Session 2 in the Series! Shifting the Locus of Learning: Catalyzing Private Sector Learning to Drive Systemic Change Webinar (Part 2 of 2)

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  • Date: Thu, Jun 22, 2023, 9:00 - 10:00am
  • Event Type: Online
  • Organizations: Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships
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Featuring perspectives from the CEO of an agribusiness in Uganda, a leader in Honduras’ BDS and finance ecosystem, and implementers at Gatsby, ACDI/VOCA, and MarketShare Associates - this webinar will unpack several practical examples where firms, ecosystem actors, and programs are strengthening firm and system-level learning capacities.

The last in a two-part series, this engaging webinar will take a practitioner-level focus and dive into several of the 10 intervention strategies featured in the paper Shifting the Locus of Learning: Catalyzing Private Sector Learning to Drive Systemic Change. We heard from influencers at USAID in the first webinar about why USAID sees this as central to its Local Capacity Strengthening Policy, PSE Modernize, and economic growth programming goals. Now we’ll hear from firms and implementers directly.

The webinar will demonstrate, using practical examples, why programs can and should shift the locus of learning from being only program-focused to system-focused. This implies a shift in agency away from a program directing the learning process to strengthening the capacity of market actors (e.g., firms, other organizations) and the system itself to better learn and adapt on their own. It represents an evolution in the focus and purpose of learning from being oriented primarily towards funder reporting (i.e., “prove”) and program improvement (i.e., “improve”) to also focusing on system transformation (i.e., “transform”) – a shift in the ‘locus’ of learning. The strategies spotlighted in the brief are anchored by specific examples from 13 programs doing this work now across 11 countries, including programming in Uganda, Honduras, Mozambique, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Serbia.


GeorgeGeorge W. Bakka, General Manager, Patasente - Bakka is an afro-centric entrepreneur passionate about building companies that improve lives. To date, he has co-founded 7 companies and registered 2 exits. He is currently the GM at Patasente a digital trade services platform for farmers, warehouses, and factories. He is an Acumen, Anzisha and Mandela Washington Fellow. In his free time, he blogs here.

ArjunArjun Bhoopal, Head of Partnerships, Gatsby Africa - Arjun Bhoopal is Head of Partnerships and part of the livestock team at Gatsby Africa, which is a private foundation supporting sector transformation in East Africa. In past roles he has also supported work in agricultural inputs and water services. A core focus for Gatsby is exploring approaches that can have broader systemic impact, for example embedding learning from testing new business models within sector associations and other peer-to-peer mechanisms.

RicardoRicardo Irias, Co-Founder and CEO, Sube Latinoamérica; President, Fintech Association in Honduras - Ricardo is the co-founder and CEO of Sube Latinoamérica and the President of the Fintech Association in Honduras. Sube is an ecommerce platform tailored specifically for small merchants in LATAM. Sube empowers Latino entrepreneurs with an innovative formation program, mentors that guide small entrepreneurs through the intricacies of ecommerce and a comprehensive suite of tools that include a payments gateway, WhatsApp purchase orders, website builder and all the essential technologies that MSMEs in Latin America need to fuel growth through eCommerce.

CatalinaCatalina Mejía, Entrepreneurship and Youth Component Coordinator, ACDI/VOCA Honduras - Cata is an active entrepreneur passionate about building entrepreneurial ecosystems and fostering social ventures through education. For the past 20 years, Cata has actively worked to promote better education opportunities for youth in Honduras, especially in rural and underserved communities. For the past four years, she has led the Entrepreneurship component for the USAID funded Transforming Market Systems (TMS) activity implemented by ACDI/VOCA in Honduras, helping local business service providers and MSMEs improve the quality of their products and services and promoting entrepreneurship as a viable means of success for women and youth. Cata is a pioneer in Honduras of grassroot initiatives such as Startup Weekend and Global Entrepreneurship Week, and a cofounder at Impact Hub Tegucigalpa.

BenBen Fowler, Co-Founder and CEO, MarketShare Associates - Ben specializes in identifying, implementing and measuring business solutions for positive social impact. Ben is the Co-Founder and CEO at MarketShare Associates (MSA), a global consulting firm that generates actionable insights for economic development. Ben has 20 years of experience in social impact across more than 30 countries, working with private sector consultancies and technology companies, multilateral institutions, universities, impact investors and bilateral governments. Ben is the author of numerous papers on transformative learning for social impact, including most recently Shifting the Locus of Learning: Catalyzing Private Sector Learning to Drive Systemic Change. He is based in Denver. MarketShare Associates is a consortium member on Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Activity, led by DAI.