When all the hard work of setting up your market is over, it is paramount that on-going monitoring and evaluation procedures are put into place to ensure the continued viability of the project.
In order for your market to be successful in the long-term you will need to check on the health, vitality and resilience of the operation. Finances will play a part but you will also need to determine that your market is providing social value.
This final Chapter will look at how you monitor and evaluate the various aspects of your market.
You need to perform regular audits on your customers, traders and volunteers to ensure they are satisfied and in assessing them, you can then be prepared to make provisions for anything that may have been overlooked in the planning stages.
Monitoring and evaluation
The existence of a database of customers and traders will automatically give you access to a great deal of information that will help to inform your organisation, providing adequate questions are asked in the application stages.
For customers it is useful to know where they live, their age, whether they have families and, depending on how sophisticated your systems are, even what they spend at the market.
Attracting investors and funders may be needed by your market in the future to further your work and, in order to generate investor confidence, the market will have to demonstrate measurable yardsticks.
The sustainability of your market will be dependent on your bottom line financially, socially and environmentally.
It may be that to achieve sustainability the market will need to look at delivering additional services to the community that can leverage external funding, such as promotional activities around health and local food or deliver training courses.
You may also need to look at the needs of your staff, volunteers and other members of the community to ensure that they are adequately trained to take the market further. Continuing professional development will need to be one of the goals you set yourself in order for the market to progress.
However, the decision is taken to progress your market. The processes involved will need to have monitoring and evaluation embedded in the model with consideration made to the following:
Are there enough traders?
Are there enough customers?
Do key staff and customers get expenses covered?
Does the market encourage entrepreneurship in the area and support SME’s?
Does money for licences, insurance and marketing activity get covered?
Are your traders happy?
Are the customers happy?
Are staff and volunteers happy?
Does the community benefit from the presence of the market?
Are the products social, local or ethical?
Is recycling encouraged at the market?
Do the products on sale make minimal impact on the earth’s resources?
This is the end of the Toolkit. We hope you have found it helpful.