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The SEEP Network 
Annual Conference

October 1-3, 2018

Plenary Sessions and Speakers

View the complete list and biographies of the plenary speakers 

Wednesday, November 7, 9:00-10:30 AM

This plenary brings together practitioners and experts to explore cutting edge thinking and inquiry in effective ways to measure results of market and financial development interventions. Markets and financial systems are complex and constantly changing. Even after thorough analysis and strategic planning, these changes are unpredictable and surprising. Project interventions at the same time often lead to unforeseen or unanticipated outcomes. The dynamics and non-linear behavior of market systems create specific challenges for understanding change inducted by development interventions. One of the key challenges is to answer the questions how project interventions change structural characteristics of the market system and how this translates to the level of the beneficiaries. Effective monitoring systems must make use of approaches that embrace the dynamic nature of markets. Alongside demonstrating project-level impacts, monitoring systems should deliver relevant information in real time to help project managers to navigate unforeseen changes and adapt interventions. Recent research in complex social systems improves our understanding of how market and financial systems work. It provides new insights that build the foundation for innovations in monitoring systems. The panelists will share their perspectives on how findings of complex systems research can inform new approaches to results measurement, the principles to follow, and pathways for their application by practitioners and donors.  Learn more about the questions to be addressed during this plenary.


Dr. Shawn Cunningham      Dr. Shamim Bodhanya           Dr. Elizabeth Dunn          Richard Hummelbrunner
MesoPartner                           University of                              Impact LLC                        OAR Regionalberatung
Moderator                               KwaZulu Natal 

Wednesday, November 7, 4:00-5:30 PM 

Over the past decade, there have been numerous efforts to bring savings products and services targeted to the poor to the market through a variety of providers, delivery channels, and marketing strategies.  Some have been more successful than others.  However, there continue to be a number of operational as well as legal and regulatory barriers that hinder the wide scale expansion of services that are cost effective, sustainable and scalable. This session draws upon the key findings from SEEP’s forthcoming state of savings report to set the conceptual framework for the current policy dialogue around savings mobilization under a responsible finance agenda, looking at key issues and challenges to the globalization of savings for the poor. Panelists explore how lack of uptake does not necessarily mean lack of demand and how practitioners and policy makers can shed more light (both qualitatively and quantitatively) on the latent/potential demand for micro savings products. In addition, practitioners draw from their experiences in the field to examine the operational challenges and solution that savings practitioners are facing and discuss the implications of local policy environments for savings and the opportunities for various models of service delivery. Finally, the plenary attempts to elicit feedback on SEEP’s global savings agenda and attempts to rank key priorities that should be promoted moving forward in order to ensure savings services for millions of new savers among the world’s poor.


 David Myhre             Robert A. Annibale           Joanna Ledgerwood         Leora Klapper          Dennis Ripley
 SEEP Network           Citi Microfinance and       Aga Khan                               World Bank               Opportunity 
 Moderator                 Community Development                                                                                        International

Thursday, November 8, 9:00-10:30 AM

Promising practice and trends around effective private sector partnerships for the development of inclusive markets are rapidly developing. Practitioners and the private sector are leveraging opportunities to strengthen value chains and market systems. This plenary explores different forms of private sector partnerships that are effective in reaching scale and driving benefit for the poor in market systems / value chains.  Dialogue with practitioners and the private sector on their different perspectives within the system explores promising practice, trends, inherent tensions and real challenges at putting these partnerships and strategies into practice. Specific issues may include what is needed to form a successful partnership, what comprises a smart subsidy from the private sector perspective, and models to test and scale innovations working hand-in-hand with the private sector to strengthen enterprise and market development strategies.

Confirmed Speakers


                            Alison Griffith                                  Mahbub Anam                           Zahid Torres-Rahman
                            Practical Action                              Lal Teer Seed Limited             Business Fights Poverty


Thursday, November 8, 4:00-5:30 PM

Over the past decade, national governments and development agencies have established and grown a number of social safety net schemes – such as conditional cash transfers – for the ultra poor. They also have increasingly recognized the importance of sharpening their targeting to create programs specifically adapted to the conditions facing the ultra poor and to their capacities. This plenary focuses on emerging methodologies designed to assist the ultra poor to build financial and non-financial assets, including their savings and entrepreneurial skills. In this context, the ultra poor are defined as those living on $1.25 per day or less.  It examines how microenterprise development and microfinance practitioners can link to and leverage the enormous cash outlays associated with social safety net programs to create asset building pathways that support sustainable livelihood development by and for the ultra poor.  It also explores how better targeting, when combined with innovative financial inclusion and market facilitation strategies, can strengthen the economic potential of the ultra poor.


     Frank DeGiovanni                   Leonardo Alvarez           Carlos Alberto Moya Franco        Camilla Nestor
     Ford Foundation                    Plan International          Banca de las Oportunidades          Grameen Foundation


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