Value Chain Development: Approaches and Activities by Seven UN Agencies and Opportunities for Interagency Cooperation

Publication Type: 
Total Pages: 
Published On: 

This report is a first output of the work of the United Nations Value Chain Development group (UN-VCD group). It outlines the different approaches and perspectives that seven UN agencies apply in their work on value chain development. The agencies involved are: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have also added descriptions of the role they play. Overviews of the value chain activities of each agency is provided containing a brief description of the agency, the agency’s value chain approach and definition, typical agency roles, instruments and projects, and (when applicable) geographic scope.  The authors recommend that the agencies better coordinate value chain programs by: improving internal knowledge management (reducing the “fuzziness” of how the agency uses the value chain framework; the authors note three general ways UN agencies have "operationalized" value chains), improving external transparency, and encouraging each agency to specialize in terms of its menu of activities (“develop a unique selling position”).