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Advancing the FIELD Conference Round-Up & Resources

FHI 360
Institutional Sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The "Advancing the FIELD" event, held at FHI360, focused on using program learning to inform emerging trends and introduce new ways of framing today's complex development problems. Explore photos from the event, read our conference blog post and Twitter recap, and watch interviews with key distruptive speakers and participants. Conference presentations and handouts are attached on the right of this page.

Watch Disruptive Conversations video series

View Conference Photos

Recap the conversation on Twitter

Read the Blog Posts

Keynote Sessions

System Archetypes and Emergent Futures: Reflections on Facilitating System Change

This session was the opening plenary of the Advancing the FIELD Conference hosted by the USAID-funded FIELD-Support LWA. In this video Peter Senge, renowned author and organizational learning expert, discussed the lessons learned working with systems archetypes in large-scale social change processes to facilitate system change.

Presenter: Peter Senge


Learning from Nature’s Designs: How the Study of Form, Function and Flow Can Inform Development Practice

In this session Dr. Sally Goerner, Director of the Integral Science Institute, explained how the study of form, function, and flow in nature can inform development practice.

Presenter: Dr. Sally Goerner    Presentation: Learning from Nature's Design

Big Data for Development

During this session from the Advancing the FIELD Conference, Emmanuel Letouzé, Director and Co-founder of the Data-Pop Alliance on Big Data and Development, discussed the opportunities and obstacles of leveraging Big Data to address the “statistical tragedy”—the lack of timely, reliable, basic demo-economic data such as poverty and vital rates—affecting many poor developing countries.

Presenter: Emmanuel Letouzé    Presentation: Big Data for Development

Complexity in the Development Sector

On the second day of the Advancing the FIELD Conference Dave Snowden, founder and chief scientific officer of Cognitive Edge, introduced the Cynefin framework, which can help managers recognize the casual differences that exist between different types of systems (obvious, complicated, complex, and chaotic) to help in designing approaches and making better decisions in different types of social and economic environments.

Presenter:          Dave Snowden

Integrating Extremely Poor Producers into Markets Field Guide

In this session Dan Norell of World Vision and Margie Brand of EcoVentures discussed conceptual and practical programing ideas from the popular and newly revised “Integrating Extremely Poor Producers into Markets Field Guide.”

Presenters:        Dan Norell and Margie Brand   Presentation: Integrating Extremely Poor Producers into Markets

When the Right Answer is Not Enough: Tackling Complex Development Challenges

This session, the closing plenary of the Advancing the FIELD Conference, brought together two practitioners (Mike Field and Eric Derks) to discuss the challenges that they have faced in trying to apply systems theory to development projects. This session also included Dave Snowden as a discussant and Margie Brand as the moderator.

Presenters: Dave Snowden, Eric Derks, Mike Field & Margie Brand  Presentation: Tackling Complex Development Challenges 

Breakout Sessions

Social Safety Nets and Beyond: What Works in Building the Economic Resilience of Vulnerable Populations

Expanding the Intervention Space: Embedding Social Activities for Women within Market Oriented Programs

Description: ACDI/VOCA presented GenderFirst, a new strategy for addressing gender inequality in market development programs. The session looked into case studies from agricultural development projects in India, Tanzania and Ghana, to identify types of intervention that will have the greatest impact on addressing gender inequality while also contributing to food security and economic growth.

Lindsey Jones, Director of Gender Mainstreaming and Women’s Empowerment ACDI/VOCA
Michelle Stern, Technical Director, Technical Learning and Standards, ACDI/VOCA

ACDI/VOCA Gender FIELD Presentation

The Road to Household Resilience: Provision, Protection, and Promotion Strategies for Household Economic Strengthening

Description: This session focused on the three stages of building household economic resilience: Provision, Protection, and Promotion. Panelists shared their experience in implementing interventions from each of these stages on the continuum.

Michael Ferguson, Project Director, ASPIRES, FHI 360
Nathanael Goldberg, Policy Director, Innovation for Poverty Action
Frank Lusby, Executive Director, Action for Enterprise

Jacky Bass, Technical Director, LIFT II, FHI 360
Carrie Keju, Senior Project Director, Economic Development and Livelihoods, FHI 360


Savings Groups for OVC Households: A USAID Portfolio Review from Mozambique

Breaking the Intergenerational Cycle of Poverty: Why and How Economic Strengthening Programs should be Designed with Indirect Impacts to the Household and Children in Mind

Description: In this session, panelists discussed what we know about the effects of economic development projects on child and youth wellbeing, what projects can do to increase their understanding of these effects, protect against potential unintended harm to children and youth, and magnify the impact and sustainability of economic development gains by considering the effects on child and youth wellbeing in project design.

