Guidance for teaching this competency
Definitions and terminology to describe a market, e.g. transactions, supply and demand, prices, value chains, competition.
Present framework for political economy and give examples that are relevant to local context. Learn to define different types of power: financial, political, prejudice and privilege.
Definitions and frameworks to understand types of systems (ordered, complex, chaotic). Address what a complex adaptive system is and how it relates to creating change in a market or social context.
- General advice on content delivery methods
Focus on a household or community, investigate how people are integrated into markets for key goods and services as both consumers and producers. Apply key models, terms and concepts from microeconomics and use them to describe findings.
What individuals and groups hold power and wealth in a specific bounded context, e.g. community, particular market? Why do they have this power? How do they maintain it?
Introduce examples of entrenched power and historical reasons why those people and organisations have it. Discuss how it affects MSD and reasons why it might be hard to change who has power.
- General advice on research assignments
Using tangible examples of complex adaptive systems (including videos and group exercises) from ecology, biology and social systems to unpack key concepts, e.g. emergence, path dependence, agents, simple rules.
- General advice on facilitated discussion
Analysing a sub-sector, or local issue that all participants are familiar with to illustrate links between visible events and trends, structures, institutions and norms, and mental models of particular actors in that situation.
- General advice on case study methods
Coaching & mentoring advice
- Support and encourage staff to actively use terminology from economics on a daily basis when describing their observations from the field and making decisions about interventions.
- Encourage staff to question underlying assumptions in traditional microeconomics and encourage them to self-learn about alternative economic theories: behavioural, agent-based, evolutionary etc.
- Help staff pay attention to the political connections of business owners and assess for risks and benefits. Encourage them to take those factors into account when choosing who to partner with.
- Challenge staff to critically assess which segments of the population their interventions are serving and actively make decisions to include vulnerable and marginalised groups.
- Challenge linear cause-and-effect thinking: push staff to consider multiple factors.
- Emphasise pattern recognition: encourage staff to notice common themes in market actor behaviour, e.g. predatory pricing, inequities in access, low information flow in transactions)