We hope you enjoyed this webinar with Dr. Jeanne Downing, USAID's technical representative for the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) project, and Ruth Campbell, Project Manager for LEO at ACDI/VOCA. LEO aims to improve USAID programming by enabling the development of inclusive market systems through enhanced capacity, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.
Presenters discussed the Inclusive Market Systems Development Framework developed as part of the LEO project supported by USAID. Reflecting many of the Agency's priorities, an inclusive market system development approach focuses on building the capacity and resilience of local systems, leveraging the incentives and resources of the public and private sectors, ensuring the inclusion of the very poor, and stimulating change and innovation that continues to grow beyond the life of the project. This webinar was an opportunity to provide input on the draft, and discuss practical next steps in operationalizing the framework, as well as understanding implications for practitioners, donors and other key stakeholders.Related Resources
- Inclusive Market Systems Development Framework
- Value Chain Development Wiki
- State of the Sector Report: Country-Level Practice & Learning Related to Market Systems Development
Ruth Campbell - Project Manager for LEO at ACDI/VOCA
Ruth Campbell is a poverty reduction and economic growth specialist with 19 years of experience in market systems and value chain development, gender issues and emergency programming. She has worked for ACDI/VOCA since 1997, and as Managing Director, Technical Learning and Standards, she leads the identification of best practices and fosters learning across ACDI/VOCA’s projects worldwide. She now manages the USAID-funded Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) contract for ACDI/VOCA. She was chief of party for the global action-research Accelerated Microenterprise Advancement Project (AMAP) from 2006 to 2012, which worked with USAID to develop and articulate its value chain development approach to economic growth with poverty reduction. Ruth formerly served as ACDI/VOCA’s Country Representative in Mozambique, providing targeted technical assistance to agribusinesses, producer associations, and local NGO facilitators. Ruth has been active with SEEP since joining the BDS working group in 2001. She continues to be a member of the MaFI working group, and has presented at numerous annual conferences over the years, now serving on the SEEP Board of Directors. She has a Master’s degree in rural development from Imperial College, London and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cambridge.
Jeanne Downing - Technical Representative for LEO, USAID
Dr. Jeanne Downing was in charge of Downing was in charge of the AMAP research effort for ten years. The effort: developed a systems approach to value chain development (http://microlinks.kdid.org/good-practice-center/value-chain-wiki), codified “good practices” based on rigorous evaluations and evidence, and designed an approach to evaluating market systems that is produced credible evidence relevant to the field. She has worked on enterprise development over the last twenty-five years, concentrating primarily on value chains/market systems, business development services, and evaluation in 20 countries in Africa, much of the Caribbean, and a handful of countries in Latin America and Asia.
Lucho Osorio - Facilitator, SEEP Market Facilitation Initiative (MaFI)
Luis E. (Lucho) Osorio-Cortes is an International Markets Systems Specialist at Practical Action Consulting, UK. He has more than 15 years’ experience in international development and specializes in the facilitation of market systems development and organizational learning. Lucho also coordinates MaFI (The Market Facilitation Initiative), a SEEP-supported action and learning network that specializes in helping practitioners to become more effective facilitators of inclusive market development programs. MaFI is currently promoting learning and advocacy around changes to the international development cooperation system to make it more “facilitation-friendly” (The MaFI-festo). It also is promoting the application of complexity science in the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of inclusive market systems development (Complexity Dialogues and Systemic M&E).
Note: Below are the moderator's closing remarks (not included in the recording).
Thank you all very much for participating in this webinar. Special thanks to Ruth Campbell and Jeanne Downing for their time and inputs, and to the SEEP Network team for making sure all the logistics worked well and preparing this webpage.
The main focus of the webinar was a framework that USAID’s LEO Programme is producing to enhance the capacity and raise the awareness of their missions and local partners about the application of systems thinking in the work they do to improve market systems for poverty reduction. However, we also touched on other two issues that made me feel that we are witnessing an important moment: USAID’s CLA (Collaboration-Learning-Adaptation) policy and the nascent collaboration between DFID, USAID and SDC to contribute to the advancement of our field. Even the interest raised by this webinar made me feel that the change of paradigm from economic development using a direct input/service delivery approach to one based on systems-awareness and facilitation is taking place in front of our eyes.
We learned during the webinar that the challenges ahead are still significant; for example: how to communicate systems and complexity concepts to senior managers and practitioners; how to build and use appropriate tools to apply systems thinking during the project cycle; how to build evidence that the new paradigm is better than the old; how to coordinate our efforts and collaborate more effectively at all levels. However, it is quite exciting to know that programmes like LEO give us unique possibilities to find ways to overcome these challenges together.
I guess the key message I wanted to say at the end, is that I would like to encourage you all to stay tuned to LEO, share your ideas and experiences with the LEO team, and keep on participating in the LEO initiatives that will keep on happening in the next couple of years.
Thanks again for your participation.