Case Studies: PSA in Action

Summary: This case shows how Practical Action used Participatory Market Mapping Workshops (PMMWs) to help marginalized dairy farmers in Nepal gain access to more functional markets, increase their incomes and contribute to a more favorable business environment. It illustrates the effects of working with the system actors as a facilitator to build a shared understanding of the market and increased levels of trust and influence. Using a visual representation of the market system – the Market Map – facilitators in the field used PMMWs to bring public and private market actors together to identify and discuss blockages and opportunities for increased coordination and collaboration.

Summary: Recognizing the importance of cattle farming to livelihoods in rural Zimbabwe, along with the extreme fragility of the livestock market, Practical Action embarked on a project to improve incomes for farmers by facilitating a positive transformation of the market. The project focused on Guruve district in Mashonaland central province. Guruve is a typical example of the significance of livestock farming in rural Zimbabwe: of the district’s 20,000 households, 80% keep cattle with a total number of 169,500 animals in 2005.

Over the course of two-and-half years, the project brought stakeholders together in a process that was intended to identify what blockages were hindering the development of a competitive, fair and effective market before facilitating new approaches to addressing those obstacles in a way that would benefit all. Involving all actors in the process of systemic market change proved to be an effective approach, inspiring a number of practical innovations to mitigate market blockages and leading to significant and sustainable improvements to incomes.

Summary: Beekeeping in Kenya has the potential to create employment, increase household income, enhance food security, and strengthen the resilience of people in arid and semi-arid areas. Through analysis, Christian Aid identified that the economic, health and social value attainable through the honey market would bring significant benefits for marginalized rural honey producers. Christian Aid identified that the issues affecting the honey sector could not all be resolved at farm level. In order to address this, Christian Aid worked with Practical Action Consulting and the Kenya Honey Council (KHC), to bring together all the market stakeholders including beekeepers, buyers, processors, supermarkets, research institutions and government representatives. Specific efforts were made to equip and empower marginalized honey farmers to give them the confidence to engage with these market actors in what could be unfamiliar and intimidating surroundings.