Market systems development

Like our clients, we seek to achieve poverty alleviation at scale. To do so, we design and implement interventions that effect system-wide change to the benefit poor producers and consumers.

This requires us to diagnose the root cause and not just symptoms of market failures. Our approach and team expertise equip us to consider all the critical elements, from agricultural production to agricultural policy and finance that impact market systems. This expertise is reflected in market-led intervention design, sound and consistent implementation and the use of M&E tools that reveal where an intervention is succeeding and where rapid changes are required.

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Expertise Areas

Programme design, implementation and management

The hallmark of our programme design is a clear understanding of how the political, economic and social context influences markets. Empowered with that contextual knowledge, we implement programmes that support market actors to adopt new business models that improve the way markets work for the poor. Our project management focuses on robust financial oversight, proactive supervision of key staff and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems that provide reliable data to enable intervention improvements in real time.

Making markets work for the poor (M4P) in agriculture

Our M4P programmes aim to beneficially integrate the poor and marginalised into market systems by strengthening their position as producers, distributors, or consumers.  This is achieved through designing and implementing market-led solutions that realise the business case of inclusive market systems.

Value chain analysis (VCA)

VCA is an important complementary tool in M4P and market development approaches.  It is a powerful method for identifying opportunities and blockages in bringing a product or service to market.  Effective VCA underpins disciplined and practical programme design that maximises value addition at points along the value chain that most benefit the poor.

Monitoring and evaluation

Undertaking practical and useful results measurement for programmes applying a market systems development approach is complex and requires one to think outside of the traditional linear approach to achieving impact.  

We combine our understanding of market systems, catalytic funding mechanisms and experience in private sector development with deep knowledge and expertise in international M&E standards, including the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development Standard.

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Projects

Innovating fintech services for smallholder farmers

Project name:
Mid-term evaluation of AgriFin Accelerate

Service:
Market systems development
Monitoring and evaluation
Financial inclusion

Sector:
Agriculture and Agribusiness
Financial Services Strategy

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation and impact assessment

Client:
Mercy Corps

Date:
2017

Country:
Kenya
Tanzania
Zambia


AgriFin Accelerate (AFA) is a six-year, USD 24.7-million programme, funded by MasterCard Foundation and implemented by Mercy Corps in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. AFA considers itself to be a market facilitator, helping market players to overcome systemic constraints that inhibit the functioning of the innovation market for digital financial and information services (DFS and DIS).

The AFA approach is twofold, focusing first on partner engagement, brokering and coordinating partnerships between institutions that offer complementary skills and product/service offerings. Secondly, AFA provides technical assistance to support its partners to innovate and develop DFS and DIS that reach smallholder farmers. The programme aims to expand access to DFS and DIS to one million smallholder farmers by 2021.

Genesis and The Springfield Centre were contracted by Mercy Corps and the MasterCard Foundation to conduct the mid-term evaluation of AFA. The Genesis-Springfield team applied a market-systems development lens to the evaluation, and aimed to embed the core principles of the approach, including scale, sustainability and market facilitation. 

The evaluation was both backward and forward-looking, assessing the performance of the project to date, while also providing recommendations based on the findings to inform future strategy. The forward-looking component specifically considered the intended shift in the latter half of the project from building institution-focused engagements to achieving scale and catalysing ecosystem change. 

The collaborative approach to the evaluation included theory of change and validation workshops with the AFA team and MasterCard Foundation. This helped map a pathway to consolidation of programme activities and a greater focus on learning and knowledge dissemination, guiding the team to have a greater system-wide influence in the agricultural finance sector.

Seed strategy to increase output of smallholder farmers

Project name:
Seed Business Development Strategy

Service:
Market systems development

Sector:
Agriculture and Agribusiness
Climate Change

Client:
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Date:
2018

Country:
Mozambique


Access by smallholder farmers in northern Mozambique to improved varieties of hybrid and open-pollinated seed is critical if they are to improve their productivity and crop resilience to the impacts of an ever changing climate. The specific objectives of IITA are to:

  • Increase the production and supply of breeder, pre-basic, basic, and certified seeds of common beans, cowpea, groundnut, pigeon pea, sesame and soybean;
  • Scale up and enhance the adoption of improved varieties and best-management practices; and 
  • Enhance national policy dialogue on seed and fertiliser supply.

