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Market Facilitation Initiative (MAFI) Image

MaFI (The Market Facilitation Initiative)

Market Facilitation Clinic 3: Influencing Other Development Actors to Adopt a Market Systems Approach

Market Facilitation Clinic 3

Influencing Other Development Actors to Adopt a Market Systems Approach

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?

  • Donors: who may in theory support the approach, but then act in ways that are counter to this when it comes to implementation.
  • Market actors: who are enticed/influenced by the prospect of receiving direct support and subsidy, and are thus more skeptical/reluctant to engage with market systems programs.
  • Other development actors (NGOs, government): who have assumptions about what the market actors need/want, and act to directly address needs through large grants, subsidies, and direct support, leading to massive distortions.
  • Read more about their Learning Agenda here>>

Participants and Their Initial Challenges

Intervention Manager, Enterprise Partners/Private Enterprise Ethiopia (EP/PEPE)/DAI*

Tilaye is the intervention manager for the fruits & vegetables sector on the Private Enterprise Program Ethiopia, where he designs and implements market systems interventions. The challenge he raised was how to build awareness of, and respect for, the market systems approach among the government and other development actors in a context that has grown used to a transactional relationship between donor programs and local actors (one way resource transfer).  

Executive Director, Agricultural Markets Development Trust

Michael leads AMDT, a local institution created by a consortium of donors to build capacity for market systems development locally in Tanzania. The challenge he initially brought to the group was how to build staff capacity for market systems, and also how to conduct effective political economy analyses in a highly politicized environment where stakeholders feel threatened. In addition, he shared the dilemma of being simultaneously a market facilitation organization, and a capacity builder of other market facilitators.

Program Director, Watershed Asia

Geoff leads Watershed, an NGO based in Cambodia that supports a market systems approach to the WASH sector in multiple countries in Asia. The challenge he brought to the group was around how to influence other donors and NGOs to adopt a systems approach in reduce the negative impacts of subsidy programs: namely the creation of dependency and the distortion of local markets for sanitation products. In particular he was interested in how to marry market facilitation with smart subsidy approaches to influence and drive change across the full economic spectrum (including the poorest of the poor).


* Denotes SEEP Membership

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