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Annual Conference Image

The SEEP Network 
Annual Conference

October 1-3, 2018

Featured Sessions

Plenary Sessions


Opening Plenary: 
A Turning Point for Achieving Scalable Solutions to Poverty Worldwide?

The ‘Big Data’ Revolution: Risks and Opportunities  for Inclusive Market Development

 Sponsored Sessions  


 Innovation in Savings Groups: Practices & Possibilities

Presented by The MasterCard Foundation 

BEAM Exchange: Sharing Knowledge to Build Effective and Accessible Markets 

Presented by the BEAM Exchange


Partnerships for Innovation in Access to Basic Services

Presented by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF)

Are Inclusiveness and Scale Mutually Exclusive?  What World Vision is Learning by Doing 

Presented by World Vision International 


World Bank Group’s Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture: Project Scope & Data Coverage, Early Results and Next Steps 

Presented by The World Bank and The SEEP Network


Opening Plenary: A Turning Point for Achieving Scalable Solutions to Poverty Worldwide?

Tuesday, September  23
9:35 am - 11:25 am 

Nearly 2.5 billion people lack access to financial services, 1.3 billion manage without electricity, 1 billion live in inadequate housing, and 1.1 billion lack safe water sources. Meeting these and other development challenges in order to lift the world’s poor out of poverty requires inclusive strategies that can be scaled and sustained.  In his keynote address, Dr. Paul Polak, will present innovative  solutions for achieving the needed sustainability and scale. Paul suggests that we are at a critical turning point with the opportunity for the private sector to serve poor households, as long as these strategies can: understand the business potential presented by poor households, develop or access expertise for the design of radically affordable products, and develop last mile distribution channels.

Dr. Polak is Founder of Windhorse International, D-Rev and Paul Polak Enterprises, social ventures aiming to inspire and lead a revolution in how companies design, price, market, and distribute products to benefit the 2.6 billion people living on less than $2 a day. For the past 30 years, he has worked with thousands of farmers in locations around the globe—including Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—to help design and produce low-cost, income-generating products.  In 1981, he founded International Development Enterprises (iDE), a non-profit organization that has brought nearly 20 million of the world’s poorest people out of poverty by making radically affordable irrigation technology available to farmers through local small-scale entrepreneurs, and opening private sector access to markets for their crops. For his work in agriculture, Paul has been recognized by Scientific American as one of the top 50 contributors to science. He was also one of the lead organizers of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt’s exhibit: Design for the Other Ninety Percent.

Dr. Polak will be joined by Craig Redmond, Senior Vice President of Mercy Corps, Samuel Bon, CEO of Swisscontact, and Linda Jones, Senior Advisor to the SEEP Network. Panelists will contribute valuable perspectives from decades of experience supporting and financing market development programs designed for scale.

Key questions:

What are the greatest challenges in achieving scale in access to needed products and services? Which innovations in business models, product design, delivery mechanisms and stakeholder partnerships can overcome these challenges?  How can development organizations be effective contributors to and partners the design and delivery of high-impact scalable solutions? Can the private sector alone achieve scale and sustainability without the support of donors and development partners?

      Paul Polak                        Craig Redmond                    Samuel Bon               Linda Jones

Paul Polak                            


Plenary: The 'big data' revolution: risks and opportunities for inclusive market development

Wednesday, September  24
9:35 am - 11:25 am 

“We are living inside a data revolution that is transforming the way we understand and interact with each other and the world, and it has only just begun.” – Data Kind

Markets rely on information. Inclusive market development implies the need to access and apply information critical to identifying opportunities for systemic level change and monitoring of impacts. “Big Data” derived from digital data sources and real-time analytics technologies is now driving market expansion in traditional businesses. However, development organization are lagging behind their counterparts in the scientific and business communities in collecting and analyzing the vast amounts of data that are being generated by digital technology.

This plenary will feature experts with applied experience in using new sources of data to better understand behaviors, reshape service delivery, and improve approaches to inclusive market development. We will explore potential risks, failed attempts, as well as successful applications. Experts will separate the hype from reality and discuss both the use and potential misuse of big data. 

Key questions: What opportunities do big data really present? What are the implications of ‘big data’ for inclusive market development in finance, agriculture, and other key sectors? What have been the impacts on markets and people? What are the most significant challenges? Do we really need big data, or can we simply employ a “lean data” approach to make better use of the data we have readily available?

      Greg Chen                 Michael Angus                   Max Richman                    Julie Peachey



Sponsored Sessions

BEAM Exchange: Sharing Knowledge to Build Effective and Accessible Markets 
Presented by The BEAM Exchange

Tuesday, September  23

Welcome to the launch of the BEAM Exchange: a knowledge platform that will support knowledge exchange, innovation and learning amongst professionals that use market systems approaches to tackle poverty. Our primary focus is to support a vibrant sustainable community of inclusive markets practitioners.

We will develop insightful resources that reflect the practical knowledge of a growing community of inclusive markets practitioners, and direct users to the most respected and valued guidance across a wide range of relevant topics from value chains, M4P to inclusive industries. Our first product at the launch will be the new 2014 edition of the M4P Operational Guide.

The BEAM Exchange is funded by DFID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation who are working in close partnership with USAID as part of the recent MOU on market systems development.  BEAM Exchange will work closely with USAID’s Leveraging Economic Opportunities project (LEO), particularly in the areas of capacity building and impact evaluation.

The BEAM Exchange will be driven primarily by you, the community whose knowledge and experience provides the content and expertise that fosters inclusive markets. Our key objective for this launch session is to learn from SEEP Members and Conference participants: What does or doesn’t work in knowledge exchange? And what are your learning priorities around market systems?

