Intervention challenges


Poor or missing rules

The public sector (government and relevant civil society institutions, academics and researchers, etc.)  should be a key player in most market systems; it defines the rules of the game. When government is not playing its role effectively, it can have wide implications for market effectiveness, especially when a given market contexts lacks adequate regulation.

Climate, legal and institutional reform tools

A useful set of tools for those using a value chain approach in their programmes

A poor or missing rule refers to situations where no regulations exist, those where regulations exist but they are unenforceable due to a lack of resources, or situations where existing regulations do not address root issues of market inefficiency.

Market systems development programmes may choose to address a poor or missing rule by reforming existing regulations, improving transparency and ‘fair play’ by certain institutions, or increasing enforcement of rules. This could involve (amongst others) the following tactics:

  • Advocacy through the private sector. Programmes may improve the capacity of local media organisations to promote a pro-poor business environment.
  • Stakeholder coordination. This involves coordinating stakeholders to more effectively lobby for new and better rules. (See Stakeholder coordination).
  • Research/building the evidence base for reform. This is particularly relevant when existing rules need to be revised, and tensions exist between stakeholders. Commissioning a study or using existing sources of impartial and reliable data can help to ensure that all stakeholders start on a level knowledge base, and that discussions are based on empirical facts. (See Building the evidence base).

Working with mass media to improve policy advocacy in Nigeria

How ENABLE increased the quality and quantity of media coverage dedicated to small business and agricultural issues.

A CGAP blog looks at the tactics used to facilitate the reform of regulations in the (digital) financial sector in Tunisia.