What We’re Writing

Quick Guide to More Inclusive Digital Technology Adoption

COVID-19 is creating rapid and dramatic shifts in the global economy and how business is transacted. This disruption is fueling fast-paced innovation and uptake of digital technology in all spheres of life, but also poses real risks, exacerbating the existing vulnerabilities of poor women and men and leaving them even further behind.

Guide to More Inclusive Digital Adoption


The Canopy Cut (July 2020)

The ‘Canopy Cut’ is a quick reference resource for market systems and private sector development practitioners interested in the practical application of and current trends in Gender Equality and Social Inclusion. 

The ‘Canopy Cut’ is curated list comprised of a range of resources from blogs to detailed guidance to infographic which have been published and circulated on public platforms like the Beam Exchange, LinkedIn, Marketlinks.

The ‘Canopy Cut’ is not intended to be comprehensive and the emphasis on different angles of gender and social inclusion may vary from edition to edition.

The Canopy Cut (July 2020)


Outcome Harvest: Lessons from EYE’s Industrial Board Promotion with Universities in Kosovo

Outcome Harvesting is a qualitative assessment technique that uses a structured process to collect anecdotes about changes in the environment, then investigates these stories to evaluate their link to a given activity. In this case, the Canopy Lab and the Enhancing Youth Employment (EYE) team researched changes that resulted from its work promoting faculty/employer dialogue for curriculum improvement at several universities in Kosovo.

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Business case for disability inclusion in market systems development

Market systems development (MSD) programs seek to influence incentives and relationships among actors to affect how public and private actors behave, helping important market functions to perform more effectively and encouraging businesses to innovate, adapt, grow and serve wider populations. Increasing MSD programmes in the field of private sector development like Elan 1.2, a DFID funded MSD programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are taking a closer look at who is included these wider populations and who is excluded and placing more attention on purposefully including frequently excluded groups like women and people with disabilities.

Business case for Disability Inclusion in Market Systems Development

Disability Inclusion in Market Systems Development – Literature Review

The ascendance of market systems development (MSD) programming in the field of private sector development has coincided with an awakening of the field to the importance of more equitable development reflected in the increasing programme commitments to gender equality and social inclusion (GESI), with people with disabilities often being captured through the broader social inclusion category. The concept of disability inclusion, however, is still new to most MSD programmes and practitioners including Elan, a DFID-funded MSD programme implemented by Adam Smith International in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and is considered by some a task not well suited to market systems programming because of the presumed small market share and additional costs of serving this segment.

This paper is the first in a series of three commissioned by Elan to increase understanding and applicability of disability inclusion in MSD and disseminate practical tools, frameworks and guidance. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the modest body of existing literature and examples of social and or disability inclusion in MSD and identify key insights for practitioners interested in disability inclusion. The second paper in the series presents the business case for disability inclusion in MSD and the third paper presents practitioner guidance for disability inclusion in MSD drawing on the findings of the two previous papers.

Literature Review People with Disabilities in MSD

Practical tools for measuring system health

This brief paper describes an effort to build a set of basic and easily used tools for monitoring system dynamics, or system health. The term, “system dynamics,” refers to the way actors, or agents, within a system act and relate to one another. It includes flows between agents as well as the norms that govern the way groups of agents in a system make seemingly independent decisions.

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Confronting Organisational Challenges to Mainstreaming Women’s Economic Empowerment in Market Systems Development Programs

Confronting Organisational Challenges to Mainstreaming WEE in MSD

Since the first formal presentation of the concept of women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in market systems development (MSD) in the 2012 Women’s Economic Empowerment M4P framework discussion paper1, the rationale for mainstreaming WEE in MSD work continues to gain conceptual and practical traction, particularly in those programs which have headline WEE objectives and reporting requirements.


Testing Tools for Assessing Systemic Change: Outcome Harvesting

In this report, a researcher with the USAID/LEO activity, in collaboration with the BEAM Exchange, used Outcome Harvesting (OH) to identify and analyze unintended outcomes arising at least partially from the Alliances Lesser Caucasus Programme’s (ALCP’s) successful efforts to facilitate an improvement in the dairy industry in Kvemo Kartli, Georgia. In so doing, we also evaluated the OH approach as a technique for understanding systemic change related to a market systems program.

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