Call for Market Systems Development Tools!
This blog is written by Bronwyn Irwin, Chief of Party for the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Activity, and Mike Albu, Programme Director for the Building Effective and Accessible Markets (BEAM) Exchange. It first appeared on the BEAM Exchange.
Ever gone searching for a tool to help you with a specific market systems development (MSD) issue such as a partner assessment tool for gender inclusion? Have you developed a great tool for measuring systemic change that you think would be helpful to others? Ever wish all these tools were in one curated, centralized, public repository? Well, with your help, they soon will be.
The MSD community has many useful tools to support implementation, but finding the right tool can be challenging or can be limited to those “in-the-know.” MSD is evolving and developing and there are gaps where it would be great to have a tool, but none currently exist (to our knowledge). In response, the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Activity, in collaboration with the BEAM Exchange, is taking stock of MSD tools to develop a curated, centralized open-access web-based MSD library to be hosted by BEAM. This effort will also solicit tool gaps from the MSD stakeholder community to be filled through later collaborative efforts.
MSP and BEAM are calling on the MSD community to submit existing tools that serve a specific practical function in applying the MSD approach. They could be tools that are widely known and used, or newer tools that have great utility but not yet great uptake. The tools will be curated with input from the MSD community and classified with technical tags for easy searching.
We also need your help to identify critical gaps in the suite of existing MSD tools that will inform future industry development. The tool library will be launched in 2022, and will be hosted, maintained, and kept up-to-date by the BEAM Exchange to ensure ongoing support and engagement of the MSD community.
Why is this initiative important to the market systems development community?
This initiative will increase adoption of good practice in MSD by providing those new to the approach with an accessible and navigable set of curated tools, while offering a consolidated resource for seasoned MSD practitioners and systems thinkers.
The benefits of a centralized tool library include:
- Easy access for MSD practitioners at all levels of expertise.
- Quick problem-solving using tags crowd-sourced from those submitting tools.
- Regular updates with the latest innovations.
Why should I share my market systems development tools?
You will be contributing to the increased adoption and good practice in applying systems thinking to market-driven development solutions, ultimately leading to more sustainable impact at scale.
You will have the opportunity, as an individual or an institution, to influence good practice and the evolution of MSD, and to shape the initial characteristics and content of the tool library. This includes proposing the most useful tool categorizations and tags.
All tools included in the library will be fully credited to the authoring organization or individual and will maintain their original marking and branding, allowing contributors to demonstrate their MSD expertise. Contact information will also be shared alongside each tool (with permission) to provide an opportunity for tool developers to engage with practitioners that have applied or adapted their tools, thereby contributing to tool iteration and improvement.
How do I submit tools?
The Feed the Future MSP activity is advancing learning and good practice in MSD and private-sector engagement within USAID, USAID partners, and market actors. For more information, access to technical resources and opportunities to engage, visit www.agrilinks.org/msp.