Policy brief

Bending the rules

How to use a systemic approach to improve the rules of the game

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This brief looks at how some market systems projects have successfully dipped their toes in policy work bringing meaningful changes to both workers and businesses alike.

Most market systems projects focus their time and resources on private driven initiatives despite the opportunities that improving the rules of the game can bring both workers and businesses. 

It seems that work on the rules of the regulations is perceived to be too difficult and uncertain.

Using a systemic approach means working on an entire ecosystem. In theory, that means that a market systems development project should work with key businesses operating directly in a particular sector, businesses that support that sector (like financial services) and of course, on the rules and regulations which govern how businesses operate and set the conditions that workers are subjected to. 

The experiences outlined in this brief can help projects understand why it is essential to work on rules and regulations and how to productively do so. It provides recommended pathways and can be used as a key reference for market systems or private sector development project looking to work more effectively in the policy realm.