What is systemic change?

Three components of a measurable definition

Published by
3sd Research

Why do we lack a precise definition for 'systemic change' despite over a decade of implementing market systems programmes with the explicit goal of systemic change?

This paper uses Mechanisms of Social Change (MOSC) as a conceptual framework for defining systems. It sets out both the nature of systems and the characteristics of system change that must be considered in defining systemic change.

It seeks to contribute to a definition of systemic change through use of systems concepts that translate to the actor level. Building on this actor-level framework, the paper sets out three components of systemic change that need to be defined in order that it may be more effectively measured. 

  • Component 1 incorporates how the system has changed
  • Component 2 incorporates how the system responds to ongoing changes
  • Component 3 incorporates how changes to the system relate to programme intervention 

Read the blog: Why can't we measure systemic change?