Genesis developed a seed business-development strategy for the IITA as a tool that will guide, orient and define expected outputs in how the project interacts and collaborates with seed stakeholders. The aim is to improve the capacity for management, planning, production and distribution of basic and certified seeds to farmers and other stakeholders in the project locations. Specifically, Genesis:

  1. Identified problems and constraints that had led to inefficiencies in the seed systems in northern Mozambique;
  2. Identified specific seed business services’ capacity development needs and provided remedial measures to overcome these through a clear capacity development plan; and 
  3. Provided guidance in how IITA could interact and collaborate with other stakeholders with the aim of developing sustainable and functional seed businesses in the project locations.
Field officer with a beneficiary farmer on the IITA project

Learning partner for responsible finance in Rwanda

Project name:
Learning partner to Responsible Finance through Local Leadership and Learning in Rwanda

Service:
Financial inclusion
Monitoring and evaluation
Market systems development

Sector:
Financial Services Strategy

Area of Expertise:
Ongoing support as a learning partner

Client:
SEEP Network

Date:
2017 - 2020

Country:
Rwanda


SEEP Network, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, is implementing a four-year initiative called Responsible Finance Through Local Leadership and Learning (RFL3) which seeks to scale impact in consumer protection for low income financial service customers in Rwanda using a market systems approach. 

The initiative aims to promote an enabling environment by facilitating collaboration amongst a wide range of private and public sector stakeholders, its key partner being the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Rwanda (AMIR).

An overview of the market constraints identified by the programme, and its corresponding theory of change has been documented: Read more

Genesis has been contracted to act as the learning partner to RFL3 throughout its lifetime. We are responsible for spearheading the development and implementation of a solid strategy to extract and disseminate learnings from the RFL3 programme activities both nationally and regionally. 

These include defining the programme’s learning agenda, contributing to the design of learning activities/events and conceptualising and overseeing the development of learning products.

One of the first learning products from the programme was based on consumer protection assessments and upgrade action plans undertaken with a few of the largest microfinance institutions (MFIs) and savings and credit cooperative organisations (SACCOs) in Rwanda in 2017, using the Smart Campaign methodology. It lays out some mechanisms for MFIs to improve their client protection practices: Read more on Learning Brief: Mechanisms to Improve Client Protection Practices in Rwanda

Plan to create 45 000 jobs in Ethiopia

Project name:
Plan to create 45 000 jobs in Ethiopia

Service:
Market systems development

Sector:
Agriculture and Agribusiness
Public and Social

Area of Expertise:
Making markets work for the poor (M4P) in agriculture

Client:
A DFID programme managed by DAI Europe

Date:
2014 – ongoing

Country:
Ethiopia


Ethiopia has witnessed rapid economic growth with real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014. Enterprise Partners (EP) – an M4P programme managed by DAI Europe – aims to bolster this economic growth over the next six years through integrating the poor, especially women, in sustainable economic enterprises that create jobs and improve incomes.

The programme aims to create 45 000 jobs (75% of which will be held by women) and increase the incomes of 65 000 households by at least 20% through two interrelated strategies of increasing levels of investment in growth-oriented small and medium enterprises, and increasing returns on investment (productivity) in the cotton/textiles, livestock/leather and horticulture sectors. Central to the programme achieving its objectives is increased private sector investment. 

To increase private sector investment in agriculture, the Genesis-led agro-industrial component identified that the need for a flexible and contextually appropriate approach to private sector engagement and deal structuring. This resulted in the agro-industrial implementation team adopting a more deliberate, strategic and flexible approach that enabled the development incentives that better aligned the private sector with the programme’s objectives. 

