Understanding Models of Technical Assistance

woman receives technical assistance in TechnoServe TAF programThis paper is intended to be the first of a series of thematic papers on inclusive business technical assistance. TechnoServe will continue this work under the DFID-funded Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness Technical Assistance Facility (CASA TAF). This five-year facility aims to partner with investors with development interests to increase the smallholder impact of existing investments.

In nascent and fragmented markets, technical assistance (TA) is often given alongside commercial investments to strengthen commercial viability and developmental impact. It can be a valuable tool to benefit investors, companies, and the bottom of pyramid population. However, despite their growing importance, capturing the economic value of TA is difficult without comparable models and alignment on costs and impact metrics.

TechnoServe, in a study commissioned by the CDC group in 2019, assessed ten peer TA facilities to understand TA facility models in the agriculture market in terms of costs and associated impact. The study suggests that improved TA classification, as well as improved accounting and M&E, can generate better evaluations and benchmarking for different TA approaches.

To find out more about the TA facilities landscape, click here.