinidad and Tobago. She supported the development and execution of projects to assist regional governments and private sector stakeholders with implementing international chemicals and waste Conventions. Leselle also worked as a Research Engineer with the Georgia Tech Research Institute after obtaining a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2016. At the research institute, she contributed to research on urban parks as opportunities for stormwater management and alternative transportation, and directed a college preparation and engineering research program for minority high school students. Leselle hopes to contribute to global sustainable development and environmental resilience for vulnerable communities.

Read the summary paper of the project here.



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