Implementing adaptive management in DRC - practicalities and challenges

BEAM Grab the Mic webinar

Date: 29 October 2018


Andrea Talbot-West, Programme Director, Essor
Frédéric Chetcuti, Head of Business Environment Reform, Essor
Nathan Hulley, Team Leader, ELAN RDC
Marcus Jenal, Market Systems Development and Learning Expert, Decision Support Unit (DSU)
Hosted by: Mike Albu, BEAM Exchange and Marcus Jenal, DSU 

Sharing knowledge and lessons learnt from DFID's large-scale PSD programme in DRC. The programme seeks to ‘improve the incomes of the poor’ in an extremely complex, conflict-affected environment.

The three delivery partners - ELAN RDC, Essor and The Decision Support Unit (DSU) - provided practical examples from these three partners.

The programme adopted an adaptive management approach based on 'complexity thinking' which says that in fragile and conflict-affected states, such as the DRC, the future is inherently unpredictable. Knowing in advance how to create changes in complex environments is therefore, by definition, impossible.

It aimed to move beyond the standard linear approach. To achieve this the business case provided very broad guidance on its focus and initial interventions. This left room for programme implementers to be opportunistic and adapt their approaches based on continuous learning.

About the programme partners
ÉLAN RDC, initially a five-year market systems development project, implemented by Adam Smith International (ASI) with a second phase starting in early 2019. The project works across a number of sectors including agriculture, finance, renewable energy and transport.

Essor, a five-year project aiming to improve the DRC's business environment, implemented by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The initial portfolio of interventions included implementation of OHADA (a system of harmonised business laws adopted by 17 Francophone African countries), access to electricity and work to reduce corruption.

The Decision Support Unit (DSU) which supports the other projects with annual reviews, evaluations, learning activities and technical assistance. The DSU aims to improve implementation and increase impact. It is implemented by Oxford Policy Management (OPM).

Watch the webinar