Promoting systemic change in shallow markets – lessons from experience

BEAM Grab the Mic webinar

Date: Monday 25 March 2019


Aly Miehlbradt, Director, Miehlbradt Consulting Ltd
Collins Apuoyo, Team Leader, NU-TEC MD, Uganda

Market Systems Development started around 15 years ago in relatively robust markets, such as agricultural markets in Bangladesh and Kenya. Programmes are now applying MSD in much shallower markets. These are often small, with a lack of support functions and weak information flows.

Systemic change happens differently in shallow markets and so requires a different approach. This webinar focused on two examples: the Market Development Facility in Fiji, Timor-Leste and Pakistan, and NU-TEC in Uganda.

The speakers described specific examples of fostering interrelated innovations and improved coordination to develop shallow markets. They shared lessons learned along the way.

Watch the webinar



Market Development Facility (MDF) 
MDF is an MSD programme currently being implemented in five countries. It is funded by the Australian DFAT and implemented by Cardno (Phase 1) and Palladium (Phase 2). The examples are drawn from Fiji, Timor-Leste, and Pakistan, where MDF has been operating for more than four years.
Aly Miehlbradt, Team Leader of the Independent Advisory Group to the Market Development Facility for seven years, described key characteristics of the shallow markets the programme is working in and how this influenced the approach to fostering systemic change.

Aly shared the practical lessons learned, including:

  • how to foster links between innovations
  • who to partner and network with
  • what levels of change to expect and to encourage
  • how to analyse progress

This is a five-year MSD project that aims to attract private sector, climate-smart agribusiness investments into a post-conflict and refugee-hosting area of Northern Uganda. The project, in its fourth year of implementation, is funded by DFID and implemented by Palladium in consortium with Swisscontact.

Collins Apuoyo described:

  • the key characteristics unique to the markets in Northern Uganda
  • how those characteristics have spurred innovation in the approach and implementation of interventions
  • highlighted approaches that entrench the status quo in shallow markets
  • one example of how negative monopoly in shallow markets can be broken for the benefit of all

Further reading: