LIVE Markets During COVID Discussion One #MARKETSADAPTING

Reply on DGroups | 24 comments

Understanding Markets during COVID

22 Dec 2020, 5:22 p.m.

Isabelle Gore

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

10 Jun 2020, 4:16 a.m.

[Hidden email]

Hi Binod
You indicate a ’no market’ situation- I am going to assume this is because of quarantine. If the farmers are still selling to middlemen, are middlemen still mobile to buy from farmers and sell to consumers?
Another question I have were there initiatives to assist vulnerable economic actors in how to use digital money platforms, ATMS and send e-transfers, or did the people just somehow move into this seamlessly?

Also I wonder how Plan can build on the fact that e-transfers and digital money usage has increased, can that b incorporated into programs?
I look forward to seeing the resources on how price monitoring has been adapted in covid contexts.
Thanks
Mary

Mary Morgan
Inclusive Markets Institute
Education for Professionals that Influence Change
Cell: +1-604-314-8376
Email: [Hidden email] <mailto:[Hidden email]>
Web Page: www.inclusivemarkets.institute <http: www.inclusivemarkets.institute=""/>

05 Jun 2020, 10:10 p.m.

[Hidden email]

Hi Sarah,

Sorry for our delayed response and thanks for including me in the conversation. Glad you were able to stumble on our latest write-up on how some of our projects are responding to the current challenges. Maybe its my own bias as a market systems specialist, but I have found that our more market systems leaning projects have been more nimble in their COVID response. I think this is due to their comfort level working through facilitative approaches and partnerships, rather than direct delivery. Right now the majority of our staff are teleworking so direct delivery really is not even an option. Also, some projects have built up significant trust with certain private sector partners who we can now work with quickly to move trainings on-line, disseminate PPE or public health info and in the case of Bangladesh – even look at home delivery of inputs. I will need to double check and see how that is actually working in practice.

We also found the new USAID resilience measurement framework <https: www.usaid.gov="" sites="" default="" files="" documents="" 1866="" market-systems-resilience-measurement-framework-report-final_public-august-2019.pdf=""> to be helpful in trying to assess the impacts on food and ag systems. Our Honduras project is way out in front on this and has already done two studies to determine how businesses are adapting <https: www.acdivoca.org="" 2020="" 04="" study-shows-resilience-of-honduran-businesses-tied-to-willingness-to-adapt-business-models=""/>.

All that being said, I think that unless we see movement restrictions loosening up, all the dire warnings of food insecurity will become reality.

Hope you are doing well and hope to connect at the Market Systems Symposium starting June 15th.

Hayden

03 Jun 2020, 12:08 p.m.

Mike Albu

Just f.y.i. we are featuring this thread on the BEAM Exchange.
https://beamexchange.org/conversations/8557/
If you wish to share outside the MiC community, you can use this link

03 Jun 2020, 12:04 p.m.

Binod Koirala

In Nepal,

· Due to the limitations of transportation means, famers are now either selling their vegetable produces to the middlemen at a very low price <https: kathmandupost.com="" national="" 2020="" 04="" 11="" farmers-are-selling-their-produce-for-a-pittance-even-as-customers-are-paying-exorbitant-prices=""> or even dumping the same including the dairy products because of the ‘no market’ situation. Also, the vegetables’ price in the capital city has dropped significantly-to about 1/3 of the price compared to that of the previous years.

· Nepal is predominantly a cash-based economy. However, the current situation has encouraged the people to increasing use the electronic transfers. The Central Bank has issued a directive to all the commercial banks to make the online transfers, interbank transactions or their ATM services free of any service charge. People are also increasingly using e-wallet to pay their utilities bills.

· Online orders and home delivery for the groceries items are also in rise. N-95 masks are available at 2-3 USD per piece.

· SDC has recently announced a call for proposal from the NGOs-with an intention to provide agriculture inputs to the local farmers to meet their livelihoods needs using a voucher modality and value chain approach.

Also, CaLP and Plan International are now finalizing technical resources (including videos interviews with a number of agencies) with some examples on how the remote market assessments, price monitoring and delivery mechanism have been adapted/used in C-19 contexts. The products are expected to be launched by the end of this week.

Binod Koirala
CVA Specialist, Plan International HQ

03 Jun 2020, 11 a.m.

Sasha Muench

Hi all,

We had technical difficulties this morning (we may have broken Dgroups) so
I am forwarding a message that came in a few hours ago from Sarah Ward:

Hi everyone,

#MARKETSADAPTING

Wanted to share some interesting adaptations that ACDI/VOCA is sharing with
their market systems development programming.

