2012 SEEP Annual Conference Plenary: Measuring Impact in Market and Financial Systems

  • Date Posted: November 23, 2012
  • Authors: Elizabeth Dunn, Shawn Cunningham, Shamim Bodhanya, Richard Hummelbrunner
  • Document Types: Other
  • Donor Type: Non-Governmental Organization

This was the opening plenary session at the 2012 SEEP Annual Conference. The panel brought together practitioners and experts to explore cutting edge thinking of effective ways to measure results of market and financial development interventions. Please note that the video begins with an introduction by SEEP Executive Director Sharon D'Onofrio. To skip ahead to the panel, scroll to minute 6:15.

Markets and financial systems are complex and constantly changing. Even after thorough analysis and strategic planning, these changes are unpredictable and surprising. Project interventions at the same time often lead to unforeseen or unanticipated outcomes. The dynamics and non-linear behavior of market systems create specific challenges for understanding change inducted by development interventions.

One of the key challenges is to answer the questions of how project interventions change the structural characteristics of the market system and how this translates to the level of the beneficiaries. Effective monitoring systems must make use of approaches that embrace the dynamic nature of markets. Alongside demonstrating project-level impacts, monitoring systems should deliver relevant information in real-time to help project managers to navigate unforeseen changes and adapt interventions. Recent research in complex social systems improves our understanding of how market and financial systems work. It provides new insights that build the foundation for innovations in monitoring systems.

The panelists—Dr. Shawn Cunningham, Dr. Shamim Bodhanya, Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, and Richard Hummelbrunner—shared their perspectives on how findings of complex systems research can inform new approaches to results measurement, the principles to follow, and pathways for their application by practitioners and donors.

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