   Mike Albu                                 Ruth Campbell                                   Sharon D'Onofrio  




 Jeanne Downing                        Natalie Skerritt                                         Jim Tanburn


Innovation in Savings Groups: Practices & Possibilities
Presented by The MasterCard Foundation

Tuesday, September  23

This special session focuses on existing practices and new possibilities for expanding the effects of savings groups towards financial inclusion. The session will include two presentations, which will highlight both demand and supply issues, from the client and financial provider perspective, which are shaping the future of savings groups.  The first presentation will cover key highlights from a study commissioned in early 2014 by The MasterCard Foundation and conducted by MicroSave.  The study, which included surveys with nearly 500 individual members of savings groups across Africa, provided rich insight into client needs and interests.  The presentation includes perspectives generated through a small roundtable meeting of key stakeholders in June 2014.  The second presentation will outline research conducted by Bankable Frontier Associates, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on the business case for linking savings groups with formal financial services.  The presentation will outline the drivers and barriers for private sector actors in this area.  The panel will conclude with commentary from The MasterCard Foundation on opportunities for propelling savings groups beyond current practices and towards greater financial inclusion.    

    Daryl Collins                 Prabhat Labh                     George Muruka                   Tricia Vanderkooy



Are Inclusiveness and Scale Mutually Exclusive?  What World Vision is Learning by Doing 
Presented by World Vision International

 Wednesday, September 24

Reaching the extremely poor at scale is an ongoing challenge for development organizations.  At this lunch session, a panel will discuss the learnings of World Vision and others from implementing market development and microfinance programming models that aim to reach scale, while targeting extremely poor households and integrating with other sectors.

In 2011, World Vision brought together its economic development experts from across the globe to re-examine the role that WV can play in assisting poor communities to increase incomes and assets through facilitated economic development approaches (project models). This Theory of Change event helped to galvanise the organisation around a shared understanding of how poverty reduction happens, and also clarified the economic interventions where it could demonstrate greatest impact relative to its investments and strengths. This session will provide an overview of the Microfinance, Savings Groups, Local Value Chain Development, Business Facilitation and Youth Economic Empowerment project models now employed by World Vision, and how they are being applied and supported through its Community of Practice and proprietary online learning project model across its 90 countries.

 Featuring a panel discussion including experienced economic development specialists (both internal and external to World Vision), this session will explore the lessons, challenges and possibilities for scaling inclusive programs amongst poor rural and urban communities. 

Kyhl Amosson       Jason Wolfe            Nancy Kairo  Worknesh Mekonnen    Frank Tembo




Partnerships for Innovation in Access to Basic Services 
Presented by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), Member of the InterAmerican Development Bank

Wednesday, September 24

This lunch session explores the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) approach to last-mile basic service delivery, which tests private sector models that bring efficiency, innovation, and sustainability in service provision to poor and low-income populations. Specifically, MIF projects aim to reduce costs, expand distribution channels, enhance the business performance of service providers, and create employment opportunities while increasing access for poor and low-income communities. MIF projects are multi-stakeholder partnerships that may involve public agencies, private firms, NGOs, social businesses, community organizations, and other actors. This joint effort supports the reduction of coverage gaps in basic services, enables a greater range of service providers, and drives the adaptation of services to the specific needs of the poor and vulnerable. Read more about Partnerships for Innovation in Access to Basic Services.

Andrés Martínez        Carlos Mataix                 Carrie McKellogg               Yuri Soares


World Bank Group’s Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture:
Project Scope & Data Coverage, Early Results and Next Steps

Thursday, September 25
8:30 - 11:00 am, breakfast included

-By invitation only-

The session is designed for experienced practitioners in agricultural development. For an invitation to this event please fill out the expression of interest form.

Representatives from the World Bank Group’s Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture (BBA) project will join us in a two hour facilitated session to present this new initiative, its goals and way forward, and to receive feedback from session attendees. 

The BBA project seeks to assist policy makers in enhancing the regulatory environment for inclusive participation in agricultural value chains. By identifying and monitoring policies and regulations that limit market access for producers, including constraints around private sector activity, the project will provide policy-makers with data and analyses that enable them to compare their country’s policies, regulations and market conditions with those of other countries measured.  The end goal is to boost the quality of agricultural policy decision making.

The presentation will provide a synthesis of the first year pilot results for the 10 countries measured and the topic areas covered: registering agricultural land, accessing financial services, introducing new varieties and high-quality seed, improving fertilizer supply, and transporting and selling agricultural goods.

The goal of this presentation is to enable an avenue for the project team and session participants to engage on the topic and discuss the BBA project, early results, data scope and way forward, in an effort to ensure the research is aligned with the many variables that impact agricultural policies worldwide. Following on last year’s lunchtime roundtables with the World Bank, SEEP members and other invitees will have the opportunity to draw from their significant collective experience to offer feedback to and dialogue with the BBA presenters.

Key research questions to explore include:

  1. Alignment of multiple objectives: How can data collection be designed so as to address both the constraints that are particularly limiting for smaller farmers, while at the same time measure factors of general relevance and prompt policyholders to take action?
  2. Local and global relevance: How can key topic areas be covered in a way that is relevant across diverse context and for different stages of agricultural development?
  3. Local participation in BBA data collection: What are the necessary steps for building capacity and engagement at the country level so that data collection can become localized and sustainable?
  4. Collaboration among stakeholders: How can the data collected for the BBA project be utilized to incentivize collaboration among different stakeholders, in particular CSOs and policymakers?
  5. Indicators and measurements: How can key factors that contribute to an effective enabling environment be accurately identified and reliably measured? 

For further details on the BBA project, please visit http://bba.worldbank.org/

Grahame Dixie             Federica Saliola                   Farbod Youssefi             Facilitator: Linda Jones

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