Complexity

Market systems are dynamic

They involve different public and private players collaborating, coordinating and competing. Their behaviour and performance are influenced by the rules, incentives and the physical conditions of the business environment. But they are also affected by other actors' decisions, to which they adapt.

Moreover, accurate information about market players such as their prices, sales turnover, profit margins and plans is often hard to come by, making a precise snapshot of the 'state' of a market system difficult to pin down.

This inherent uncertainty and flux can make the task of transforming market systems to benefit poor women and men extremely complex. As a result, it is difficult to predict reliably how market systems will react to changes, such as interventions by development agencies.  

Many practitioners argue that this complexity demands a different approach to interventions and programme management than those provided by conventional aid initiatives.

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