Once a preliminary market map has been completed, including the identification of its market actors and their relative influence and relevance, and the preliminary blockages, opportunities and risks, the facilitators can continue to build their knowledge about the selected energy market system by collecting additional information.
If time and resources are available this information can be best obtained through an iterative process, gradually updating and improving it over time. Relevant information can be collected through a range of channels, including:
- Analysis of completed relevant strategies, assessments, regulatory material and government policies produced by the public or private sector.
- Speaking directly with key informants to gain their perspectives.
- Carrying out new desk-based research.
It is even more effective if the information can be triangulated through several methods. The facilitation team can also continue to collect information about the selected energy system throughout the rest of the roadmap steps. This helps ensure that the facilitated interventions are based on the best available understanding of the market system, even as the system changes over time.
The facilitation team can use the template in Annex 4 to identify a set of priority research question to help them fill in their knowledge gaps. These questions can then be answered when time and resources are available to gradually addition information to the preliminary market map, market actor analysis and preliminary market analysis. The following steering questions can help brainstorm these research questions.
- Market actor gaps:
- Are there gaps in your understanding of how the market chain functions operate, what supporting inputs, services and finance exist and are most important, and what are the critical enabling environment issues?
- Do you know the names and locations of the market actors?
- Do you know the relevant offices within government departments?
- Are you aware of specific organisations and associations that represent groups of market actors?
- Market actor linkages: Are you sure the linkages between different market actors are direct, or could you have missed some intermediaries?
- How many individual market actors are carrying out each market chain function?
- What are their production costs and sales prices, and what volumes of energy products and services are they manufacturing and selling, and how much do these fluctuate over time?
- Importance and ease of data collection: When prioritising the research questions, strike a balance between the importance of the question, and how easy it will be to collect the information to answer the question.
- Data collection prioritisation: Through the rest of the roadmap process you will continue to learn as you facilitate, so focus on the questions that are most urgent.
- Know enough: Be careful about moving onto Step 3 if your understanding of the selected energy system is limited. Facilitating the development of market systems can provide very big opportunities, but also big risks, so make sure you are confident that you have carried out enough research.
Note: Although additional data collection takes time and resources it will provide the facilitators with the confidence that they are using the most up-to-date and complete information when making important decisions throughout the rest of the roadmap steps.