Step 5 Training Materials - Slides


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A set of slides that can be used alongside the Facilitator Guide to train practitioners in engaging key actors.

The Facilitator Guide can be found at

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  • Market Actor - Note that the word market actor can mean an individual, an organisation, a network, a group or a company, who plays a role within a particular market system. A number of different individuals work within these organisations, and you must pay special attention to identify specific individuals you will want to reach out to for strategic reasons. So remember: an actor means a market actor, sometimes an organisation of some kind; and an individual means a particular person within that organisation. Note however that, in some situations, a single individual can also be a market actor (e.g. an individual producer or trader).Key Actor - Those which are essential to engage in the process of participatory market systems development if it is to achieve its objectives.Key individual – It Is important to think about who to target within the market actors (e.g. institutions or organisations) you are trying to bring to the table. You need to aim for someone who is: (i) likely to listen, (ii) has some power to mobilise their organisation. It is also desirable to hook people who have a tendency to make forward thinking decisions in the organisation. Engage – In the PMSD process, engagement is about much more than just consultation or informing people of what we’re doing. It is the market actors who take the lead. Therefore engagement means that they are fully brought into the process, they see what’s in it for them and they take forward the actions they have committed to. Specifically, it means taking part in the Participatory Market Mapping Workshops, defining an action plan, possibly taking part in an Interest Forum and taking forward actions independently of the NGO’s involvement.
  • Interests (short-, medium- and long-term): Interests are the things that market actors want to achieve. In the case of a government department or a company this might be articulated as an objective. With other actors, interests are much more informal and are often never written down or vocalised. It is important to think about interests within different time-frames: short – approx 3-6 months, medium – 6 months-2 years, long – 2-5 years. The reasons for this are two-fold: first, an actors’ immediate, medium and long term interests will be very different, and they will place different levels of importance on these. Second, the PMSD approach tends to be better at tackling medium to long term interests, and so care needs to be taken regarding how to communicate these benefits.Motivations (to engage and not to engage): Motivations are the push and pull factors that determine whether a market actor takes a particular strategy to achieve its interests. These are often informal or implicit. While you might be able to find the objectives of a company on their website and this will tell you about their interests, understanding their motivations will require more detective work and reflection.For example, you may communicate to a private company that your activity is about building supply chain linkages. However if the company is really squeezed on staff and NGOs have a history of organising meetings that come to nothing, the company has strong motivations not to send anyone, or send someone who has no decision-making power, despite the alignment of your message with the company’s objectives.Influential actors (positive and negative): Other market actors who influence the actor that you are analysing. Most market actors are attracted to or detracted from events based on who they think will show up, who is convening the event, who is facilitating, who is chairing and so on. A powerful way of hooking key actors is to clearly signal that those who positively influence them to come will attend, or even better lead the event in some manner.  At the same time it may be advisable to tone down reference to the market actors that detract them.Key individuals (mobilisers and decision-makers): It’s important to think about who to target within the institutions you are trying to bring to the table. You need to aim for someone who is (i) likely to listen, and (ii) whohas some power to mobilise their organisation. It is also good to hook individuals who have a reputation of making forward thinking decisions in their organisations.
  • Make sure that you don’t fall at the last hurdle. When it is time to organise the first activity at which you want your key actors to attend, make sure that even the way that it is organised will attract them. Even the invitation can pull people in or put them off, so think about this too.The message: What personal message in the invitation will convince the actor to come? The contact method: How should the message be communicated? E.g. a formal letter, an informal email, a personal phone call?The communicator: Who would be the best person to communicate your message to the key actor? Remember you can arrange to have a third party to be the communicator;The recipient: Who within that organisation should you target in particular? These are the ‘key individuals’ you have targeted within an organisation, they are those who are forward thinking and those that have decision-making power. In this exercise that task has been done for you, but in practice it would require some investigation. See the Action point in section 2 of the step 5 guidelines.
  • How can I hook key actors with the event organisation?The title of the event: What is a title that will attract everyone, or at least not put anyone off? For example using ‘pro-poor’ in the title may put some actors off.The host and location : Where should the event be held to attract everyone, or at least not detract anyone? For example if it is help in the offices of one of the market chain actors it may seem as if the process in biased towards them.The convener, facilitator and chair: If necessary you can appoint a number of positions for the event, each one attracting a different set of key actors;The date and timing: Are there any issues to do with date or time which will influence whether key actors attend? For example holidays, harvest time etc.
  • Step 5 Training Materials - Slides

    1. 1. TRAINING MATERIALS Module 5 Engaging Key Actors Purpose: Participants know how to engage key actors in the PMSD process by establishingrelationships, identifying ‘hooks’ and communicating effectively 1
    2. 2. Terms What is a market actor? What are key actors? Who are key individuals? What do we mean by engage? 2
    3. 3. Agenda Introduction Establishing your relationships – the trust equation Know your actors – listening to uncover ‘hooks’ Preparing an invitation 3
    4. 4. The Trust EquationCredibility Reliability Intimacy Trust Self- orientationDavid Maister – The Trusted Adviser 4
    5. 5. Know Your Actors1. What are their business interests? Short, medium and long-term2. What are their motivations to engage or not engage in the PMSD process?3. Who are the influential actors (for them) in the market system? Positive and negative4. Who are the key individuals within your targeted organisation? 5
    6. 6. Hooking With Event InvitationsHow can I personalise the invitation?The messageThe contact methodThe communicatorThe recipient 6
    7. 7. Hooking With Event OrganisationHow can I hook key actors with the eventorganisation? The title of the event The host and location The convener, facilitator and chair The date and timing 7