LIVE Markets During COVID Discussion Three #GETTINGBUYIN

Reply on DGroups | 14 comments

Building buy-in for market-based programmeing during Covid

Dec. 21, 2020, 3:21 p.m.

Isabelle Gore

I'm replying to this so that this interesting thread appears on the BEAM website conversation board.

June 26, 2020, 11:22 a.m.

Samia Qumri

Hello MiCers,
I’m sharing two recent published reports from Jordan Context;
Some drawn recommendations by ILO/UNDP

Prioritizing support to the most vulnerable
Support to businesses and jobs needs to target the most vulnerable in order to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the crisis. Given the vulnerability of small enterprises and workers, the government should explore all options, including:
 Cashinjections(grants/loans)toensurebusinesscontinuityandjobretention,particularly
for female employees;
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on enterprises in Jordan

 Taxholidays,reductionsorrescheduling;interest-freeloans;wageandemploymentsub- sidies;
 Supportbanksandotherfinancialinstitutionssothattheycanprovideflexibilitywithdebt repayment/handling, and more lending – possibly conditional on retaining workers, etc. and new forms of banking collaterals (e.g. moveable assets, etc.).
A gender-responsive recovery
The survey shows that few enterprises, with the exception of companies of more than 100 employees, provide childcare services. Flexible working arrangements are more common across different size enterprises. Childcare and housework along with low wages are, accord- ing to a UN Women report, one of the main reasons women cite for remaining out of the la- bour market.5 It is important that enterprises as well as government invests into the care sec- tor to facilitate women’s labour force participation and economic empowerment.

Best, Samia

Sent from my iPad*SQ

June 26, 2020, 10:02 a.m.

[Hidden email]

Hi all,

Agree - many of our interventions at CARE have worked well when partnering with private sector to make the market work better the communities we work with.

One thing missing from pretty much all the conversation so far is gender. Yes markets are adaptable but they largely exclude marginalised communities and in particular women. As COVID-19 is exacerbating inequalities including gender, how do we get buy-in for INCLUSIVE market system work?

Alex Eastham
Head of Women and Markets
CARE International UK

Email:<%20&%20objLDAPUser.mail%20&%20> Website: <https:"">

June 25, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

Alison Hemberger

Zehra, I completely agree with your point. Right from the start of program
design, I'm often frustrated that the aid sector does not see market actors
as a key audience for market analysis and a partner in planning for
responses. Some of our best "interventions" are often doing market analysis
*with* businesses so that we can help expand market access to our target
groups. These types of partnerships are going to become even more critical
as the pandemic and recovery evolve, and we still have a lot of unanswered
questions about the sectors that will be quick to recover, and those that
will suffer for longer.

So, Marilyn, I'd also add increased funding for market analysis and
improved collaboration with the private sector and governments to our list
of asks of donors and NGOs/implementers. Thanks for putting this table

Team Lead | Markets
Technical Support Unit

skype alison.hemberger
1111 19th Street NW, Suite 650 | Washington, DC 20036

June 25, 2020, 2:28 p.m.

Zehra Rizvi

Morning all,

Great to see the discussions over the past few weeks.

THANKS for this, Marilyn!  Super useful. 

To add to the last section to your table:

Local/National Government Institutions
Support critical market systems, including easing restrictions to reduce economic pain.
Include market actors in recovery planning.
Act now to support markets and prevent/mitigate the need for future humanitarian assistance.
No amount of assistance will be enough if the markets are not able to function during this time.

It’s a wording change: As part of social protection interventions, consider progressive labour market interventions to prevent/mitigate the need for future humanitarian assistance.  This can be coupled with examples (see them here from the social protection responses to COVID that include labour market interventions), from either the region, the country itself (!), or a similar country.  That evidence is key to advocate better.  The link above ALSO now has their database available so someone can take it and do some really interesting analysis of labour market work and what’s happening in terms of government responses.

Also, in my experience…market actors tend to be part of recovery planning a government is doing (I’m thinking of the Caribbean and parts of MENA). It’s just that humanitarian actors don’t know about it and are not involved with those aspects so we think it’s not happening (if a tree falls in a forest….).  ILO is a good starting point in country to see what those convos are (or World Bank). So, I’d nuance the messaging a bit further….Include all market actors in recovery planning including unions/associations (somehow to use the wording that informal workers/market actors/small businesses/gig economy stuff needs to be at the table as well and not just the big players).



