Digital commerce is a crucial component of the global economy. But in the world’s least-developed countries, uptake remains low: four out of five individuals are not yet using the internet. In emerging and frontier markets that do have internet access, entrepreneurs are often barred from growth and success by lack of infrastructure and laws, or political will.
In response, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is mobilizing the global digital economy for inclusive, enterprise-led growth. The agency’s efforts include ensuring privacy and security while preserving and promoting the significant economic benefits of a data-enabled digital economy.
DEMD: Spurring Inclusive Growth Through Digital Commerce
USAID's Trade and Regulatory Reform (TRR) Office in the E3 Bureau recently awarded Resonance the five-year, $9.9 Million Digital Economy and Market Development (DEMD) Services contract. The DEMD Mechanism will target USAID and private sector priorities, building on TRR’s leadership to support USAID missions and bureaus to develop, implement, and measure better approaches in areas such as:
- Facilitating overall firm growth and formalization for financing self-reliance in host countries;
- Leveraging technology and new tools to improve business-to-government feedback loops and governmental transparency and accountability in business regulation; and
- Removing legal and regulatory barriers to women’s wage employment.
“This project comes at a critical time for global trade, e-commerce, and market development,” said Resonance’s Shannon Gaffney, Chief of Party for the DEMD project. “We look forward to helping USAID deploy its expertise in digital development and market systems more broadly to help host countries harness the power of one of the global economy’s fastest-growing areas to deliver inclusive economic growth that leads to self-reliance.”
Resonance is joined by Nathan Associates, Inc., a trusted USAID partner on a range of digital economy issues, including cross-border data flows, intellectual property protection, digital public service delivery and more. In addition, as needed, resource partners Nextrade Group, a woman-owned small business that managed the USAID/Alliance for eTrade Development; the Information Technology and Innovation Fund, a leading think tank in the digital space; and The Canopy Lab, a leader in market systems development approaches, will be called upon for on demand support.