Abt’s work advances the green economy by promoting inclusive markets that generate climate resilient jobs and empower local communities. We aim to catalyze economic opportunity, productivity, and sustainable growth while mitigating the impacts of climate change and the disparities faced by women, youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous communities, LGBTQ individuals, and geographically or otherwise disadvantaged populations.
Our interventions incorporate rigorous analyses and localize innovative, sustainable solutions. Our market-led approaches proactively:
- Engage the private sector
- Strengthen high-growth value chains and human capital
- Promote a transparent and accountable policy environment that fosters trade and investment while safeguarding against environmental and social harm
- Expand access to finance and other services that support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)
- Incentivize private sector investment in climate mitigating opportunities and practices.
Strengthening Cambodia’s Agriculture Sector Through Private Sector Partnerships
In Cambodia, Abt uses a buyer-led approach to strengthen the Cambodian horticulture sector, improving linkages between producers, input suppliers, and financial institutions (market actors) so they can meet market demand and grow their businesses together over time. Through the Harvest II and III projects, Abt helped market actors coordinate to improve productivity, enhance supply chain management, and meet export requirements. By the end of the five-year Harvest II program, partners had generated $75 million in farm and firm-level sales, $28 million in new investments, , and created the equivalent of 2,500 full-time jobs.
Through the Harvest III project, Abt engages with a wide array of local market actors to co-invest in activities that generate returns for the private sector while advancing Cambodia’s development goals. Harvest III works with partners to co-design grants that strengthen capacity, increase investment, improve supply chain performance, increase market linkages, create new and better jobs, and address climate challenges. The grants aim to help women, youth, and other historically excluded groups capture greater economic gains while creating broad-based benefits, including improved food safety and sustainable economic growth in domestic, regional, and international markets. Over a five-year period, Harvest III will work in partnership with more than 100 private sector companies to mobilize $38 million in private sector investment and $15 million in agriculture-related financing. This will generate $100 million in sales and 3,200 jobs for local market actors.
Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project
Through the Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project, Abt is linking farmers and fruit, vegetable, and spice businesses to new market opportunities and building their skills so they can respond to domestic and international demand. Through higher productivity and improved post-harvest handling and storage, small farmers and food processors are better able to compete in Egypt’s sophisticated horticulture sector. The project has facilitated $18 million in farm-level sales in three years, and created the equivalent of more than 2,200 full-time on- and off-farm jobs. To promote youth engagement and employment in agriculture, the project established partnerships with agricultural universities and technical schools that are building the next generation’s workforce and agripreneurs.
Bolstering Governance in Papua New Guinea
Abt is strengthening Papua New Guinea’s tourism industry by fostering sustainable, inclusive development along the Kokoda Track—one of the country’s most important cultural and tourism resources. Under DFAT’s PNG Australia Governance Partnership, the Kokoda Initiative is working to protect the region’s unique environmental, cultural, and military heritage. Abt partners with the Kokoda Track Authority to enhance safety for local communities and international visitors through maintenance, communications networks, and improved access. We also support the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority and National Museum and Art Gallery to preserve the region’s unique biodiversity and cultural and military heritage.
Building Resilience and Growth in Eastern Europe
Abt launched the Technical Assistance Facility: Eastern Partnership (TAF-EP) under FCDO’s Good Governance Fund (GGF). In Georgia, the Facility collaborated with the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (MoESD) and MEPA to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of state support programmes to support MSME sector development and provided evidence-based recommendations to better support MSME needs and women’s entrepreneurship. TAF-EP also supported the MoESD, National Bank of Georgia, and Ministry of Finance as they identified alternate financing opportunities for MSMEs. The project developed a draft strategy, recommendations, and road map for the development of a vibrant leasing industry to promote MSME growth and stimulate fixed capital formation and investment.
Mexico Competitiveness Program
By leading the Mexico Competitiveness Program (MCP), Abt helped develop regulatory frameworks designed to advance the country’s commitments to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation. Abt advised Mexican policymakers during the development of Mexico’s General Law on Climate Change, which mandated national and sub-national governments adopt ambitious climate change goals and concrete actions to meet them. Under MCP, Abt developed Mexico’s first system to monitor progress in implementation of the Special Climate Change Program. The system, the first of its kind in the Mexico, enabled the government to track progress on the implementation of close to 300 mitigation, adaptation, and cross-cutting actions.
Expanding Access to Finance and Other Services to Support MSMEs
Client: DFAT, USAID
In Southeast Asia, under the Investing in Women Initiative (IW), Abt partnered with 10 impact investors to increase financing for women-owned and women-led SMEs in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam, and to build a business case for a more inclusive investing environment globally. IW provided catalytic investment capital for impact investors to establish blended finance structures, offered operational support capital for investors, and provided technical assistance for women-led SME investees. The Initiative’s $7.9M in initial investments catalyzed an additional $52M in private sector investments for 40 women-led SMEs and raised $142M in five follow-on funds, resulting in a 6.5x leverage of IW capital.
As technical lead of the Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment, and Resilience (CEADIR), Abt supported clean energy-focused inclusive growth in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Activities included developing local banks’ capacity to navigate clean energy lending, increasing their exposure to clean energy technologies, and identifying renewable energy projects for local currency investment. CEADIR also developed best practices for renewable energy auctions and connected U.S. renewable energy and smart grid technology suppliers with emerging economy opportunities.
The West Africa Trade and Investment Hub
Under USAID’s West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH), Abt promoted export-oriented trade by engaging firms, industry associations, regional alliances, and public-private partnerships to connect businesses to finance, promote regulatory reforms, link buyers and investors, and adopt improved business practices and technologies. These linkages strengthened SMEs in the cereals, high-value crop, and apparel sectors by catalyzing investments, addressing trade barriers, and facilitating growth in export-oriented trade. Abt facilitated $100 million of investment in agriculture and apparel, $136 million in exports, $174 million in sales—and generated more than 20,000 new jobs, empowering and engaging thousands of women in economic participation.
HETA: Powering Health with Clean Energy in Africa
Abt Associates is leading the Healthcare Electrification and Telecommunications Alliance (HETA) project under the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Power Africa initiative. This five-year, $47 million program will leverage private sector resources to install reliable, renewable power and provide mobile network and internet access for 10,000 health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa. Through our work with Power Africa and the USAID Bureau for Global Health, USAID country missions, African government partners, and alliance members, facilities will be outfitted to provide renewable energy and digital connectivity to improve healthcare service delivery and support U.S. commitments made at the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations’ 26th Climate Change Conference of Parties.
SHOPS Plus: Public-Private Engagement for Better Health
Under the Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector Plus (SHOPS Plus), USAID’s flagship private sector health initiative, Abt helped eliminate barriers to greater private sector participation in 27 countries and established, brokered, or supported 25 global partnerships with donors and private sector champions to advance private sector programming. As a critical first step to engaging the private sector, SHOPS Plus conducted private sector assessments (PSAs) that captured key information on the size, scope, and reach of the private sector, exposed challenges, identified opportunities, and engaged stakeholders through participatory processes. Abt-led PSAs mobilized untapped private sector resources, established platforms for increased public-private dialogue, and contributed to the design of new donor-funded private sector programs.
SHOPS Plus also worked to increase access to supply- and demand-side financing for health, including facilitating USAID’s Development Credit Authority loan guarantees to provide financing for providers and drug shop owners, contracting, insurance, and vouchers.