When I went to Nairobi in Feb, Ibrahim and I had a very interesting conversation with Alex and Jane. They shared with us how they facilitated a Participatory Market Mapping workshop for charcoal markets in Kenya. - Lucho Osorio

Download the podcast (mp3 format) here:

The PISCES project is looking at ways of giving poor people easier access to cheap and renewable energy options, specifically focussing on the potential of biofuels. This podcast features a discussion on the Practical Action's PISCES work in Kenya, using Participatory Market Mapping for charcoal markets. The speakers are:
  • Lucho Osorio, Markets & Livelihoods international programme coordinator
  • Ibrahim Ali Idriss, Markets & Livelihoods team leader, Sudan
  • Jane Mung'oma, Markets & Livelihoods team leader, East Africa
  • Alex Mugova, Markets & Livelihoods team leader, Southern Africa

A framework for rural enterprise development policy and practice

Markets matter to the rural poor. It is increasingly clear that in tackling rural poverty, market-related issues - including access to information, institutions, linkages and trade rules - are vital considerations. Failure to address these issues means that the benefits of other developments threaten to by-pass the rural poor.

In the complex contexts of rural poverty, the sometimes bewildered practitioner or policy-maker is proffered a range of solutions or policy prescriptions including: trade liberalisation; more productive agriculture; more effective support services and resources; better local governance; collective action and collaboration by producers; greater public investment in infrastructure; a more attractive investment climate and business environment.

The problem is that, with limited resources, it is rarely practicable to address all such factors simultaneously across the whole economy. This paper will argue that efforts to secure or improve the income of poor rural producers and workers are best pursued through concentrating on the improved overall performance of specific economic channels or market-chains.

Surprisingly there is often little emphasis on market systems and their roles in poverty reduction within the conceptualisation and application of livelihood frameworks, or in professional fields such as agricultural research that seek to promote rural development. The aim of this paper is to help address this deficiency, and in particular to provide a framework for encouraging an outlook which we call 'market-literacy'.