For example, in the horticulture sector, EP seeks to improve linkages between local farmers and export markets through enabling an existing market actor to deliver export facilitation services to farmers.  Genesis used its market systems analysis to develop a locally appropriate model. The model identified the Ethiopian Horticultural Exporters and Producers Association (EHEPA) and existing commercial farmers as key pilot partners, outlining the facilitation efforts required to restructure the EHEPA operations, to support commercial farmers to individually export as well as provide export facilitation services to other farmers.  

This more deliberate focus on private sector led interventions with a clear exit strategy from the onset of implementation will yield systemic and sustainable changes in EP’s target agricultural value chains, ultimately underpinning the programme’s ability to reach its objectives of supporting Ethiopia’s increased pro-poor and inclusive growth.

The project plans to increase the land under horticultural production from 12 000ha to 20 000ha and exports sales from USD56-million to USD100-million.

Enterprise Partners and Ethiopian horticulture producers sign partnership agreement to create 3000 jobs

EP EHPEA Partnership Agreement Story Covered by FanaBC on 010716

Microfinance sector in Rwanda still needs support

Project name:
End of project evaluation for the Microfinance Challenge Fund Rwanda

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation
Market systems development
Financial inclusion

Sector:
Financial Services Strategy

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation & impact assessment

Client:
Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR)

Date:
2017

Country:
Rwanda


Genesis Analytics evaluated the Microfinance Challenge Fund Rwanda and found that the Rwandan microfinance industry still needs support.

Genesis was contracted by Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) to conduct the evaluation of the Microfinance Challenge Fund Rwanda, which was designed and capitalized by KfW to address the microfinance industry in Rwanda’s inability to self-correct on the issues of weak technical capacity and access to refinancing.

KfW signed a grant agreement with the Government of Rwanda for €3-million to be channelled through AFR for the support of microfinance institutions (MFIs), and in April 2014 the Microfinance Challenge Fund was established. The fund provided microfinance institutions (MFIs) with refinancing and technical training and assistance for a period of three years.

The purpose of the evaluation Genesis conducted was to provide a holistic review of the fund, including its projects, take stock of how the fund performed, and assess the degree to which its objectives had been achieved. 

The evaluation approach amalgamated a sector review and a framework of good Challenge Fund practices, to create an analysis framework. Data and information collected through a document review, and engagements with the sector, programme staff and clients then fed into this analysis framework to answer the evaluation questions posed and inform the option analysis.

Using the findings of this evaluation Genesis reflected on the lessons learnt through the fund’s implementation and conducted a feasibility analysis for a second phase. Finally, based on the evaluation and an assessment of the recommendations, we provided key considerations for AFR to consider when deciding whether to support and expand the fund.

The results of the project were presented in March 2017 to key stakeholders in the microfinance sector. Stakeholders present included representatives from the Bank of Rwanda, commercial banks, microfinance institutions, donor agencies, industry organisations and NGOs. A robust and frank conversation was facilitated between these stakeholders, where the issues facing the sector were aired and interrogated.

Value assessment of Access to Finance Rwanda

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Developing market links for smallholder farmers

Project name:
Developing linkages for smallholder farmers

Service:
Market systems development

Sector:
Agriculture and Agribusiness
Public and Social

Area of Expertise:
Value chain analysis (VCA)
Programme design, implementation and management

Client:
Cardno Emerging Markets (UK)

Date:
2015 – 2017

Country:
South Africa


In South Africa, smallholder farmers remain locked out of formal retail markets due to the markets’ stringent quality and volume requirements, particularly for fresh fruit and vegetables. 

The TGVCI Farmer Support and Linkages project was an 18-month programme that addressed this constraint by linking smallholder farmers to established retail markets through emerging commercial farming hubs that acted as collection, standardisation and distribution points of product, as well as a source of inputs, market information, technical advice and training.

Through linking smallholder farmers to established retail markets, the programme increased the economic and social wellbeing of smallholder farmers producing fruit and vegetables in the Gauteng and North West provinces of South Africa.

Genesis adopted a private-sector-led development approach to inform programme implementation by working with market actors to present and facilitate the adoption of new practices (business models, services, behaviours) that resulted in more inclusive supply chains.

