English: % of [specify the sellers] with the minimum amount of targeted products readily available for sale
French: % de [spécifiez les vendeurs] ayant la quantité minimum de produits cibles disponibles à la vente
Portuguese: % de [especifique os/as comerciantes] com a quantidade mínima de produtos-alvo imediatamente disponíveis para venda
Czech: % [určete prodejce] s minimálním objemem cílových produktů k dispozici v prodejně k prodeji
What is its purpose?
The indicator measures the proportion of sellers with a minimum amount of the targeted products available for sale. It is more useful than measuring the total number of products in stock, as it indicates the products’ geographical availability. The sellers’ ability to sell the products at a time when the customers need them is among the main preconditions for ensuring adequate supply. It can also contribute to an increased usage of the products.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:
1) Define a limited number (2 - 6) of the most important (types of) products that you would like the sellers to sell (e.g. poultry vaccines in small doses, disinfectants for chicken coops, etc.).
2) For each of the most important (types of) product, define the minimum amount the seller should have in stock (e.g. at least 5 sachets of tomato seeds). There is no fixed methodology for determining the minimum about – it is only used to avoid a situation when even a shop that has extremely low stock is considered as having an adequate supply of the required products. At the same time, be realistic – many sellers cannot take the risk of stocking very large volumes (due to limited capital, insufficient space, concerns about expiry dates, fear of theft, etc.), so do not set these targets too high.
3) Decide whether in order to meet the indicator, the sellers need to have all the (types of) products in stock or whether you can accept that a small portion of the assessed (types of) products (e.g. 30%) are not available in the required quantity. This is recommended especially if you assess a larger number of products as it might not be fair to conclude that a seller does not stock enough products if only a few out of many products are missing. As much as possible, pilot this survey to understand whether your expectations are realistic (if not, revise them).
4) Conduct an assessment among all (or a representative sample of) the target sellers enquiring whether they sell the target products and if so, whether they are available in the desired quantity (consider using a well-structured checklist). Do not inform the sellers in advance about the data collector’s visit.
5) Count the number of sellers offering the minimum amount of the desired products (as defined in point 3).
6) If there are likely to be significant fluctuations in the availability of the desired product, repeat steps 4 and 5 a few weeks / months later (depending on when people need the products / when the products should be available).
7) To calculate the indicator's value, divide the number of sellers offering the minimum amount of the desired products by the total number of surveyed sellers. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.
Disaggregate the data by the shop location (urban / peri-urban / rural / rural and remote), districts (or other geographical division) and other criteria relevant to the focus of your intervention.
1) Keep seasonality in mind – the sales of thousands of products and services are prone to significant seasonal variations determined by people's actual needs, purchasing power, access and other factors. The sellers often (quite correctly) adjust their offer to the seasonal demand. For example, shops that at one time seem to offer only a limited volume and diversity of agricultural inputs can only a few months later be booming with a range of various products. The two main implications of this are that:
- the data for this indicator needs to be collected at a time when the sellers are expected to sell the desired products – when people need them (e.g. selling seeds before the agricultural season)
- the endline and baseline data must be collected at the same time of a year, otherwise they may not be comparable