Value Chain Development

In the Private Sector Development community, ‘Value Chain Development’ (VCD) refers to an approach which takes a product or commodity as the basis for analysis; most often, the product is agriculture-based.

Users of the approach analyse the whole trajectory for that product, from inputs through farming, harvesting, processing and transport, to sale to the consumer. The analysis helps users to identify interventions that help producers and traders to meet market demand –in more pro-poor ways.

This video illustrates ILO’s work to implement the VCD approach:

Users of the VCD approach typically take a systemic perspective, aiming to address the root causes of market malfunction (rather than being a solution in search of a problem). Some caution that the approach is demanding – particularly in the wide range of technical skills that may be needed. Managing an initiative that involves many stakeholders also requires skill.

This page summarises some of the most recent, key documents.


Overviews of Value Chain Development

The DCED’s VCD database at offers a range of resources structured according to the phases of the project cycle; the majority of recent entries are in the Market Assessment section.


How-to Manuals (designing and implementing)


How-to Manuals (value chain analysis)


Measuring the results of VCD

Note that the DCED Standard for Results Measurement is widely used by VCD programmes.


Women’s Economic Empowerment in Value Chain Development


Agency sites for VCD


Examples of multi-stakeholder alliances based on value chains

For an overview of Engaging the private sector through multi-stakeholder platforms (DCED, 2017), click here.

Photo credits

Photo credit: Drik/Katalyst