PISCES E-conference

Summary from Thursdays seminar

Dear all,

This afternoon I would like to present a summary from yesterdays evening seminar. Presentation slides will be made available here online as well. Please take some time to look through the presentations. The forum will remain open into next week to allow continued discussions on any of the points raised and to help draw a more concise feedback and evaluation on the tools and methods presented here. If you have questions for any of the three presenters below or would like further information please do post to the conference and we will endeavour to get your questions, thoughts and suggestions answered.

Presentation summary:

Luis (Lucho) Osorio, Practical Action
International Coordinator - Markets & Livelihoods Program, Practical Action

Lucho started the presentations yesterday evening with a presentation about how to execute Participatory Market Mapping and giving insight into the processes involved. He highlighted the fact that often markets are perceived as belonging to the private sector but in fact they can be both public and private and both sectors influence the success of a market. One of the key points eh raised about the success of a market is that the flow of wealth to producers needs to be untapped.

Lucho also stated that input from anthropologists has shown that things affect markets and uptake, which do not respond to economic standards but to irrational behaviours such as fear and reputation but yet still impact the success of a market chain. This further highlights some of the point made on Monday surrounding Gillian’s presentation where discussions around how culture; gender and religion can affect market success.

Lucho showed how the market map allows us to identify where blockages are. Lucho then took us through the challenges surrounding actually forming the map ad getting all key stakeholders successfully together is not easy. Keep those who are critical in the market engaged who at the outset may not be willing to participate is key. As events progress they will hopefully see the benefit to engaging and participating.

For further information on this read http://practicalaction.org/markets-and-livelihoods/docs/ia2/mapping_the_market.pdf
Emma Wilson, IIED
Senior Researcher, Sustainable Markets Group

Emma followed this introducing IIED’s work on Bioenergy markets, where:

IIED’s work on biomass energy and local access to energy more broadly seeks to explore opportunities for the poorest to benefit from low-carbon and localised energy systems. In many places, community awareness of all their energy options is very low, entrenched interests in existing energy value chains are hard to shift, while policy frameworks are not supportive of alternative energy options. Programmes and business models need to be developed with collaboration of local communities and a good understanding of local willingness and ability to pay for energy services, capacity for long-term local ownership and maintenance of systems, local employment potential, social and cultural acceptability of products and services. Communities themselves need to be aware of all their energy options in order to make the kinds of livelihood choices that will benefit them in the long term. Policy frameworks need to be designed to optimise the impact of programmes on poverty reduction, climate change adaptation (as well as mitigation) and the preservation of ecosystem services.

Emma posed some very challenging questions on how we measure and attribute impact to these processes? How do we predict what people want? How do you get key stakeholders involved in the exercise? Why should they have to participate? To bring people together with different perspectives on an issue is in fact very difficult.

She also highlighted, as has been raised by Sachin earlier this week, that often in markets we fail to reach the poorest of the poor. There needs to be a lot of support around consumers to make the base of Pyramid distribution work where government subsidies are set up to produce a sustainable business model.

For further details of the project and their latest publication go to:

Dr. Ewan Bloomfield, Practical Action Consulting, PISCES
Energy Consultant and International Project Manager, Practical Action Consulting

Ewan followed this with a similar presentation to that we saw this morning. This gave an over view of case studies where practical actions tool of participatory market mapping has been used as part of the PISCES research initiative to add value to market chains in Kenya and Sri Lanka and his paper and presentation highlight some of the challenges faced in both countries and also that lessons learnt in one country can often be applied to another. The difficulty is the long term monitoring and evaluation of these impacts and his questions from the end of the presentation this morning bring us back to those key points on: Once a PMM workshop has finished how should the recommendations be followed up on and by whom? What should be the role of NGO’s in the PMM process? Who is best placed to lead the PMM workshop process? How can the relationships between the market actors and stakeholders developed during the PMM workshop be continued and built on?

To download the publication on bioenergy market system development go to: http://www.pisces.or.ke/pubs/pdfs/04007_ECO_Pisces_Bioenergy_Market.pdf

Several presenters over the course of this week are partners of the PISCES project.
For further details on PISCES please visit: http://www.pisces.or.ke/

PISCES (Policy Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security) is a 5-year Energy Research Programme Consortium (RPC) initiative funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) that is aimed at contributing to innovation and providing new policy-relevant knowledge in the energy sector - leading to better practices and ultimately impacts in helping the poor in developing countries.
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