Module 1: Systemic change monitoring framework

04

Collecting information with market actors

Market systems programmes typically pilot an innovation with a chosen partner or set of partners. While such market actors may come from any sector of the economy (public, private, civil society), programme partners are very often private companies.

The information that private sector organisations use to make decisions is often different to that used by the donor or facilitating programme team. Each side has different incentives for participating, and therefore a different perspective on what constitutes success. A company’s primary focus will be growth and profit, while the programme team and donor are ultimately interested in poverty reduction. 

Programmes need to design interventions that align these different incentives. This means enabling a company to grow and make a profit, at the same time as increasing opportunities for employment and income generation, or creating better access or more affordable products and services for poor and marginalised people.

The same question of alignment needs consideration in relation to the collection of monitoring information. In many cases, market actors will undertake their own intervention monitoring, though they will probably not use this term. Not all market actors will have the same information needs. Small primary producer organisations are positioned differently to small enterprises, which in turn have different information needs and incentives to share this information when compared to buyers and traders.  

While information needs and the way that data is collected will be different for various market actors and programme teams, there will be some overlap where the same information is important for all. How information that is useful for all parties is collected is therefore an important issue that a monitoring framework needs to address. Considerations of timing and of commercial sensitivity will also be important. 

Module 8 looks at how programmes and market actors can effectively work together to generate and use monitoring data.

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