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Alliance for eTrade Development Evidence Summit
31 October 2023
The Center for Strategic and International Studies
Washington, DC

1. Purpose

The Alliance for eTrade Development (eTrade Alliance), a Global Development Alliance between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and 13 leading private sector partners, plans to host an Evidence Summit with USAID staff and partners on 31 October 2023 in Washington.

The Summit is to raise awareness about the Alliance’s work and its approaches, highlight the successes and challenges of implementing its work, assess the potential to scale various Alliance activities, and discuss key future priorities and approaches to promote SME development through digitization and ecommerce in developing nations.

The Evidence Summit will also feature various Alliance interventions and partners, drawing lessons learned and considering ways to scale the most impactful interventions, and enabling informal dialogues and networking.

2. Agenda

8:30am - Registration and light breakfast

9:00am – Opening

  • CSIS


  • Palladium

9:15-9:45am - The Alliance’s why, business model, and results to date

Paul Fekete, Senior Trade Advisor at USAID and Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group and Alliance Technical Director will go into explaining the purpose of the eTrade Alliance, its business model, and the results of notable work we've completed to date.

9:45-11:15am – Alliance initiatives to enable SMEs in ecommerce

Through this panel, speakers will discuss effective tools to engage MSMEs to export using ecommerce and provide ecommerce enablement and capacity-building tips for MSMEs.

o Moderator: Michael Poor, Senior Manager and Financial Services Lead at Nextrade Group

11:15-11:30am - Coffee

11:30-12:15pm - How have Alliance’s management approaches worked, and how do they need to adjust to meet new challenges, accelerate implementation and impact, and measuring impact

This panel will go into the management approaches that the Alliance has taken to reach target outcomes.

o Moderator: Brett Johnson, Director, Inclusive Growth and Natural Capital at Palladium

12:15-1pm - Future of private sector development through ecommerce

Is the eTrade Alliance still relevant, over 6 years after its launch and after the MSME digitization wave during Covid-19? How should the Alliance’s approaches and models evolve, in light of emerging technologies and digital development challenges? In this panel, speakers from private sector partners will discuss how the eTrade Alliance has evolved and continue to adapt in light of emerging technologies.

o Moderator: Kati Suominen, Nextrade

1-2pm - Lunch and networking

2:00-2:10pm - Setting the stage for next panels - Alliance research on ecommerce ecosystems and policies

● Kati Suominen, Nextrade Group

  • Alliance research – what is a “robust” ecommerce ecosystem – what does success look like? How to build one?

  • Policy environment for MSME e commerce

2:10-3:10pm - Two breakout groups on the enabling environment for ecommerce

Breakout 1: Alliance’s approaches to promote ecommerce ecosystems

Speakers will discuss ecommerce ecosystems and the most effective ways to build a robust ecosystem.

o Moderator: Shannon Gaffney, Nextrade Group

Breakout 2: How to best drive policy reforms conducive to ecommerce? Lessons-learned panel and vision for SME ecommerce policy agenda

Speakers will discuss lessons-learned and visions for an SME ecommerce policy agenda.

o Moderator: Kati Suominen, Nextrade Group

3:10-3:20pm – Moderators from breakout sessions report back; open dialogue

3:20pm - Closing remarks and next steps

● Paul Fekete, USAID

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