Establishing Smart Markets for the Future: Political Economy Analysis of Open-Air Food Markets in Kenya
The Political Economy Analysis (PEA) conducted by EAMDA on open-air food markets in Kenya was a success story in policy analysis. The analysis provided insights into the current structure and operations of these markets and identified factors that influence resourcing, power relations, convergence of different stakeholders, incentives, and drivers of change. The objective of the analysis was to inform the establishment of smart markets for the future in Kenya that incorporate green energy solutions, waste and water management, and sustainable business models.
The study identified political leverage, economic growth, employment/investment opportunities, and improvement of WASH as the reasons for supporting market reforms. On the other hand, stakeholders who wished to preserve the status quo perceived the reforms as a threat to their income or power. The Market Management Committee, public health officer, and revenue collectors were identified as the most influential actors and best placed to ensure the efficient and sustainable running of open-air market operations as they strongly support the same.
The study recommended that all markets in the progress of transformation or improvement to include smart considerations (solar, storage tanks, water harvesting, reuse & and recycling, bio-decomposition); capacity building and training for market management committees and traders’ associations on smart market operations; exposure of county staff to smart market information and technology for oversight and implementation purposes.