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USAID-LEAD at the Kenya BDS Conference

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Amir Allana

on 20 February 2013

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Transcript of USAID-LEAD at the Kenya BDS Conference

Thank You The HOW and The WHAT USAID-LEAD Uganda Ugandan Inputs Sector Market Systems Development Sustainability
Systemic Change Market Facilitation Principles Ownership. Ownership. Ownership.
Low project visibility
Change at the business's pace
Flexibility, adaptation, conviction
Technical assistance, contingent on action
Light-touch; little to no financial assistance
Focus on end-markets (and consumers)
There are more that can be added... foundational organizational culture and norms Sharing knowledge and learning is an explicit performance goal
Management role modeling openness and learning
Active steps to reduce undue anxiety and pressures
Emphasis on quality over quantity
Failure is okay. Failing to learn from it is not. Dominant Messaging Adaptive Planning Horizontal Structure Responsive Coaching and Skill-building Responsive Management Amplifying Messy Information Flows ENABLED BY... WHY? Increasingly complex and dynamic market systems with new services, products, and constantly fluctuating needs/wants
The poor are integral part of this market system; as are all the other moving pieces
Development is an emergent property - a result of the right combination of a host of different, uncontrollable factors "Teaching a man how to fish" is no longer good enough. His technique may fall behind the times. The water may get polluted. In order to do this we need to fundamentally rethink how we manage and design programs for market development Suppliers (seed, fertilizer, agrochemicals, equipment) Wholesalers Small-Scale Stockists
(Agro-Vets) Individual
Farmers Cooperatives System Characteristics - 2011 CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT - Stockists (over 2000 individual small businesses in trading centers) sit in their shop waiting for customers
TRUST - Very low levels of trust between:
Suppliers and stockists
Farmers and inputs - fake inputs prevalent
Perceptions of laziness; informal business environments
VALUED SERVICE - Huge unrealized customer base, low value placed on adopting new agronomic behavior
BRAND, RELIABILITY - No established retail chains
MARKETING - Stagnant, low flow of information/feedback System Characteristics
(Future State) CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT - Aggressive networks of agents or retailers that reach a larger client base; emphasis on customer retention
TRUST - Competitive pricing and quality inputs at the farm gate - this is the new competitive norm; strong trust between all levels of the system evidenced by better products/services, input credit schemes, uptake
VALUED SERVICE - Higher productivity at the farmer level, better input use (systematic, less damaging to the soil, adequate and proper)
BRAND, RELIABILITY - Recognized service providers competing to build a reputation for high-quality service provision
MARKETING - New knowledge, services, and products continuously flowing to the farmer, needs are consistently addressed Impact at Scale... Over 30,000 farmers being served by ~370 agents who work for the 35 early-adopter agro-vets, who are planning on expanding into more areas
Evidence of at least 10 agro-vets learning from their peers - copying - and building their own retail networks; if each manages 10 agents who reach 100 farmers each the numbers multiply quickly... and can only grow
Better supplier relationships Self-management, not micro-management ACTION is not good enough.
Change in BEHAVIORS and CONVICTION for the change. Service
(Agric and others) ? Firms understand providing better customer service to farmers will be beneficial for both parties

Firms invest in networks of retail agents that are able to ensure proper inputs use - as their client base depends on it; they are invest in promotions

Farmers see value in, seek out - and believe - in technical service provision to adopt better practices successfully because they have seen it work and add value to their livelihoods These change little, and less frequently These are adjusted every quarter at review meetings EXPECTED CHANGE: Input retailers are expanding and improving their village agent retail networks and providing quality products, information, and services to farmers

ACTIVITIES: Making a strong business case, coaching firms with planning their interactions with agents, accompanying firms on their first field visits and outreach events LEARNING: Businesses quickly took up the idea of hiring agents and expanding their reach - value in monetary returns (orders of inputs) could be immediately seen. Firms did not invest in training their agents as much, the value proposition was less clear

We held focus groups of our target firms to gather feedback, and invite them to share their experiences. We held a discussion on this specific topic internally at our quarterly review ACTIVITIES CHANGED: Offered smart subsidies (60/40) on the first two agent management/training meetings to firms who had already taken steps to show they were invested in the change. Explicit focus on debriefing the impact of the activity on the business with the firm owner.

NOW: This season, we are already seeing firms having agent management meetings and trainings on their own (no prompting, no subsidy). Formal data still forthcoming. What the firm is doing differently Project activities and role Currently has 10 agents; plans to recruit more
Advertises agents on the radio
Agents paid at Ugx 200/kg for sales
Working with suppliers to provide demo kits to agents
T-shirts with branding awarded to high-performing agents High level of coaching and ad-hoc training in management
Accompanying firm to the field the first few times - confidence for the new idea
Strong business case made
Smart subsidy on first two agent training meetings (after steps to change already taken) Business networking events with other retailers and large suppliers Firms the project was working with organized events bringing farmers and suppliers together in response to this issue. No prompting was needed. 7 non-target stockists attended the meeting in Masaka. 1 is already recruiting agents to build his own network, learning from his peers. Very early evidence of a shift in competitive norms... Eric Derks (TetraTech ARD): eric.derks@tetratech.com
Amir Allana (EWB Canada): amirallana@ewb.ca
Ryan Bourque (EWB Canada): ryanbourque@ewb.ca Presented By
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