Jennine Carmichael, Program Manager, FHI 360
Josh Chaffin, Senior Program Officer, Women’s Refugee Commission
Jason Wolfe, Senior Household Economic Strengthening Advisor, USAID

Value Chains and Beyond: Systemic Approaches to Building Stronger Markets  

From Value Chains to Market Systems

Description: Building on the principles and lessons learned of the value chain approach, USAID’s Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) project promoted an inclusive market systems development approach. Presenters explained the reasons for the shift to an inclusive market systems approach, and explored some of the implications for the project design and implementation.

Ruth Campbell, Senior Vice President, ACDI/VOCA
Jeanne Downing, Senior Enterprise Development Advisor, USAID

From Value Chains to Market Systems
Inclusive Market Systems Framework
LEO Fact Sheet

Impacting Market Systems by Facilitating Commercial Sale of High Quality Seed to the Rural Poor 

Description: This session presented the findings of a qualitative study on the system-wide effects of introducing vegetable seed mini-packets in Bangladesh by private sector seed companies. In addition, it also presented the tools, strategies, and approaches that were employed by the AFE program to facilitate sustainable access to quality and affordable inputs for marginalized farmers through collaboration with private sector.

Frank Lusby, Executive Director, Action for Enterprise
Scott Merrill, Program Manager, Action for Enterprise

Transforming a Market through Seed Interventions

Last Mile Input Delivery: Lessons Learned about Reaching Scale

Description: In this session, consultants Ben Fowler and Dan white shared successful examples of reaching beneficiaries and increasing technology adoption at scale. They extracted learning around how to enable poor, rural farmers to access agricultural inputs on a sustainable basis.

Ben Fowler, Principal Consultant, MarketShare Associates
Dan White, Associate Director for Agriculture Programming, ACDI/VOCA

Financial Services and Beyond: Towards Inclusive Finance and Client-Centered Approaches

Digitalizing Financial Services Products: Innovations from Emerging Markets

Description: This was an interactive session with a social enterprise, InVenture, which is working to provide personal finance and credit scoring for underserved populations in the developing. InVenture talked about how they are using alternative data from mobile transactions to help create a formal financial identity, which in turn, serves as a gateway to providing access to formalized financial services.

Shailee Adinolfi, Project Director, mSTAR, FHI 360
Shannon Moran, Strategy and Data Analyst InVenture

Leveraging Human-Centered Design to Develop & Demonstrate “Firm to Farm” Finance Solutions for Smallholders

Description: This workshop utilized Human-Centered Design (HCD) tools and the Firm to Farm Finance Toolkit developed to demonstrate how design thinking can be integrated into market facilitation programming.

Rasti Morshed, Head of Risk, United Leasing Company Pvt. Ltd.
Kevin Robbins, Technical Director – Programs iDE

HCD Firm-to-Farm Finance
HCD Group Activity Handout

Mobility, Ubiquity and Big Data: How Technology is Driving Financial Inclusion for Youth

Description: In this session, Making Cents discussed the disruptive power of the three trends: Mobility, Ubiquity and Big Data, and representatives of leading youth inclusive programs discussed how they are being used to promote financial inclusion. Mobility was illustrated through examples of E-money and the use of text messaging to promote savings behavior, Ubiquity through a focus on how social networking and peer-to-peer platforms are opening up new financial avenues for youth, and Big Data by considering how analysis of young people and their household’s behavior can help in making the business case for serving youth.

Xavier Fax, Digital Finance Frontiers Initiative, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor
Gwen Nguyen, Cause Director, Indiegogo
Timothy Nourse, President, Making Cents International
Jamie Zimmerman, Senior Associate, Bankable Frontier Associates

Mobility, Ubiquity and Big Data by CGAP
Mobility and Big Data by Making Cents

Vocational Training and Beyond: Bridging the Divide for Market-Driven Workforce Development and Entrepreneurship

What’s Beyond Vocational? : The Need to Think Systems and the Need to Collaborate

Description: An interactive session that took a deep look into the elements of a country’s human capital and workforce development system by reflecting on the importance of seeing and thinking systems in the work we do.

Monika Aring, Senior Technical Advisor, FHI 360

What’s Beyond Vocational Training?

Work Readiness: Highlighting Core Competencies and Building Job Search Skills

Description: This session looked at examples of successes in strengthening intermediary actors, such as job placement and training agencies, and giving job seekers an easily accessible venue to search for employment.

Robert Kunzig, Communications Advisor, FHI 360
John Lindsay, Technical Specialist for Workforce Development, FHI 360
Branka Minic, Founder, Future Work Consulting

Mentoring through Appreciative Inquiry

Digital Literacy: The New Language of Employment

Description: This session offered information about global tech trends, frameworks for understanding the skills demanded by the private sector and resources for TVET and other educational institutions to effectively deliver them.

Allyson Knox, Director, Education Policy and Programs, Microsoft
Fiona Macaulay, Founder & CEO, Making Cents
Lauren Woodman, Chief Executive Officer, NetHope