Nathan Associates, with BEAM Exchange, invite you to engage with practitioners on conceptual and practical issues around designing interventions. 

Nathan Associates are undertaking research on: From analysis to action – What works in designing interventions based on market systems analysis? We have had a great response following our initial call for practitioners and interviewed over 50 market systems practitioners from various sectors across the globe. We heard about new – sometimes unexpected – insights on key determinants for the design of successful interventions, and how interventions based on the market systems approach are designed in practice. As a result of the many interesting and insightful interviews, a mix of theoretical and practical questions have emerged that we would like to share and discuss with you. 

You are invited to join an ediscussion to engage with other expert practitioners and researchers around the design of effective interventions based on the market systems approach.

The ediscussion will focus on a new topic each week:

  • Week 1 (7 March): The balance between analysis and action
    Pragmatism (e.g. working with willing partners or making ‘quick wins’) is often prioritised over in-depth market systems analysis when intervening in the market systems. How can the 'right' balance be found?
  • Week 2 (14 March): Losing sight of the key role of systemic change?
    We will discuss how programmes can ensure that systemic change is at the core of intervention design, and whether the concept – and how to measure it – are properly understood. We will also ask if it is important for market systems analysis to clearly understand and identify market failures as the underlying system-level constraints.
  • Week 3 (21 March): Instruments and intervention design
    This week we will ask what are the best methods to design interventions that fit with the will/skill framework of partners, and whether exclusively relying on one type of facilitation activity is a problem.

We look forward to a productive debate on these complex issues, and encourage everyone to share their ideas. The results will influence the findings and lessons learnt in our final report that will be published on the BEAM Exchange website later this year. For more information about our research project or to get involved, please contact me directly at: 

Join the ediscussion starting 8 March!

Maximilian Schulz is a consultant at Nathan Associates specialising in private sector development and market systems approaches. 

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