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The Canopy Lab
The more we learn about market systems and systemic change, the more we realize that describing these system dynamics is a major challenge. In addition, many tools for describing and monitoring shifts in system dynamics can be inadequate, as it is difficult to gain insight into network structures and institutional biases that influence the way individuals behave.
In order to help solve this, the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) project and the Feed the Future Bangladesh Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) activity recently joined forces and developed a set of easily applied tools to better explain, monitor and track changes in system dynamics using the AVC program as the venue for experimentation.
In this webinar, presenters discussed each of these valuable tools, including the theoretical underpinnings and their applications for market systems programs.
Tim Sparkman is a development economist, entrepreneur and systems thinker. He is currently a Senior Consultant with MarketShare Associates, a boutique consulting firm that provides systems-focused research, results measurement and economic empowerment support to a wide variety of donors and other clients, including USAID under LEO. He has about 10 years of development experience, including five years of program design and management experience in East Africa. He also works on innovative approaches to market system analysis and impact evaluation for systems-focused programs.
Michael Field has over 20 years' experience designing, assessing, implementing and training on leading edge private sector development and enabling environment approaches. Through his work, Mr. Field has played a key role in setting learning and research agendas in the field of systems approaches. He is currently leading USAID’s Agricultural Value Chain project in Bangladesh. Other recent experience includes designing, advising and training staff in Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe on applying systems concepts to private sector and enabling environment challenges. Mr. Field continues to provide guidance on improved practice on systems approaches via his role on the advisory board of BEAM Exchange and contributions to USAID’s learning investment, LEO.
Eric Derks has come to systems thinking through practice, and failure, with nearly 20 years’ experience intervening in market systems and organizational development. During this time, he has designed, led, and advised large and small-scale projects alike and learned a great deal about systems thinking as it relates to project strategy, activities, operations and knowledge management. He is currently the co-director of The Canopy Lab, an organization dedicated to the practical application and promotion of systems approaches.