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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems


Market Systems Development Training in Malawi

Sponsored by  SEEP


Crossroads Hotel, M1
Lilongwe, Malawi
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Nov 17, 2015 (Tue) - Nov 20, 2015 (Fri),


The SEEP Network has partnered with Pollen Group to offer an introductory course to market systems development (MSD). The training will allow practitioners to understand complex systems, systems theory and its application in analyzing problems. The outcome is a much more comprehensive and systemic view of change that leads to more creative and sustainable development practices and wider impact. This introductory course will provide a clearer understanding of how markets function and how to engage with market systems. It will answer the questions: why use MSD? What is MSD? How does MSD understand change? and How can we use MSD as an approach? Ultimately, it will increase knowledge of market system facilitation tools and frameworks to strengthen the design of project intervention strategies.

This training is targeted to all levels of staff and will cover 5 main topics:

  1. The conceptual underpinnings of market systems approaches,
  2. Frameworks to shape strategy and intervention design,
  3. Tools & tactics on how to engage market actors while promoting ownership and sustainability,
  4. Performance management and monitoring systemic change, and
  5. Adaptive management styles.
This training will employ experiential learning activities, with pragmatic application of frameworks, case studies, discussion groups, games, and more.



This training is aimed at mid to senior level managers of market systems programmes that may have some familiarity with the approach but have not experienced an in-depth training on market systems, M4P, or facilitation. 

Participants will gain:

  • Strengthened understanding of complex systems, systems-theory and its application to analyzing problems;
  • Increased knowledge of market systems facilitation tools and frameworks to strengthen the design of project intervention strategies; and
  • Strengthened capacity on the use of facilitative tactics during project activities, including strengthening formal and informal feedback loops to inform learning and planning.

Meet the Trainers:

  • Ryan Bourque is currently managing Pollen Group Consulting based out of Kampala, Uganda (www.pollengroup.org). PG exists to promote and support efforts to improve aid effectiveness. He is interested in gaining an understanding of how development interventions can have sustained impact beyond the life of projects by focusing on addressing underlying systemic barriers to change in local markets and governance structures. Prior to this work Ryan was a Market Development Strategist with Engineers Without Borders Canada's Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) team. Similar to Pollen Group, the AVC team focused its service on building organizational learning capacity within market facilitation projects. This involved building the means (e.g. tools, capacities, knowledge management systems), motives (e.g. field staff capacity, behaviour change initiatives), and opportunities (e.g. senior management role modelling, work plans with learning components) for projects to learn effectively. Ryan completed a Master of Arts degree in Global Development Studies at Queen's University in Canada.

  • Larissa Gross is a Senior Strategist with Pollen Group Consulting, working in market systems development in East Africa. Larissa is interested in applying complex systems theory to development and working with practitioners to adapt to changing market dynamics. Larissa has been working in market systems development in Kenya since June 2013 with previous experience with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) in Malawi. Before this she was a staff-member at EWB’s National Office on the Talent Team and completed her BEng in Sustainable and Renewable Energy at Carleton University, Canada. 

  • Christine Livet is currently partner and Senior Strategist with Pollen Group, with extensive experience working with market systems and facilitative programs in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania. She specializes in organizational change management, developing performance management systems, and training/mentoring of field staff in market systems and facilitation. Prior to working with Pollen Group (as well as formerly under Engineers Without Borders Canada), Christine worked in the dairy sector in Nepal and with the Canadian donor agency supporting the design of economic growth policies and strategies. She studied international development and economics at the University of Ottawa.

Venue details

Crossroads Hotel, Crossroads Complex, Mchinji Roundabout, Lilongwe Malawi

 Training Costs

  • SEEP Network Member: USD 720
  • Non SEEP Network Member: USD 900

Register Now


 Interested in organizing this training in your region? Please contact William Wallis at wallis@seepnetwork.org to discuss further.

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