Making Markets Work for the Last Mile Poor
The Making Market Work for the last Mile (LM4P) approach, or more affectionately known at Palmera as Village2Markets, targets last mile economically excluded areas, where development needs are greatest, and where resources are most scarce, working with market actors to better serve small rural entrepreneurs and small rural entrepreneurs to be equipped to better access and benefit from market opportunities.
Graduating the Ultra Poor
The Graduation approach is a multifaceted set of interventions designed to address the complex nature of extreme poverty. This model specifically targets those individuals who need more targeted support in order to graduate out of poverty.
HOW WE WORK
Where possible, we take a systems approach in how we work.
What this means is that we look at problems holistically and seek to understand their root causes. We then address the part of the system we believe we can influence by working with others who will continue to work long after we are gone, creating a lasting change.
HOW OUR PROGRAMMES
WORK TOGETHER FOR SCALE
When you address a system failure, the potential to scale is far reaching.
We work to address deep vulnerability issues, focusing on those unable to eat regularly or suffer deep vulnerabilities
We work to address market and non-market barriers that prevent villages from connecting to profitable markets
Last Mile Economic Development
At the village level, if we see regional barriers we can address, we work to break down these larger system barriers that economically exclude the poor.
We share our work and our approach (through technical advice and research) with other agencies & stakeholders who can leverage the principles globally
There is a lot involved in delivering our work.
From identifying the right approach, the right partner, ensuring we deliver value for money, and so much more.
We are one of a handful of organisations, 50 in fact, that have been accredited with the Australian Government for the standard at which we work.
Below is a little more on how it works in practice
IDENTIFICATION AND DESIGN
Selecting a partner
We select partners based on how well they support our mission to provide livelihood outcomes. We assess the quality of their livelihood capacity as well as indicators of sustainability. In order to ensure that funds are used responsibly, we also look at their operational capacity and fiduciary responsibility. Every new or potential partner is subject to this vetting process.
Choosing a location
We work with our partners to select locations based an assessment of need. We also consider the potential for building strong relationships with local stakeholders, risk of overlap with the work of other organizations and availability of spare parts and repair services. Additionally and most importantly, we know a community’s willingness to participate is important, since strong programs require buy-in and participation to sustain and grow livelihood outcomes over time.
Choosing the right intervention
Depending on the needs, we implement one of our three approaches – Village2Markets, Other Last Mile Economic Development Approaches, or Vulnerability Programmes:
AREA 01 – Village2Markets
We will work with smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs in a whole of village approach to access profitable markets by breaking down barriers that prevent their effective inclusion. We will achieve this through our Village2Markets model.
OUR VILLAGE2MARKETS APPROACH
AREA 02 – Other Economic Development
We work to address barriers in the last mile that prevent poor farmers and families from accessing a living income. These are programmes that we do outside of our whole of village approach and we use a range of different approaches to implement these programmes, depending on the local context and barriers we are seeking to transform.
AREA 03 – Vulnerability Programmes
We work to create an enabling environment for effective livelihood which means working on some of the basic essentials of life – health, water and sanitation outcomes to name a few.
A localised approach
When we set up our programs we ensure that we are supporting local change makers. We do this by working with local partners, and where possible hiring people from the villages in which we are working. This means we need to spend time with our field team to build capacity, but we believe, when supported by experts, this drives local solutions and deepens trust and engagement required to create long term change.
We are committed to keeping administration low but our priority is to ensure that our programs have the best chance of success. We design the project costs carefully so we can balance these two conflicting outcomes. Luckily we are supported by some great investors that subsidise any extra admin costs so that 90% of your funds go to the field.
PLANNING, IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
We spend a significant time planning our projects because we believe that good planning can make all the difference.
When we implement our projects we engage widely with many stakeholders, including the village with which we are working, community leaders, research institutes, universities, buyers, market actors and among others, the government so that we have buy in and engagement to ensure the project’s success.
Deep monitoring is key to our program’s success. We believe that through monitoring we can learn quickly about any challenges that our program faces and quickly pivot to ensure the program’s success.
END OF PROJECT
Although we support change, ultimately change must be driven by the families and the local stakeholders with whom we work. We build sustainability from the start of our program so that when we leave, the impact can continue to grow. Each of our programs has indicators of sustainability which we track through the program.
We collect data through the program so we know the interventions we support have impact to those we are working with. We understand that change doesn’t happen overnight so we track this data over a longer time period so we can see the real change.