A summary of issues from recent BDS conferences, Alan Gibson, 2000
Within the major process of learning and development in BDS that has characterised the last few years, market development has emerged as a key priority. For many it represents a logical extension of the (preliminary) good practice principles developed by the Donor Committee and, more important, offers the alluring possibility of achieving much greater scale and sustainability through BDS interventions than has been the case to date. This paper attempts to set the context for where "we" (development agencies) are in our understanding of market development and provides some ideas on future directions. Market development interventions are defined and the underpinning rationale for our interest in market development is outlined. Although how we design and implement interventions to promote BDS market development is a young experience for most agencies, the paper sets out some key stages that appear to be important, based on market analysis and clear sustainability objectives. It concludes by setting out some central challenges for the future that need to be addressed in order to intervene more effectively and to measure the performance of interventions more precisely.