June 24, 2020, 9:18 p.m.

[Hidden email]

Marilyn, where in your table does the private sector appear, do you mean internal organisations? Why not say private sector, profit oriented businesses that are core, heart and blood of the market?

June 23, 2020, 8:51 p.m.

John Hoven

*Q: what are some core messages we should be communicating now to promote
market-based programming, and to whom?*

1. Market-based programming is adaptive management made simple. That’s
because markets adapt on their own to specific contexts, including rapidly
changing contexts.

2. Market-based programming is localized peacebuilding made simple. That’s
because local markets are built around local needs, local capabilities, and
local relationships.

3. We should engage with informal-quality markets (those with inconsistent
quality). These are dominant in the agrifood sector. They have different
needs, capabilities, and market participants than the formal agrifood
sector that serves supermarkets and export markets.

John Hoven

On Tue, Jun 23, 2020 at 3:33 PM [Hidden email] <
[Hidden email]

June 23, 2020, 7:31 p.m.

[Hidden email]

Hello MiC community - I’ve appreciated the thoughtful answers to the current discussion about advocating for market-based programming during the time of COVID.

The question standing out to me at this time is what are some core messages we should be communicating now to promote market-based programming, and to whom?

Below is my first pass at trying to capture some of the different narrative threads (both asks and supporting messages) that have stood out the most to me so far. I started with a few recommendations made in this COVID statement<file: c:="" custom%20office%20templates="" documents="" marilyn.shapley="" users=""> and then also added in some pieces from other discussion thread answers. This is not comprehensive so please add in, rearrange, or re-write entirely. But hopefully it’s a useful tool for some as we continue to wrestle with audience, message, and ultimately the evidence that will be needed to ground the message to get the buy-in.

Key Asks
Messages that Support

* More risk appetite needed for flexible programming, including adaptive management and local leadership.

* Market based programming is feasible and necessary in a COVID context (not just something that is nice to have when resources/timing allow).
* No amount of assistance will be enough if the markets are not able to function during this time.
* Act now to support markets and prevent/mitigate the need for future humanitarian assistance.
* Modality choice matters and needs to be grounded in the context.
Community Partners (and program participants?)

* Engage, consult and work with traders.
* Use markets where feasible and safe.

* Join us in advocacy to support market based programming (use evidence to make policy/systems change).
* Communications and support about how to adapt and engage in market activities safely.
Internal Organization

* Include market actors in recovery programming.

* Market based programming is feasible and necessary in a COVID context (not just something that is nice to have when resources/timing allow).
* Shared analysis of market context and solutions to pursue?
Local/National Government Institutions

* Support critical market systems, including easing restrictions to reduce economic pain.
* Include market actors in recovery planning.

* Act now to support markets and prevent/mitigate the need for future humanitarian assistance.
* No amount of assistance will be enough if the markets are not able to function during this time.

Best regards,

June 23, 2020, 7:56 a.m.

[Hidden email]

Dear All
I have one Qs.

What is government policies and rules are not in favour of cash transfer
program for the community and market is not functioned in this covid-19
situation. what are the best approach to linkage and build back better
market system and provide some support to communities.


June 23, 2020, 5:54 a.m.

Mary Morgan

Riffing on your post below, during a pandemic, the market system needs to include public health precautions as well as cash transfers. Systems thinking and the understanding of complexity illustrates that boundaries shift according to context and market. We have seen that climate change adaptation and response is now part of every agricultural market system, even if it is value added. And now we see that public health measures are required as well as some lobbying and advocacy with government to assist in flattening the curve and mitigating contagion.

Mary Morgan
225-7575 Duncan Street
Powell River, BC V8A 5L1
Cell: 604-314-8376
Email: [Hidden email] <mailto:[Hidden email]>

June 22, 2020, 10:44 a.m.

Chalachew Agonafir

Great insight, Binod Koirala.

It is always important to look at the market systems approach when dealing
with it in every context and localities. The market systems (please see the
attached picture) comprises of the core elements (supply and demand),
supporting functions (infrastructure, information etc) and the rules
(regulations, law, norms etc). So, it is important to look at all aspects
of the markets including the importance of the judiciary system to address
issues related to markets in crises.

