What We’re Writing

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.

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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

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.

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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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