Intervention tactics


Exchange visits or demonstration days

Exchange visits and demonstration days are common tactics that market systems programmes employ to either build conviction with a market actor to take on an initial innovation, or to help an innovation spread to competitors or the rest of the industry through showcasing success. The latter type of approach is discussed further in Intervention Process: Moving to Scale.

Getting to scale: Lessons in reaching scale in private sector development programmes

Exchange visits could include:

  • Exchange visits to other regions or to another country, either with a similar-type business or with a business in a different but still applicable sector;
  • Industry association events where certain market actors can be showcased (This is similar to Intervention Tactics: Stakeholder Coordination meetings), usually appealing to a larger audience although less targeted than exchange visits;
  • Using media and news, such as radio and television, to showcase market actor success;
  • Working through local institutions or businesses that award innovation prizes, challenge funds or similar.

A SEEP Network guide is helpful for organising business to business exchange visits:

B2B exchange visits

A guide to successful B2B exchange visits - offering an alternative to traditional training.

Hosting demonstration days or supporting demonstration plots have a long history in development programming, particularly in the agricultural sector. They can also be a useful tactic for demonstrating the value of a product or service to potential customers. However, they require a great deal of organising and the events themselves often involve a subsidy (See Intervention tactic: buying down risk) with a new partner so need to be well considered beforehand.

The market systems approach in the agricultural sector

Practical lessons from smallholder farmers

Ensure that you are not using these tactics to address issues of technical or financial capacity, or a lack of incentives – exchange visits are used for building understanding and conviction. Does the market understand the benefits of the innovation?