A Field Manual for Subsector Practitioners

  • Date Posted: December 14, 2011
  • Authors: Steven J. Haggblade, Matthew S. Gamser
  • Organizations: Gemini
  • Document Types: Manual
  • Donor Type: US Agency for International Development

The manual gives step-by-step procedures on how to analyze subsectors in the economy, and explains how this can lead to the promotion of micro and small-scale enterprises (MSEs) which create livelihoods for the poor. Sub-sector analysis offers a framework to evaluate market dynamics and plan projects for cost-effective interventions including the supply of credit. Opportunities for intervention can then be undertaken by a local organization, NGO, or international donor agency. Components of the subsector approach include:

  • looking at the broad system in which MSEs operate, including large firms that compete with MSEs, in order to understand opportunities and constraints;
  • examining competition among small firms and coordination among firms active in the subsector; and
  • identifying cost-effective interventions as those that influence large numbers of firms with a single policy or action, known as “leverage.”

Argues that there are benefits to the poor if leverage can be identified through subsector analysis, since intervention can then help large numbers of people rather than just handfuls.