2016 Participants are saying.....
My biggest challenge is unpacking Market Systems and Development for field teams that are implementing programs on the ground. To be entirely honest, 6 months back my eyes would have glazed over if someone mentioned the term market ‘systems’. However, the materials on this course and having all of you to interact with has been supremely useful. I definitely feel like the quality of my technical support for teams has improved exponentially since taking this course.
As a humanitarian practitioner, with some experience of market-based programming, I was keen to explore what new lens market systems thinking could provide to my humanitarian work. The ‘Understanding Markets as Complex Systems’ provided a brilliant introduction to this approach, through a well curated blended approach to remote learning. The combination of peer learning, lectures and one on one coaching, opened my mind to new ways of thinking about markets through tips and tricks to explore and address the root causes of market behaviour.
The ‘Understanding Markets as Complex Systems’ course equipped me with a contemporary, holistic comprehension and appreciation for the market systems approach in the development context. With relevant case studies and peer learning, by the end of the course, I could properly analyze, identify and evaluate market systems interventions. The instructor, Mary Morgan, a highly skilled market systems professional, encouraged constructive engagement among the students and provided tailored feedback based on each student’s scenario and location. This course is great for those who are directly managing market-based projects abroad, or for those working in development that wish to better understand market systems concepts and their practical applications.
I would highly recommend that those working in or interested in working in market systems development check out this new course offered by The Inclusive Markets Institute. I participated in “Understanding Markets as Complex Systems” in 2016. It was a wonderful way to come up to speed quickly on the literature and latest thinking on this topic. Mary developed great teaching tools such as animations and she lined up leading thinkers in the field to mentor the participants. Her programs are designed for practitioners but provide a good balance of theory and practice.
This course enabled me to give support to one of the regional teams in my project concerning failures they were facing in recovering loans given to small-scale agro-dealers. I was able to help the Team identify key issues, actors, feedback loops, identifying leverage points in order to influence systemic change.
This exercise opened my eyes to begin to look at challenges from the perspective of others involved rather than my own perspective. The process of identifying the different perspectives of Farmer-Based Agents, field staff and other was so enriching in understanding the bigger picture and how to zero in on identifying the root causes of the challenge at hand.
I have really learned a lot from going through the whole process of narrowing down and formulating a challenge that can be evaluated and measured to find solutions. The course has reminded me of not to lose sight of looking at challenges from the perspective of the market players and the importance of regularly obtaining feedback and adapting interventions.