TechnoServe is an international nonprofit that promotes business solutions to poverty in the developing world by linking people to information, capital and markets. Since 2009, they’ve been active in Ethiopia, looking to address coordination, information, and market access barriers that prevent smallholder farmers from participating in commercial markets. In the Majang forest, the last indigenous forest in Ethiopia, TechnoServe is working to improve farmer livelihoods from non-timber forest products.
As a Fellow from the Oliver Wyman New York office, I joined this project in Ethiopia from August to December 2018 to deepen the organization’s understanding of the Majang deforestation and to identify new program initiatives to target previously unaddressed drivers of deforestation. For the second phase of work, I helped the organization define its environmental strategy in-country as a pilot for global adoption.
My work on the project included:
- Determining rates, patterns, and drivers of deforestation with public satellite imaging datasets and mapping software
- Understanding the impact TechnoServe interventions can have on reducing deforestation in the Majang
- Identifying new opportunities for TechnoServe to pursue given previously unaddressed drivers of deforestation
- Consolidating the TechnoServe environmental portfolio and conducting region-level working groups to create an environmental strategy for TechnoServe Ethiopia
- Sharing environmental strategy process with global organization and board of directors
This experience helped me develop professional skills I hadn’t yet had exposure to before starting the Fellowship such as developing workplans, storyboarding presentations, and leading donor and government meetings. It was truly rewarding experience and was excited to see the impact that consultants can have in the development sector!