I think it's interesting how so many places, and even organizations, who
have not had to address crisis and adaptation at the scale before are
working in this unique context now. It's a pivot that we all may need to
get better at....

https://www.acdivoca.org/2020/05/five-market-systems-strategies-to-revive-food-agricultural-systems-during-covid-19/

Hayden: thought you might have some specific insight on this topic and
would appreciate the ideas being shared here as well...

Rock on,

Sarah

Sarah J Ward
Livelihoods and Economic Recovery in Crisis
[Hidden email]
skype: sarahjward
+1 518 929 6975
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-ward-5280196

02 Jun 2020, 9:14 p.m.

Sarah J Ward

Hi everyone,

#MARKETSADAPTING

Wanted to share some interesting adaptations that ACDI/VOCA is sharing with
their market systems development programming.

I think it's interesting how so many places, and even organizations, who
have not had to address crisis and adaptation at the scale before are
working in this unique context now. It's a pivot that we all may need to
get better at....

https://www.acdivoca.org/2020/05/five-market-systems-strategies-to-revive-food-agricultural-systems-during-covid-19/

Hayden: thought you might have some specific insight on this topic and
would appreciate the ideas being shared here as well...

Rock on,
Sarah

Sarah J Ward
Livelihoods and Economic Recovery in Crisis
[Hidden email]
skype: sarahjward
+1 518 929 6975
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-ward-5280196

02 Jun 2020, 8:23 p.m.

Helene Juillard

A lot of market monitoring I have seen lately relied on phone survey, sometimes triangulating data with satellite imagery of market places (that for example can give an indication of the number of stalls). Most of the REACH market analysis and others referenced in the COVID- related market resources (https://www.emma-toolkit.org/sites/default/files/bundle/COVID-19-related%20Markets%20Resources_0.pdf <https: www.emma-toolkit.org="" sites="" default="" files="" bundle="" covid-19-related%20markets%20resources_0.pdf="">) do so as well. But I agree with Alison, that de facto create a bias and limit data collection to the ones having access to a mobile phone.
The recently published Markit 2.0 has a section on remote data collection for market monitoring (https://seepnetwork.org/Blog-Post/MARKit-Market-Monitoring-Analysis-and-Response-Kit-2nd-Edition <https: seepnetwork.org="" blog-post="" markit-market-monitoring-analysis-and-response-kit-2nd-edition="">) that may come in handy too. On the M&E side, JPal recently hosted an excellent webinar and has crowed sourced best practices for phone surveys available from here: https://www.povertyactionlab.org/blog/3-20-20/best-practices-conducting-phone-surveys <https: www.povertyactionlab.org="" blog="" 3-20-20="" best-practices-conducting-phone-surveys="">
Do you have other good practices on remote market monitoring? How do we make sure we reach smaller, informal businesses, especially if we intend not only to use market but also potentially to support it?
Helene
Helene Juillard

Key Aid Consulting

Humanitarian consultants
Cash & markets, evaluation and learning lab

helene@keyaidconsulting.com
http://www.keyaidconsulting.com <http: www.keyaidconsulting.com=""/>

02 Jun 2020, 7:42 p.m.

Katie Whitehouse

Hi Alison,

I expect agencies like https://60decibels.com/approach will be creating
more and more opportunities for remote surveys through this pandemic. I
would be interested to know if they can reach the more informal businesses.

I have been supporting in some remote market analysis recently in Rwandan
camps and we have had to strip it back to high level views from field
coordinators and camp management to get a picture of what has been
happening on the ground. Really good initial market analysis (pre-covid)
has informed some assumptions around the likely impact of social distancing
on local systems so having that secondary data has been key.

*The key thing here being to keep proactively trying to gather data and
iterate as the picture on the ground becomes clearer. I would be interested
in knowing many donors are allowing for this adaptive management in their
funding? Have people been struggling between needing to 'guesstimate'
interventions and creating mechanisms for continuous adaptation with their
donors?*

Katie

02 Jun 2020, 5:17 p.m.

Olive Wahome

Please find the work being done by the Farm to Market Alliance in Kenya
https://twitter.com/wfp_kenya/status/1258343317323960320?s=21

Farmers are having their needed inputs delivered and mobile money (mpesa) is the payment modality.
Cheers

02 Jun 2020, 4:42 p.m.

Alison Hemberger

Really important question, Karri. This question has definitely been at the
top of my mind. What do others think about #MARKET ANALYSIS? Specifically:

*Given the restrictions imposed by COVID, how have you been figuring out
what has been happening on the ground? How have the objectives of your
analysis evolved? Has this been enough data to adapt/plan your market
interventions? *

I know several of our teams have worked on shoring up their databases of
private sector partners, and reaching out via phone to do interviews when
lockdowns are in place. One challenge we've faced is that this makes it
harder to reach smaller, more informal businesses.