Genesis’s facilitation efforts targeted input suppliers, commercial farming hubs, smallholders and retailers whereby the hub procurement model and its integrated commercial benefits to each market actor were presented and promoted for adoption.

Our facilitation efforts resulted in retail off-takers engaging with hubs in an effort to develop long-term procurement relationships. Hubs initiating or consolidating relationships with smallholder farmers. As well as input suppliers proposing models to provide high quality technical advice on crop selection and production to participating farmers. 

All of this will continue to underpin the production, consolidation and sale of high quality produce from smallholders to participating private sector off-takers via the commercial farming hubs.

Value assessment of Access to Finance Rwanda

Project name:
Assessment of value-for-money of Access to Finance Rwanda project interventions

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation
Market systems development
Financial inclusion

Sector:
Financial Services Strategy

Area of Expertise:
Evaluation and impact assessment

Client:
Access to Finance Rwanda

Date:
2015

Country:
Rwanda


Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) was established in 2010 to promote access to financial services in Rwanda. To achieve its objective, AFR has taken a making markets work for the poor (M4P) approach.

In 2015, Genesis Analytics was contracted to take stock of AFR’s progress in achieving its goal and to conduct a value for money (VfM) assessment of AFR’s investments. The aim of the assessment was to generate evidence of the programme’s successes, impact and anticipated impact, as well as to provide recommendations on how to adjust AFR’s investment portfolio and implementation approach to maximise VfM.

To complete the assessment, Genesis first conducted a review of good practices in financial-sector deepening programmes globally, to build a framework that would assess the overall relevance and appropriateness of AFR’s portfolio. 

After this AFR project documentation and data were reviewed, interviews were conducted with project implementers and discussions with project beneficiaries were held. Genesis used DFID’s VfM assessment framework to organise the qualitative and quantitative data collected and assessed the economy, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and equity of AFR. 

The findings and conclusions were used by AFR for the development of its Phase 2 strategy.

ABOVE: A local informal market in Rwanda - We work at the intersection of the market and the state
TOP: Capacity building of savings and credit cooperative organisations to increase efficiencies in the disbursement of green leaf payments to smallholder tea farmers working with the Mulindi and Shagasha tea factories 

Working models for inclusive agricultural business

Project name:
Study on Inclusive Business Models in South African Agricultural Value Chains

Service:
Market systems development

Sector:
Agriculture and Agribusiness
Public and Social

Area of Expertise:
Value chain analysis (VCA)

Client:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

Date:
2015

Country:
South Africa


Inclusive business models that integrate previously disadvantaged individuals into agricultural value chains in a commercially viable way have mixed success in South Africa. 

Determining what works is critical in informing model refinement, replication and scaling up for international donor organisation Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). They would like to adopt a facilitation role in supporting successful IBMs (inclusive business models).

In this assignment, we applied our experience in value chain analysis to determine which South African agricultural value chains presented the highest potential inclusive business models for deeper analysis. The sunflower oil, potato and essential oil value chains were selected, and their inclusive business model design investigated to identify what type of facilitation efforts GIZ could adopt to support model replication and scaling. 

Across the value chains, the recommendations focused on strengthening the commercial viability of the model through improving smallholder farmers’ productivity. In sunflower oil, this requires strengthening the model’s training and mentoring component. The potato IBM required more stringent smallholder farmer selection criteria and a technical and mechanical assistance facility. While in essential oils, farm-level distillation technology and skills transfers should be explored. 

For GIZ, critical to success will be capacitating firms to ensure that productivity upgrading remains intrinsic to the inclusive business model. 

Raising incomes by 50% in Niger Delta

Project name:
Raising incomes by 50% in Niger Delta

Service:
Market systems development

Sector:
Agriculture and Agribusiness
Public and Social

Area of Expertise:
Programme design, implementation and management
Making markets work for the poor (M4P) in agriculture

Client:
A DFID programme managed by DAI Europe

Date:
2014 – ongoing

Country:
Nigeria


The Niger Delta is Nigeria’s second poorest region where the concentration of oil industries has created wage and commodities inflation, raising the cost of living and intensifying poverty among the poor.  The high levels and intensity of poverty and inequality have fuelled militancy and eruptions of violence, further aggravating and perpetuating the incidence of poverty.  