Many thanks,

Chalachew N. Agonafir
Freelance Consultant - Pastoralist Livelihoods, Markets, DRM and Ecological

On Mon, 22 Jun 2020, 3:40 am Binod Koirala, <

June 22, 2020, 7:39 a.m.

Binod Koirala

Hi Sophie,

Let me cite an example from my home country-Nepal.

* The government directed the business communities to pay their taxes including of the lockdown period, within about 2 weeks-time.

* The business communities did not agree.

* Agreement between both the government and the business communities could not take place.

* The business communities filed a case in the Supreme Court seeking its order to hold that decision by the government.

* The Supreme Court gave a verdict that the business communities could pay their tax after 30 days of complete lifting of the lockdown <https: 06="" 15="" 2020="""" national="" supreme-court-turns-down-government-s-request-to-review-interim-order-on-tax-collection="">.

* This verdict gave a good relief to the business communities and the market actors in general.

Thus, what I am thinking is:

* The judiciary could also be our point of interest to support the intended outcome of a market based advocacy.

* The MBP could therefore, consider supporting the market actors (or business communities) to increase their access to law. There are already some examples of use of cash transfers to the individuals to access to legal support.

* However, we have to be equally careful about the possible repercussion from the government, as such support might jeopardize the existing relationship between the government and the humanitarian communities. Thus, such MBP should be carefully analyzed and supported preferably on case by case basis.

Binod Koirala
CVA Specialist
Plan International HQ

June 20, 2020, 4:30 p.m.

John Hoven

Q: How can we build buy-in for Market-Based Programming during COVID?

Donors want accountability through inflexible contractual commitments. They
have been trying to become more flexible (adaptive management, locally-led
development), and COVID-19 is putting pressure on them to try harder.

Market-based programming may be a way to help. The contractual Theory of
Change might specify broadly defined markets, with the expectation that
these will become more specific as the project staff learns the local

If donors can accept that, a simple next step is to let the Theory of
Change evolve, to reflect the evolving market focus.

An evolving ToC is a radical shift toward flexible programming. Limiting
that to the project’s market focus is an attempt to experiment with this
approach in a way that is simple and nonthreatening. In some instances, it
might also invite more flexible thinking about other ways the ToC might
evolve as the project staff learns the local context.

John Hoven

On Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 4:38 AM [Hidden email] <
[Hidden email]

June 19, 2020, 8:37 a.m.

[Hidden email]

Dear MiC Community,

Thank you for kicking off this engaging and timely discussion series. It's a fantastic model for how to share knowledge and I've been trying to keep up with the flow of great ideas.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the view of many CaLP members was that we would see a significant shift towards cash and market-based programming. As movement restrictions and distancing measures were imposed in many crisis contexts, remote cash delivery emerged as safer and more feasible than in kind distributions <https: blog="" covid-19-and-cva-how-are-operational-actors-responding="""">. As the crippling economic impacts <https: 06="" 12="" 2020="" coronavirus-global-hunger.html?action="click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage" opinion=""""> of the crisis start to bite, we know that MBP is the only way to save lives and protect livelihoods <https: blog="" the-90bn-question-can-we-reach-700-million-people-in-response-to-covid-19=""""> at scale. This week IRC published estimates that an additional $1.7 billion in cash transfers <https: cost-living-covid-19-humanitarian-cash-transfers-prevent-hunger-and-hardship?edme="true" report=""""> are needed to meet the acute hunger needs caused by the crisis. Globally there are more than 300 new government-led social transfer <https:""> programmes in place since the start of the crisis.

However, while we're seeing a scale-up in MBP in some settings - perhaps most notably in Latin America - and while a number of major humanitarian actors <https: blog="" covid-19-and-cva-how-are-operational-actors-responding=""""> have committed at the global level to deliver more assistance through cash as a result of COVID-19, this trend is not universal. There are still contexts where donors and humanitarian actors, citing concerns about market volatility or simply rushing to respond through tried and tested means, are prioritising in kind assistance. We hear from members in West Africa, for example, that NGOs there have struggled to find funding for market based programmes.

Our question for the MIC community is:


* Do you have examples of where advocacy for MBP during this crisis has been effective (or where it didn't work)?
* What were the primary concerns humanitarian responders and donors raised and how were you able to allay them (or not)?
* What advice would you have for others who are trying to advocate for market-based responses in other settings?

If you have specific country examples to share please label them in bold e.g. [sector], [context], [country] so readers can scan for relevant content.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With best regards,