ALISON HEMBERGER
Team Lead | Markets
Technical Support Unit

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

02 Jun 2020, 3:16 p.m.

[Hidden email]

Great examples Richmond! Thanks for sharing those...

I'm curious, how is UNHCR (and others!) figuring out what's happening on
the ground given the restrictions? Are you still able to do some kind of
market analysis?

#MarketsAdapting

02 Jun 2020, 3:16 p.m.

[Hidden email]

What a great discussion ! Thanks for initiating. In Senegal, as in many countries, local tailors adjusted by starting producing masks, mostly for free distribution. Some regulations supported this (in particular obligation to wear masks in markets and business places), some were playing against (A public ban against hand-made masks was published but just stayed out 24h, everyone advocating for tailors to continue being allowed to produce those masks that were protecting people and affordable if not free).

Researchers and students put a lot of creativity and talent in trying to overcome gaps in critical medical stuff and barriers to import. They produced cheap ventilators with 3D printers, and small local companies started selling cheap hand washing stations. Street vendors adjusted by replacing their former typical products (windscreen whipers) to more adapted items (masks and gel). However, it was reported on some occasions that some of those masks sold in the streets would be second hand, so more risky - sanitary speaking - than helpful, but a way to keep earning daily income. A good reminder that access matters but quality too !

Some local business owners developed digital apps to sell their products, of course restaurants and other businesses developed delivery services and there was even an app that was advertised by the government to distribute bread at home – never used it myself so could not tell about its efficiency – as bakeries were closed at some point to avoid crowds (though many remained open…). Taxi drivers worked more at day time (because of the curfew) though demand was limited at daytime. However, price of a ride tended to increase in afternoons when workers were rushing to try to get a bus or taxi to go back home before curfew.
Overall, public decisions and regulations were very flexible and adjusting fast, to avoid blocking businesses or markets for a long time. It was also decentralized to some extend, préfets being in charge of making decisions they would see appropriate depending on the spread of the epidemics in each department.

Money transfer companies offered lower rates and mobile companies offered 3G credit and phone credit (complying with BCEAO call on all MNOs to cut fees to facilitate and encourage money transfers).

At times and in some places, some items went missing in markets and supermarkets, and prices on some items increased but markets never remained closed for long so overall, access to basic items remained ok.

Looking forward to hearing more from other countries – and colleagues from Senegal, feel free to add and correct!

Nathalie

De : [Hidden email] <[Hidden email]> De la part de Sasha Muench
Envoyé : mardi 2 juin 2020 04:43
À : Markets in Crises <[Hidden email]>
Objet : [mic] LIVE Markets During COVID Discussion One #MARKETSADAPTING

Hi MiC Community,
Welcome to the MiC online discussion series on market-based programming in the COVID era. The series will run for the next four weeks, with a different topic each week. This week we will discuss the topic: Understanding Markets During COVID.
Over the next 48 hours we will post some questions each with its own #hashtag. To find the questions on this topic most interesting to you look for the #hashtag in the subject title of the discussion group or email and reply directly to that thread by either: (a) via website - clicking on the discussion on the website and replying to the last contribution or (b) via email - clicking 'reply' on the email and this will redirect the response to the right thread.
Our first question in the discussion is this:
#MARKETSADAPTING
What adaptations in markets have you seen without, or with, minimal humanitarian intervention? Are there specific examples you can share? Are certain contexts or markets adapting quicker than others, and if so, why? (For example, here in Palestine the textile sector has been quick to pivot to manufacturing masks and has hired additional employees to meet the need. Other sectors are struggling to get their employees to work sites because of public transportation shutdowns.)

Please let us know your thoughts and questions and get the discussion going!

Cheers,

SASHA MUENCH
Country Director, Palestine
MERCY CORPS

02 Jun 2020, 2:15 p.m.

Katie Whitehouse

A recurrent issue I have heard a number of organisations talking about is
the challenge of linking suppliers to consumers due to travel restrictions
particularly in more remote areas. Has anyone got any examples of how
adaptations to this market constraint in different contexts?