This programme seeks to address this challenge by applying an M4P approach to design and implement systemic and sustainable interventions. The market development (MADE) programme aims to help generate pro-poor and inclusive economic growth in the non-oil sectors of the nine Niger Delta states by raising the incomes of at least 150 000 people – 50% of whom are women – by 50%.

The role of Genesis has been to provide market systems development advisory services to the MADE technical team. In the design phase, this entailed conducting market systems analysis in the agricultural inputs value chain and overseeing analysis in the cassava, fisheries, household poultry, and palm oil value chains. 

The analysis conducted underpinned the MADE business case, which once approved by DFID, ensured the programme’s transition to the implementation phase. In the Implementation phase, we continue to provide advisory services, ensuring success by contributing to the design, implementation and management of pro-poor, private sector led interventions. 

With the support of the Genesis team, MADE’s private sector led interventions across the agricultural inputs, palm oil, fisheries (wild capture and aquaculture), cassava and household poultry value chains have reached 73% of the targeted Year 2 outreach of 35 434. There was also evidence of income gains being realised in value chains with short production cycles, such as aquaculture as well as crowding-in of additional private sector players. 

Assessment of youth employment project in Bosnia, Herzegovina

Project name:
Value Assessment of a Monitoring and Results Measurement System for the MarketMakers Project

Service:
Monitoring and evaluation
Market systems development

Sector:
Youth economic opportunities

Area of Expertise:
Design, review and support of M&E systems

Client:
A SDC programme managed by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

Date:
2016

Country:
Bosnia and Herzegovina


The MarketMakers programme is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Posao.BA in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). MarketMakers is focusing on the creation of decent job opportunities for young people using a market systems approach in tourism, food processing and ICT sectors.

Genesis Analytics was contracted to conduct a value assessment of the MarketMakers monitoring and results measurement (MRM) system. Key to this assessment was to establish which MRM activities were high or low value for money, given their estimated benefit compared with the investment required, and whether it was worthwhile for MarketMakers to become fully compliant with the DCED Standard.

Conducting a value assessment on the activities of an MRM system is a new technique that is being used to evaluate MRM investment and functionality. There is no standard approach and the Genesis team, with input from the MarketMakers team, developed an innovative solution – a DCED-mock audit on the current MRM, appreciative inquiry sessions with the MarketMakers team and interviews with the programme’s market partners and funders. This provided the evidence base from which priority MRM tasks were identified. Genesis then created an MRM value-cost matrix where each priority task was rated on factors of decision-making and learning (value addition), and time and investment (costs). 

Understanding the value and cost associated with different MRM tasks provided the analytical basis for recommendations on which tasks were considered high or low value for money. These findings will assist MarketMakers, and other Helvetas programmes, to better understand the trade-offs in MRM systems. They will also improve future focus on those MRM activities that have higher value for money. MarketMakers were also faced with the question of whether to seek DCED Standard compliance, and through the value assessment, Genesis was able to provide evidence to inform its decision on this matter.

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Meet the Team

Areas of Service Expertise

  • Programme design, implementation and management
  • Making markets work for the poor (M4P) in agriculture
  • Value chain analysis (VCA)
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Projects

Project

Innovating fintech services for smallholder farmers

Genesis and The Springfield Centre were contracted by Mercy Corps and the MasterCard Foundation to conduct the mid-term evaluation of AgriFin Accelerate (AFA), a six-year, USD 24.7-million programme in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.

View Project
Project

Seed strategy to increase output of smallholder farmers

Genesis developed a seed business-development strategy for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) as a tool that will guide, orient and define expected outputs in how the project interacts and collaborates with seed stakeholders in Mozambique.

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Leading the team

Sydney Zharare

Partner (Agribusiness and Market Development)

Sydney Zharare
Partner (Agribusiness and Market Development)
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​Alyna Wyatt

Partner (Evaluation for Development)

​Alyna Wyatt
Partner (Evaluation for Development)
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