MaFI (The Market Facilitation Initiative)
Market Facilitation Clinics
Market Facilitation Clinics
Overcoming Market Systems Development Challenges Together
The number of projects using market development approaches to reduce poverty are on the rise. This means that it is very possible that someone out there is facing a challenge that you are also facing. However, time pressure, lack of resources, and other factors can force us to work in isolation when it matters the most: when we must make decisions on what to do here and now.
Project teams have an important wealth of experience and knowledge but lack of communication with other teams during critical moments of the project translates into missed opportunities to:
- Tap into the collective wisdom of the teams
- Explore valuable alternative practices
- Broaden the team’s knowledge base and mobilize new knowledge
- Challenge assumptions
- Capitalize on theoretical, logistic and budgetary synergies
- Learn through contrast of contexts and strategies
- Build new professional connections
- Enhance the impacts of market facilitation programs
Market Facilitation Clinics, coordinated by The SEEP Network with support from The BEAM Exchange, are designed to help project leaders seize the aforementioned opportunities in an efficient, timely, and cost-effective way. The Clinic coordinators identify fellow practitioners who are working on common issues and challenges, and invite them to join thematic groups (Practitioner Learning Groups). A facilitator is assigned to these groups to convene and facilitate meetings, bring in external experts when needed, document the collaboration process, and raise the profile of their achievements. This collaboration takes place through structured, time-bound, and facilitated interactions, such as Skype conferences, webinars, and in-person meetings.
This group will use systems thinking to identify and support a range of market actors to design and scale financial products that meet the unique constraints of rural farmers/poor. Some group members are working directly with financial institutions to refine their product offerings. In other cases, members may be supporting a different market actor to build a custom financing model to help the poor access key products or services, from organic fertilizer to solar-powered irrigation pumps. The group is tackling the challenge getting market actors to move from perceived risk to real risk for different investments, and to structure financial products that match the cash flow realities of the poor.
Learning Agenda: How do we leverage a wider set of partners within the market system to move from pilot to scale in financial products/services? How do we identify the right incentives, both from supply and demand sides, to increase access to products that are appropriate for the rural poor? Click here to learn more >>
This group is exploring how to facilitate win-win business models for reaching customers and farmers in remote, rural areas - the ‘last mile.’ Members will explore how to identify the right partners and how to co-design business models while ensuring ownership by the market actors. Individual group members are looking at how to support agents in remote villages, how to invest in cold chain storage where there is no electricity, and how to transport tomatoes from dispersed rural farmers to a central processing plant. This group’s focus on partner identification and selection is indicative of interventions and program strategies that are in an earlier stage of development.
Learning Agenda: How can we identify and engage partners with the mindset, capacity, and incentives to design & operationalize win-win business models that reach farmers and customers in rural areas? Click here to learn more >>
This group is investigating how market systems programs can influence the approach taken by other donors and development programs in a given country context. The group is comprised of senior leaders of key programs who have exposure to a wide range of different development approaches being taken by different donors, and are seeking to align and influence others to adopt a more systemic approach. Group members are working in a range of sectors, from water and sanitation to agriculture, and are navigating the complexities of how a facilitative approach meshes with more direct delivery approaches.
Learning Agenda: How can we align key actors in our country systems to understand the market systems approach? How can we convince them enough of the long-term sustainability potential to actually change their funding/implementation patterns? Click here to learn more >>
This group is comprised of members who have roles related to integrating gender and women’s economic empowerment into market systems programs. They are positioned to experiment with putting gender and social norms into play in market systems interventions and strategies. The group is exploring how to analyze social norms around gender and act upon that knowledge within interventions. This includes tactics and strategies for getting market actors to explicitly include women in their business model, as well as development of cutting edge M&E/MRM indicators that go beyond gender-disaggregated data to understand qualitative changes in women’s roles within market systems.
Learning Agenda: How can we use a market systems approach to catalyze wider behaviour change related to gender and social norms? How do we make the (business) case to market actors for women’s economic empowerment? Click here to learn more >>