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1.1 The Functional Analysis
The functional analysis maps the value chain system by identifying the series of steps from the initial (agricultural) production to the final consumption (or export) and the actors involved at each stage. The activities/operations of these agents are geographically localized. They generate products, financial and information flows between actors and areas. Understanding how the whole system works, lays the groundwork for undertaking the economic, social and environmental analyses.
The functional analysis allows the team to delimit the system to be studied: the timeframe (year, period, season…), the geographic scope (country, areas, regions…) and the level of detail (complex vs. simplified view).
Usually the functional analysis encompasses the:
- Description of main functions and operations,
- General mapping of activities and actors,
- Identification of the relevant key features of the context,
- Identification of (known) constraints,
- Deepening relevant elements for all three pillars (economics, social, environment),
- Guidance for specific analyses of the three pillars.
A solid functional analysis may reveal the constraints to value chain development and helps determine the framework within which the analysis will bring answers to the four framing questions.
It encompasses 3 main steps:
- General description of the value chain system
- Elements of technical diagnosis
- Understanding the governance