Incentivising copying firms to share data

Tags: Data collection, partners, crowding-in

This is one of a series of stories that complement the BEAM Monitoring Guidance. It offers a practical example of how a market development programme has solved a typical monitoring or evaluation challenge.

Kuza, a DFID-funded market systems development programme in Mombasa, aims to increase employment for young men and women in the city.

Kuza’s work in waste management has seen a number of youth-led community based organisations (CBOs) launch successful operations in waste collection, sorting, and recycling. The business model introduced, referred to as the 'block collection model', has generated significant success for the CBOs. In addition, a number of other CBOs, which Kuza is not in partnership with, have since copied the model.

The challenge

Kuza faced several challenges in trying to collect data from the copying CBOs. The challenges included:

  • Identifying all of the CBOs who had copied the model, and finding a contact for them
  • CBOs unwilling to share data, especially on their revenue, due to a lack of familiarity with Kuza
  • CBOs not collecting data in the first place, because they did not see the importance of collecting the type of information Kuza was interested in, and subsequently, when asked by Kuza to collect the data, there was no buy-in.

The solution

To address these challenges, Kuza:

  • supported the formation of an industry association that would both promote and monitor the spread of the 'block collection model'
  • leveraged executive members of the industry association to conduct data collection from members, taking advantage of the trust and familiarity between member CBOs
  • through the executive committee of the industry association, gained formal introductions to new CBOs that use the model, so that Kuza could also build trust with new members
  • built data collection tools with the CBOs, rather than for the CBOs. Kuza designed the data collection according to which information the CBOs thought was useful for their own operational improvements, while also helping CBOs to understand which data is most important and how it can be used
  • conducted monitoring visits in person, rather than by phone, to further build familiarity and strong relationships between Kuza and CBOs.

These adjustments to Kuza's monitoring strategy have meant that the team was able to collect good data much more easily, while still ensuring that the key relationships are held by the industry association as a permanent market actor. The dual enablers for success were building trust and familiarity, and finding ways that the data collection could also benefit the operations of the CBOs. The first step towards developing trust and familiarity was to successfully institutionalise the industry association, which is now also playing a major role in the broader strategy for scaling waste management innovations throughout Mombasa County. 

Do you have anything to add, or want to ask a question? Please comment below or contact the author.

To learn more, see the BEAM Monitoring Guidance on collecting information with market actors.