02 Jun 2020, 1:59 p.m.

Richmond Msowoya

Dear Karri,

In Malawi, specifically in Dzaleka refugee camp, covis response can be
summarised as follows:

MyBucks Bank *is* restructuring loans through moratorium and reducing cash
demands on low-income households’ by delaying and/or reducing loan
repayments and services fees on financial transactions, to ensure that the
cash available to households can focus on smoothing consumption and
supporting health care costs. UNHCR Malawi consumption support is provided
to all Graduation Approach participants on lump sum amounts of more than
three months instead of monthly payments to cushion them in case of lock
downs.

There is Hope <http: thereishopemalawi.org=""/>(UNHCR operating partner)
converted its skills training centre into nose/face mask production
facility. The German Embassy donated €10,000 EUR and procured 45 sewing
machines and materials to produce nose/face masks. LuQULuQu group
<https: luquluqu.org=""/> supported the LuQULuQu club (50 youth volunteers)
in Dzaleka camp with sewing equipment to produce 6000 face masks for
COVID-19 prevention. These masks are distributed to refugees for free. WhatsApp
groups have been created for constant engagement with livelihoods
participants to support implementation and monitoring of livelihoods
activities.

Kind Regards,

Richmond Msowoya

UNHCR Malawi Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion

02 Jun 2020, 1:57 p.m.

Said

In Somaliland, small holder farmers have doubled production and have
reported potential income as the importation of vegetable and fruit from
Ethiopia is affected by the border closure; Pre-COVID, the importation of
agricultural products have discouraged the local production. This gives
good edge for the local producers to gain traction before importation
resumes.

On the other hand, livestock prices have skyrocketed as gulf countries
abrupt demand for shoats and camel without the prior restrictive
prerequisites and conditions. This has also made significant improvement to
the lives of many pastoral life dependent communities in Somalia/Somaliland.

Best regards,

Said,

__________________________

*Said Muhumed Dolow*

Resiliency and Livelihoods Team leader- DRC Somalia/Somaliland

Jigjiga Yar, Mansoor Area/Hargeisa/Somaliland

Telephone: S/Land: + 252634000756/Somalia: +252612609835/

Kenya: +254 7242111356

Email: <[Hidden email]> said.dolow@drc.ngo/ Skype: saacid251

*Website:* drc.ngo <http: www.dc.ngo=""/> / danishdemininggroup.dk

[image: image]

<http: drc.globalsite.dk="" uk="">

02 Jun 2020, 1:05 p.m.

Sahara Dahir

Adding to Margaret Ngetha's email below on Kenya's Car boot markets and sharing a tweet that has been retweeted so many times, how Kenya's from different professions are adapting to hard economic times and doing business in their cars #copied# I BOUGHT EGGS FROM A BMW, ONIONS FROM A MERCEDES, MILK FROM A PRADO.
https://twitter.com/fhersy/status/1265138882028462080?s=20

Sahara Dahir Ibrahim
| CARE East, Central and Southern Africa | Cash & Markets Regional Advisor
Mobile- +254 721 740917
skype: sahara-dahir

02 Jun 2020, 12:45 p.m.

[Hidden email]

These are so cool! Has anyone else seen these comics for COVID training
<https: www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org="" q-and-a-using-comics-for-covid-19-awareness="">
from MicroSave?!
There's one for MFI client awareness, and another for MFI employee training.

Love the creativity!

--
Karri Goeldner Byrne
Senior Market Systems Advisor
email: [Hidden email]
skype: kgoeldner
LinkedIn <https: www.linkedin.com="" in="" karri-goeldner-byrne-822669=""/>

02 Jun 2020, 11:14 a.m.

Sasha Muench

Hi Katie,

Thanks for all of the great resources, especially the document on farmers.
One of the concerning trends I have seen is implementing agencies returning
to in-kind food distributions to help vulnerable households. This has the
potential to further harm farmers struggling to survive COVID. Has anyone
seen examples of agencies working in partnership with local farmers and
producers to meet humanitarian needs?

I also wonder how the credit markets are doing. I know some
multinationals, like Unilever, are extending credit to their smaller retail
shops. Does anyone have anecdotes or evidence of how small retailers,
producers, etc. are dealing with existing debt or taking on new debt in the
crisis?

Sasha

02 Jun 2020, 9:35 a.m.

[Hidden email]

I'm glad MiC is creating the space for a few 'good news stories' about COVID responses, because I've actually been hearing a lot of great small changes... and its the small changes that can make the biggest difference isn't it?!

Lots of stories of sellers in open markets taking precautions independently--creating handwashing stations (those jugs with a spigot), or marking out 2m distances around their stall with chalk in the dirt. I know I've seen examples in Myanmar and heard about it in East Africa... but please if you have more specific examples do share!

