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The Resilience Journey with Mars

Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia
Mars Wrigley

KIT is supporting Mars in designing an approach to gender equality for cocoa-growing communities in Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana which seeks to empower adolescent girls and young women across cocoa supply chains.

Using a design thinking approach, the project’s first stage focused on better understanding the daily lives of women and girls in cocoa-growing communities – moving beyond demographics to highlight their aspirations, behaviours and attitudes.

KIT’s team conducted research with adolescent girls, young mothers and their ‘influencers’ and stakeholders in the cocoa value chain (e.g. parents, husbands, teachers, health workers, community leaders, or women’s groups). Participatory and iterative in nature, the research aimed to uncover the unmet needs of these women and illuminate the current state and root causes of their (dis)empowerment.

This insight serves as the starting point to co-create new ideas to engage both men and women to improve gender equality in their households and communities. By grounding recommendations in local needs and contexts, the project will simultaneously generate new opportunities to make lasting improvements to household income and human rights protections in Mars cocoa supply chains. The outcome of this “Resilience Journey” will inform further strategies and approaches with Mars’ suppliers and implementation partners, as part of its Cocoa for Generations approach to protecting children.

This project is executed in partnership with Pabla van Heck, an independent social innovation and design thinking consultant.

Empathy Report


  • The Resilience Journey Empathy Generation (Phase 1) – Executive Summary

    • Institute
    • Publication

    As part of its Cocoa for Generations (C4G) Strategy, Mars Wrigley aims to empower women in its supply chain, both socially and economically. To this end, Mars Wrigley engaged the KIT and Pabla van Heck (independent) to develop insight-driven recommendations for potential future investments to advance women’s empowerment. The outcome of this work will inform […]

  • The Resilience Journey Empathy Generation (Phase 1)

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Women play a powerful role in business, and research proves that unlocking opportunities for women bolsters communities, drives profitability and enhances value. Now more than ever, we need a greater focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 – Achieving Gender Equality & Empowering All Women and Girls, and a significant step-change in […]

  • The Resilience Journey Viability Report (Phase 2)

    • Institute
    • Publication

    As part of its Cocoa for Generations (C4G) strategy, Mars is seeking to address the barriers faced by women in their supply chain and communities from which they source cocoa to reach their full potential. Since 2019, Mars has partnered with KIT Royal Tropical Institute, Anna Laven and Pabla van Heck (independent consultants) to develop […]

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