Making Sense of ‘Messiness’
Market systems are intricate webs of players, actions and interactions that take time and effort to understand.
For programmes that want to develop and change market systems, as opposed to becoming part of and potentially undermining them, it is important to make sense of these intricacies – the ‘messiness’ – in order to understand the effects that interventions are having and to assess whether or not pro-poor outcomes are likely to endure.
In the first part of the paper, the authors set out the tools and processes that a DFID-funded programme in Nepal, Samarth-NMDP, uses to help deal with market system ‘messiness’, building on existing good practice in monitoring and results measurement from the DCED Standard. The second part of the paper details experiences of using these tools and processes during the programme’s first eighteen months of implementation.