How can an organization decide in which BDS markets to intervene? This article draws on market assessments from all over the world to help managers decide when and how to launch such programmes. SEs are found to use BDS much less in some countries and for some services, but generalizations are unreliable, and it is usually necessary to draw up a profile of a market before it can be determined if a strategy that is effective in one country is appropriate for another. The article goes on to examine under what conditions of supply and demand for a service intervention will be most effective, and gives examples of appropriate interventions. Common assumptions, such as that business women use BDS less than men, or that price is a deciding factor in the choice of BDS, are examined.
Despite the considerable body of work on market analysis, many market assessments have not been as useful for project design and implementation as had been hoped. This article outlines ten key lessons learned from experience on how to conduct useful market assessments and use the information in market development project decision making. The lessons address how to design and initiate a market assessment, what types of information to gather, how to gather information and how to use market assessment to lay the practical groundwork for interventions. It focuses particularly on how to conduct market assessments that lead to action and how to make the transition from information gathering to implementation. The lessons emerged from projects focused on BDS market development and are also relevant to broader market development projects focused on making markets work for the poor.
How to assess if markets work better for the poor: Experiences from the Katalyst Project in Bangladesh
There is increasing demand for reports on the results and poverty impacts of private sector development projects. This article suggests that projects can respond to this demand through internal monitoring systems that provide both useful information for project management and estimated impacts on enterprises and poverty reduction. The article discusses the case of Katalyst, an M4P project in Bangladesh that has installed an internal monitoring system that uses a mid-range approach to impact assessment. Katalyst's impact assessment in the pond fish sector is presented, giving the details of what was measured, how it was measured, the conclusions drawn and follow up decisions made. Katalyst's overall impact monitoring system is then presented with an emphasis on how Katalyst balances accuracy with simplicity. The article concludes with Katalyst's perspective on how this system has been useful both for internal management and external reporting.
This article traces the evolution of enterprise development theory and practice over the past 20 years and suggests what critical challenges this field will face over the next decade. The paper delineates four key stages (sometimes overlapping) in enterprise development - beyond credit, commercial service delivery, systems approaches and developing inclusive systems - and describes the main themes, challenges and learning of each stage. It then moves to a brief analysis of upcoming issues in the enterprise development industry.
Over the last 15 years, practitioners have increasingly applied making markets work for the poor (M4P) to sparser, newer, and more fragile markets. What have we learned from the experience of M4P in thin markets? Because there are many gaps in thin markets, it’s critical to think in interconnected strategies, rather than only lead interventions. Tailoring M4P programmes to the causes of market thinness increases the chances of success. Working in thin markets requires using the principles of M4P creatively rather than sticking to a rigid ‘rule book’. The field has more work to do to increase the effectiveness of M4P in thin markets, including developing additional frameworks, tracking market system change more effectively, and sharing experience more freely. Working in thin markets is set to become increasingly important in the coming years.