Upscaling of International Value Chain Partnerships

Upscaling of International Value Chain Partnerships

The PrC aims to create a research framework and practical support structure for value chain partnership projects to create a better understanding of the conditions for effective upgrading and up scaling of value chains in relation with the local context and the practices of the value chain partners. This we do by conducting several case studies on value chain partnerships (VCPs), capabilities of value chain partners such as lead firms, and sustainable supply chain management models. The 2SCALE research project amongst others will contribute to develop this research theme.

Development of good practices

In the long run we intend to make structured descriptions of good practice cases (i.e. key success factors) to learn in a systematic manner from experiences. Various PrC projects could provide input for these case descriptions: PPPLab, 2Scale, Inclusive Business Strategies. In 2016 we will continue with the data collection and start analyzing the cases to try to distill best practices and key success factors. We aim to bridge research and practitioner experience on VCPs.

The results will be threefold:

(1) elaborated business case for ‘sustainable supply chain management’ with examples of relevant/inspiring examples of corporate practices around the world;

(2) a short summary and comparison of the value chain cases as developed in phase I of the PrC (period 2009-2014);

(3) finalization of a learning module on global value chain management and upscaling.

Value chain partnerships for inclusive development – The perspective of the large firm

Another project that started in 2015 focused on the understanding of value chain partnerships is a PhD project on the role of the large firm, embedded in the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM). VCPs are increasingly promoted as a tool to create inclusiveness in the value chain by including the poor as supply chain partners. A growing number of large firms are adopting this VCP approach to counteract the barriers to create inclusive development within the value chain. However, the link between these VCP practices and inclusive business outcomes remains vague, as it is rather difficult to assess it in an objective and consistent way. There are other studies under way that are also linked to the purchasing strategies of large companies: see below.

Escaping Middle Income Trap (EMIT)

Within the EMIT we will continue to work on the perspective of the large company (lead firm) and their sustainable supply chain management strategies. The more advanced (inclusive) versions of these strategies include always cross sector partnerships. The link with the EMIT project implies that the micro strategies of companies towards their suppliers are evaluated on their impact on inclusive development in general, and ways out of the ‘middle income trap’ in specific. The EMIT project focuses its research on the Philippines. In 2016, the project will result in a number of major studies that will be presented to a high-level stakeholder meeting in the first half of 2016 in the Philippines.

In the meantime a number of intermediary stakeholder meetings are still planned. The experience of the EMIT project will be instrumental to the PEP project, the inclusive business and 2SCALE projects as well.