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MEDA, an international economic development organization, has consistently made efforts to prioritize shared voices, taking local contexts into account to create programs that promote equity and benefit the Global South. By involving local expertise, MEDA has worked to rectify inequitable systems, cater to the needs of the local stakeholders, and deliver effective programs.

Course Topics: 

  • Gender-based analysis
  • Economic development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Agri-food businesses


MEDA—is an international economic development organization that combats poverty by creating community-based business solutions . The organization celebrated 70 years in 2023, and it has worked in over 70 countries. MEDA incorporates a market systems approach that addresses the root causes of underdeveloped markets, especially the things that prevent people in poverty and marginalized groups, such as youth and women, from participating in and benefiting from market growth.

Early on, MEDA recognized the potential of leveraging the agri-food market system to create opportunities to help marginalized communities out of poverty. In developing countries in particular, agricultural development is a powerful tool to end extreme poverty. MEDA has been at the forefront of providing ongoing support for producing, processing, and marketing of food crops, livestock, poultry, and aquaculture. MEDA’s approach acknowledges that every aspect of the business system can be influenced by cultural, political, and social forces and their approach focuses on the impacts of addressing social norms, power relations, and systemic inequalities. MEDA also strives to expand choices and opportunities for the participants in these systems, working with them to create culturally appropriate strategies to spur systems change in the agri-food market.

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This case was written by Vania Sembiring. The author prepared this case under the supervision of Professors Sarah Kaplan and Hyeun Lee.