Assessing systemic change

Implementation guidelines for the DCED Standard

Adam Kessler

This guidance document explores practical options for measuring market-wide effects resulting from private sector development interventions.

The DCED Standard recommends that practitioners capture wider changes in the system or market that they work in. Though there is no industry wide definition of systemic change, there is some agreement about the qualities that systemic change should have: scale, sustainability, and resilience. This guidance suggests that programmes aspiring to systemic change should articulate their vision for the market, and for the changes that their work will trigger, that will have these qualities. They must also document the causal pathway to those changes, and how it is revised in light of experience. Programmes should set indicators for each key step on this causal pathway, and measure them according to good practice. Programmes should also assess the extent to which they contribute to the changes that they observe.

Useful for:

Practitioners, in particular M&E staff, seeking guidance on how to measure systemic change.