ITL allows us to take risks and push the boundaries of development work to improve the lives of the poor. Our projects are transformative with a high premium on leverage, scalability and sustainable change.
Donors support a wide range of projects helping communities in over 20 countries. These projects range from helping communities access markets and create viable businesses through to peacebuilding and women’s involvement in politics.
Working with philanthropists, we are able to fund our partners’ most innovative and imaginative solutions for combating poverty.
ITL has operated in more than 20 countries in Africa, Central and South America, Asia and the Middle East
Christian Aid supporters and philanthropists
ITL is set on achieving impact at scale. To do that we use a Participatory Market Systems Development (PMSD) approach, working across whole market systems to ensure they are sustainable and demand-driven. We act as a facilitator and relationship broker with multiple stakeholders – from farmers to buyers to processors to traders and policymakers.
We support developing enterprises through market analysis, creating plans for technical assistance and forming business plans. This process helps prepare enterprises for accessing and managing loan finance and technical assistance – through ITL’s Incubator Fund, investment through our impact investment platform Access to Capital for Rural Enterprises (ACRE), or outside financing.
ITL has enabled us to explore and develop responses to climate change, so that smallholders are better positioned to face change. In Nicaragua, for example, ITL has funded a climate-resilient supply chain programme. Farmers have been helped to diversity their crops and to shift to more resilient crops in response to the hotter climates.
We use power analysis to understand and identify the opportunities for changing power dynamics in favour of poor and marginalised women and men and to identify where and how exclusion and inequality have developed based on gender.
A viable Hibiscus market in Nicaragua
The Hibiscus Cooperative is now receiving pre-investment technical support through the ACRE programme, including branding support, so that it can present its business plan to external investors and secure finance for its next stage of growth.
Currently the co-operative sells dried petals, juice and wine to 32 Walmart supermarkets in Nicaragua, and supplies hibiscus to a local supermarket chain with approximately 50 stores and to another mini-mart chain that has 12% of the market share. The co-op is also producing hibiscus oil to supply the French cosmetics industry. Oil raises $17 per kilo compared to $4.4 per kilo for dried hibiscus.
Our climate mapping and future-scenario planning in response to climate change in Central America has helped us to secure additional donor funding worth $2.3 million from the Inter-American Development Bank.
Similarly,the success of ITL’s project in the Middle East, to break down barriers to employment for Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territory led to a €1.5m grant from the EU to continue the work.
The project has allowed 2,907 women to receive training and enter professions that included accounting, marketing and hairdressing.