Let’s get practical: how to overcome monitoring challenges

Contribute to learning and innovation in the wider market systems community by sharing your practical stories on measuring market system changes.

How are we going to get better at monitoring and results measurement (MRM) on market systems development (MSD) programmes?

One thing is for sure, a lot of people in the market systems development community are trying new things. We can learn from each other by sharing our stories of the challenges we face, and the solutions we experiment with to overcome them. Two new case studies – one on multipliers, and one on collecting data  – do just this by exploring a new methodology for reporting the effect of a growing tourism sector on the wider job creation. The approach is tested by the Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) project in Kosovo.

PPSE is a project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) which targets employment creation in Kosovo. PPSE aims to improve private sector competitiveness and stimulate growth in the tourism and food processing sectors in order to create jobs for 800 men and women.

The challenge (and a solution!) of measuring wider employment impacts of tourism interventions

Growth in tourism sectors can often have significant spillover effects into other sectors, and PPSE staff saw clear signals on the ground that this was happening in the case of their interventions. They struggled, however, to see how they could quantitatively measure this effect. This challenge of measuring the effects of growth in sectors like tourism on other sectors is a significant problem for MSD projects because it means they are under-reporting their impact.

The reasons why this challenge is so pertinent for MSD programmes is due to the lack of available multipliers. Multipliers are used to calculate how many jobs are created for each job directly created by project partners. Compounding the challenge, there is also a dearth of statistics needed to generate multipliers for many developing countries.

After realising there were no “off the shelf” multipliers they could use, the PPSE team borrowed the methodology for developing multipliers from two UK studies (described here). They then applied this method to data from their own MRM system combined with statistics by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) – a forum which produces reports on the impact of travel and tourism for 184 countries. Whilst the WTTC did not have data specific to Kosovo, PPSE assessed which other countries they could use as proxies.

As a result, PPSE now have three multipliers to measure the number of jobs created with non-partners in the tourism sector, those created in other sectors (such as agriculture), and induced jobs (those created as a result of the increased spending by people who received direct jobs). This means that PPSE is now able to report the full impact of their interventions, as well as showcase the employment potential of tourism in Western Kosovo.

Send us the stories of your challenges and success (or failures!)

PPSE’s story outlines their pathway from the challenges they faced to the innovative solution the team came up with to constructing their own employment multipliers. We at BEAM hope the case studies show the value of sharing our stories of overcoming MRM challenges with the wider market systems community. BEAM aims to collect more stories like PPSE’s to make the lives of monitoring practitioners easier through direct learning across programmes.

We are calling everyone working on MSD programmes to get in touch with the BEAM team and share your measurement challenges and the solutions you have found to overcome them. The chances are that your solution is just the information another programme is looking for! Also share your failures – things you tried that did not work. This could prevent somebody from trying the same thing, or allow somebody else to improve on your idea rather than to start from scratch.

You can send in your story in any format – pre-existing documents, video or audio recording, an over-the-phone chat with us, or a narrative write-up. The stories don’t have to be elaborate case studies like the case of PPSE, but can be stories told from one MRM professional to another MRM professional.

We are here to reduce the time and energy you spend on sharing your work, so we are available to support you in recording your story. This is a great opportunity for you to contribute to the exchange of innovation and learning in measuring MSD programme impacts.

To get in touch with your story of measurement challenges, successes and innovations, and failures, please email contact@beamexchange.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Mollie Liesner, November 2016

This blog was originally posted on beamexchange.org. Click here to view the original.