Households use markets for acquiring food, essential everyday items such as charcoal and for selling products and labour to others. Markets have the potential to connect marginalised producers to valuable commercial and social relations, and also a broad network of technologies, experiences and assets that can help them escape poverty. Market systems are therefore fundamental to delivering benefits to the poor, and are a vehicle for growth, but only if they are developed appropriately.

Practical Action Consulting’s (PAC) market interventions are designed to produce change between market actors and the systems in which they operate in a sustainable and replicable manner. Our responses are always designed with a good understanding of key market-systems, to ensure we do not inadvertently damage livelihoods, jobs and businesses.

PAC strives to increase the awareness and effectiveness among practitioners of Practical Action’s approaches and exert influence over their practices and policies. We work to communicate Practical Action’s Markets work in pursuit of influence and scale.

PAC delivers consultancy assignments that assist people at the bottom of the pyramid to increase their incomes by accessing technology, skills and knowledge to participate in and transform market systems.


Markets capability statement

We employ Practical Action’s tried and tested model for market systems development globally: Participatory Markets System Development (PMSD). It is based on over 10 years’ global field experience, allowing us to build our knowledge on how to achieve stronger, more equitable market-chain linkages and relationships; viable, sustainable markets for business and extension services; and a more enabling, pro-poor policy and business environment.

PMSD has evolved with the frameworks of value chain development and Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) and addresses two key aspects of market development: developing the skills, capabilities and knowledge of marginalised rural actors so they can respond to market opportunities; and transforming market systems so that they are more competitive, inclusive and equitable. This can range from numerous agricultural sub-sectors through to energy or financial service markets.

Underpinning our approach is the belief that developing sustainable markets can increase the stability of local markets and provide people with goods, services and sources of income. PAC understands that markets don’t work due to a lack of resources, high transaction costs and risks, weaknesses of public institutions, inappropriate policies, poor access to inputs, technology, training and finance and poor infrastructure.

We stretch the reach of Practical Action’s programme work by pushing-out specific lessons, experiences, techniques, technologies and knowledge in market development. This is partly achieved via assignment delivery and partly via the development and dissemination of knowledge products that capture learning, experiences and stories of change.

Take a look at the successful markets work PAC East Africa is doing in our Markets Prezi.

Participatory Market System Development Roadmap- The PMSD Roadmap is a structured sequence of steps designed to guide and train field staff in how to facilitate the PMSD process on the ground. Practical Action is developing the in-depth resources that will form each step.

Market Facilitation Initiative (MaFI) – PAC promotes this online forum offering a wide body of resources and discussion platforms for practitioners working in pro-poor market development. MaFI is facilitated by Practical Action and supported by SEEP’s Member Services Team, which promotes effective communication and facilitation to make markets work better for marginalised groups.

Market Assessment Services for the humanitarian sector - PAC offers a range of market-related services for the humanitarian sector.  Training, capacity building, analysis and guidancecan be tailored to individual agency needs.

EMMA Toolkit is a guidance manual for relief agencies needing to understand market-systems in disaster zones.  It enables smarter use of local economic capabilities, to improve humanitarian responses. PAC delivers the EMMA training package.

PAC recently delivered an EMMA training course in Nepal. Download the document below for more information:

Highlights of EMMA training in Nepal

The first international training conducted by Practical Action Consulting on Emergency Market Mapping Analysis (EMMA) from 19 – 23rd March, 2012 in Kathmandu, Nepal was completed successfully. This document is an overview of the training that took place.

Contact our International Markets Team

Contact: Lucho Osorio - International Market Systems Specialist


Tel: +44 (0) 1926634403

Address: The Robbins Building, 25 Albert Street, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 2SD, United Kingdom

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