Facilitating Market Systems
Markets are vital to the rural poor – whether as workers, producers or consumers. Transforming these market systems can be extremely powerful at tackling rural poverty, and the benefits can be shared on a very large scale. However all too often, weak relationships between market actors, a lack of access to critical inputs and services and a disabling institutional environment combine to create market systems that compound the vulnerability and marginalization of the poor.
But markets can and do work for the poor. Market actors can work together to unblock constraints to make entire sectors more efficient and competitive. When poor women and men are empowered to be part of this collaboration, market transformations can bring inclusiveness and equitability to the system.
The Participatory Market System Development (PMSD) approach has developed over 10 years, from Practical Action’s experience of the way poor women and men sustainably generate an income. PMSD has evolved with the frameworks of value chain development and Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P). It is based on Practical Action’s field experience across Africa, South Asia and Latin America, and four decades of learning about the best ways to build sustainable enterprises in rural contexts.
To find out more about our approach to PMSD, click here.
The PMSD Roadmap
The PMSD Roadmap is a structured sequence of steps designed to guide and train field staff in how to facilitate the PMSD process on the ground. Practical Action is developing the in-depth resources that will form each step.
The PMSD Roadmap offers three levels of capacity building:
A series of detailed, step-by-step guidelines, available online for anyone to use;
A set of training courses, that can be downloaded and adapted to specific contexts by managers wanting to train their teams;
- A mentoring programme to build the skills and competencies of expert facilitators and PMSD leaders. This is run in collaboration with CARE, CHF International and Conservation International, with the support of USAID.
An example slide for the pmsd roadmap, which can be found at www.slideshare.net/pmsd-map
PMSD is featured as a “best practice” in the implementation of value chain development by USAID and is also highly regarded by donors including DFID, SDC and the European Commission.
The PMSD Roadmap launched in February 2012. We are very excited about the opportunities it will provide for Practical Action and other like-minded organisations and agencies to continue to improve the way we facilitate more efficient, inclusive and equitable markets that work better for vulnerable and marginalized women and men around the world.
Sharing with Others
For organisations and agencies wanting support in value chain development and market systems facilitation, Practical Action’s consultancy arm Practical Action Consulting are one mechanism through which we share our approaches and learning, and offer tailored services to meet individuals’ specific needs.