Who does, who pays?

Sustainability is a core feature of market systems approaches, but market systems are dynamic. How can we ensure the system has the capacity to respond to change in the future without further intervention?

The sustainability analysis framework (also known as Who Does, Who Pays?) is a useful framework to help you decide whether your activities will lead to sustainable behaviour change. The framework looks at the existing and potential future incentives and the capabilities of market actors. Start by answering two questions:

  • Who ‘does’ what currently, and who will do what in the future?
  • Who ‘pays’ for what currently, and who will pay for what in the future?

The ‘who’ is a type of market player (such as input suppliers) rather than a specific player (such as Input Supply Company X). 

Next, set out a picture of the future. Think about your future vision of a functional market system, who will do what function, and who will pay for it. Consider what incentives your target partners have (and will continue to have) to change their behaviour towards this desired future state.

Sustainability analysis framework

Considering sustainability from the start requires an exit strategy at the outset and holding yourself to it. Ask:

  • Would market players continue with their new role without programme support?
  • Will players be motivated and able to change how they behave with (modest) programme inputs?
  • Can the new configuration of functions and players result in sustainable system change within the lifespan of the programme?

Taking sustainability seriously imposes discipline on a programme's strategy and interventions. Without a clear exit strategy, there's a risk that the programme’s actions will distort systems rather than develop them.

M4P Operational Guide, Chapter 3: Vision

Core principles and frameworks for defining and planning an intervention.