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Facilitate the design and/or assessment of interventions for value chain development, taking into account the circumstances and needs of upstream-chain actors (namely, stallholder producing households and small and medium enterprises that have direct relations with smallholders). The tool has been tested in 20+ countries in S Asia, Africa, and LAC


The following publications are based on the design or implementation of 5Capitals:

  • Donovan, J. and N. Poole. 2011. Value chain development and rural poverty reduction: Asset building by smallholder coffee producers in Nicaragua. ICRAF working paper  138. Nairobi: ICRAF;
  • Donovan, J. and N. Poole. 2013. Asset building in response to value chain development: Lessons from taro producers in Nicaragua. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 88 (1): 23-37;  
  • Gaming, H., S. Guardia, L. Pocasangre, and C. Staver. Farmers' community enterprise for marketing organic bananas from Alto Beni, Bolivia: Impacts and threats. Enterprise Development and Microfinance 22(3): 210-224;
  • Katerberg, L., A. Khan, and S. Ruddick. 2011. Evaluating value chain pact using a sustainable livelihoods approach: A case study of horticulture in Afghanistan. Enterprise Development and Microfinance 22(3): 225-240;
  • Stoian, D., J. Donovan, J. Fisk, and M. Muldoon. 2012. Value chain development for rural poverty reduction: A reality check and a warning. Enterprise Development and Microfinance 23(1): 54-69.
Long name
5Capitals: A tool for assessing the poverty impact of value chain development
Tool family

Data collection at 2 levels: enterprise and household; at enterprise level, tool provides guidance in how to design the research, generic data collection tools, and insight from application; at the household level, the tool provides guidance in how to establish the sample, sample data collection tools, and insights from application secondary information, short questionnaires, primary household data

1) Summarizes the different motives public and private sector representatives and civil-society organizations have for developing value chains with the poor. 2) provides you with a common ground of key concepts and definitions pertinent to value chain development (VCD) and related impact assessment. 3) guides you in elaborating the inputs needed for designing your fieldwork activities and for carrying out the subsequent assessment. 4) walks you through the activities for identifying changes at linked–enterprise and household levels as well as the role of VCD interactions and interventions in bringing about these changes. 5) helps you determine the changes in asset endowments at the levels of the linked enterprise and smallholder households and which of them were induced by VCD and which by contextual factors.