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Exploring cutting edge thinking to improve the current M&E paradigm

Systemic M&E Interview 3: Jeanne Downing

Jeanne Downing, Senior Enterprise Development Advisor, Office of Microenterprise Development, USAID talks about the discussions she and her colleagues have within USAID about the necessity of using a systemic approach in development. She mentions the need to switch away from linear approaches towards approaches that are better able to capture the complexities of real world phenomena, especially when taking into account the new focus on resilience, which puts a further layer of complexity on the work in market systems. With regard to Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks, Jeanne gives examples of work that has already been done to make them more systemic, for example the Degrees of Evidence paper. M&E in complex systems mean accepting that the route a project takes from the baseline to the projected endline cannot be planned or predicted. Projects that take a facilitation approach need to be nimble and adaptable, which ultimately translates into increased sustainability. Jeanne also stresses the importance of collaborative learning between practitioners, donors, and researchers.

 About the Interview

Jeanne Downing
Senior Enterprise Development Advisor
Office of  Microenterprise Development, USAID

Jeanne Downing is the Senior Enterprise Development Advisor in USAID’s Bureau of Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3) and Office of Microenterprise and Private Enterprise Promotion (MPEP). Within USAID, Dr. Downing has helped to lead the practice area on value chain and market systems development, including the now completed AMAP research effort AMAP. Jeanne's work is focused on developing knowledge and promoting learning on how to design, implement and evaluate market systems efforts.
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