A common tactic in many market development programmes is to coordinate stakeholders when there is poor communication between market actors that is leading to constant market failure (See Market Challenges: Information Asymmetry), or when the solution to a problem requires stakeholders to work together to come to consensus on/develop a proposal or policy.
Tactics to coordinate stakeholders can range from stakeholder consensus building workshops, to formal mediation processes, to industry association conferences. The following case study is a common example of how market facilitators work to spur better stakeholder coordination.
Commercialising cassava: new opportunities for Universal Industries and Malawian smallholders
Often stakeholder coordination in the form of workshops are commonly used at the beginning of a programme when undertaking ‘vision building’ (See Guidance:Vision) for the project or to communicate the business case for taking on new innovations. A stakeholder workshop is a structured, facilitated discussion with participants from various parts of an industry.
SEEP Network guide on how to prepare stakeholder workshops.
It is important to consider that there are different forms of coordination other than workshops, however. These can include individually meeting with different market actors, or acting as the coordination point for brokering new partnerships.
Stakeholder coordination as a tactic should be used in careful consideration as it might not be the most effective use of resources if market actors have heavily entrenched disagreements (See Market Challenges: Misaligned incentives). Sometimes, encouraging formal mediation may be a more appropriate tactic.