My favorite story so far though is farmers getting their seed delivered to their door. All those networks we helped create with trusted seed suppliers?... those folks are now doing home delivery! Farmer calls on their mobile and the seed supplier delivers it to the farmgate! Then they pay by mobile money transfer. I can't find the article where I read about it but I think it is so great! If you happen to know which article I'm referencing please do post the link here!

Karri

02 Jun 2020, 9:18 a.m.

Katie Whitehouse

Great question Sasha! I think we often too much assume markets are not
adapting to changing conditions but it is very much our responsibility to
identify where they are so we acknowledge it and do no harm.

*[Energy] [PAYGO] - *A great article that succinctly looked at the PAYGO
Energy sector impacts of COVID and how the supply and demand side could
adapt is here -
https://bfaglobal.com/insight-type/blogs/how-the-paygo-solar-sector-can-prepare-for-the-coronavirus-and-keep-the-lights-on/
.
Good reading for anyone working on Energy programs. It is also important to
remember the importance of energy as a *supporting function* across many
sectors and a tool to facilitate people staying home (e.g. provision of
energy for cooling; heating; charging phones; lights for work etc).

*[Food] - * There is another interesting article here that has highlighted
the ways in which smallholder farmers are not only attempting to respond to
COVID but take the time now to build resilience to compete in the future. "As
the pandemic spreads, farmer communities are working to protect the health
of producers, ensure food security, create solidarity networks for social
protection, keep cash flow and investment intact, and make sure that
information continues to flow. To compete in the future, they are seeking
to diversify their crops and markets, add value, innovate, establish
partnerships, cut costs and digitalize their businesses. They are also
building alliances for production and commerce, and securing partnerships
for more equitable trade."
http://www.intracen.org/publication/Unsung-Heroes-How-Small-Farmers-Cope-with-COVID-19/

*I would love to hear some examples from other sectors on what suppliers,
consumers and policymakers have been doing to help markets adapt without
external humanitarian intervention. Are there any examples we are seeing in
displacement contexts people could share?*

On Tue, 2 Jun 2020 at 07:48, Margaret Ngetha <
[Hidden email]

02 Jun 2020, 9:11 a.m.

Helene Juillard

Hi Mic-er,

Great to hear from Kenya!
In France, the start of the pandemic has seen a sharp increase in the demand for masks and hydroalcoholic gel. Supply was not sufficient and we rapidly faced shortages both due to this increased in demand but also overall changes in the market environment (with countries where most of the production is based banning export).
Available masks were sold on the black market at ten time their normal prices (about 10 Euros for a mask). The Government tried to regulate the market, imposing maximum prices for gel (but not for masks - not sure why).
Local suppliers rapidly took action: perfume or chemical factories started producing en masse gel, and local tailors (or basically anyone who knew how to sew) started doing some masks. It however took a couple of weeks between the start of this production and the products being available on the market.

I do not think that markets here have been especially quick to adapt (or maybe that just my French tendency to be critical of France), as we faced shortages for more than a month.
Curious to hear what happened elsewhere,
Helene

02 Jun 2020, 6:46 a.m.

Margaret Ngetha

In Kenya small businesses have sprung up as people adapt to the pandemic environment mainly selling sanitisers , face-masks and groceries. In the major towns Nairobi , Kisumu , Mombasa people have embraced the car boot sale model , these are people who have either seen an opportunity and want to cash in but majority have lost their jobs due to the crisis.

02 Jun 2020, 4:42 a.m.

Sasha Muench

Hi MiC Community,

Welcome to the MiC online discussion series on market-based programming in
the COVID era. The series will run for the next four weeks, with a
different topic each week. *This week we will discuss the
topic: Understanding Markets During COVID.*

*Over the next 48 hours we will post some questions each with its own
#hashtag*. To find the questions on this topic most interesting to you look
for the #hashtag in the subject title of the discussion group or email and
reply directly to that thread by either: (a) *via website - *clicking on
the discussion on the website and replying to the last contribution or (b) *via
email - *clicking 'reply' on the email and this will redirect the response
to the right thread.

Our first question in the discussion is this:

*#MARKETSADAPTING*

*What adaptations in markets have you seen without, or with, minimal
humanitarian intervention? **Are there specific examples you can share? Are
certain contexts or markets adapting quicker than others, and if so, why? (*For
example, here in Palestine the textile sector has been quick to pivot to
manufacturing masks and has hired additional employees to meet the need.
Other sectors are struggling to get their employees to work sites because
of public transportation shutdowns*.)*

Please let us know your thoughts and questions and get the discussion going!

Cheers,

*SASHA MUENCH*
Country Director, Palestine

*MERCY CORPS*