DCED Global Seminar: Systemic approaches for sustainable growth, employment and resilience

Nairobi, 1 – 3 October 2024

Organised in collaboration with Gatsby Africa and the International Labour Organization


The DCED, together with the BEAM Exchange – its knowledge platform on market systems development (MSD), has been running regular highly-regarded global seminars about private-sector development (PSD) since 2000 – including in Nairobi (2018), Lusaka (2016) and Bangkok (2014, 2012 and earlier). We return now after a six year break with a new format and fresh ambition to Nairobi, 1-3 October 2024.

The 2024 Global Seminar will focus on using systemic approaches for growth, employment and resilience. Sessions will prioritise practical lessons emerging from PSD field experience, evidence of what is working well, along with analysis of the pitfalls.

We aim to create a space conducive to constructive conversations between international donors and experienced PSD practitioners. In order to create the right balance of voices, and enable the most productive dialogue, we have had to restrict the number of places for PSD practitioners. There is no fee for participating in the DCED Global Seminar 2024. Participants will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and subsistence. Please apply early to be considered.

The Seminar’s sessions will be organised broadly around the six strands below; please see our provisional agenda for more information on individual sessions within each strand. In addition, the content of many sessions will feature two important cross-cutting themes: the challenges of measuring results (MEL) and promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

Please note that, due to high demand for places, applications to participate in the Seminar are now closed.


  • Language matters: the meaning of systemic approaches
  • What counts: assessing system change
  • Back to basics: principles of good PSD practice
  • Beyond incremental change: risk & systemic ambition in PSD programmes
  • Systemic approaches for trade-related outcomes
  • Transformative impact: how can programmes select sectors with high potential?
  • Charting the landscape: systemic approaches to employment
  • Job creation: how does it happen and why isn’t there more of it?
  • Setting targets and ambitions for realistic employment programme design
  • Green jobs and the ‘just transition’: experimenting with a systems lens
  • Building financial markets that support systemic change
  • Bridging the financing gap in practice: examples from climate financing
  • Innovating financing practices for small and women-led enterprises
  • Let’s talk business
  • Navigating green PSD
  • Bridging the financing gap in practice: examples from climate financing
  • Greening the MSD approach in agriculture
  • Green jobs and the ‘just transition’: experimenting with a systems lens
  • Measuring green PSD
  • Making it work: adapting PSE & MSD to fragile & conflict-affected settings
  • Can PSD achieve meaningful impact in fragile contexts?
  • Reaching across the aisle: the importance of donor-implementer relationships
  • Interpreting the rules: managing compliance in systemic programmes
  • Donor policies that affect systemic practice
  • Investing in emerging leaders on MSD/PSD programmes

Side events:

A number of side events are available 1 day before and 1 day after the Seminar. Please note that these are not organised by the DCED. Registering for the Seminar does not guarantee you a place at the side events; registering for the side events similarly does not guarantee you access to the Seminar. 

Monday 30 September 2024:

  • One-Day Workshop on Results Measurement Best Practices according to the DCED Standard, by Miehlbradt Consulting Limited (MCL). This comprehensive workshop will discuss the fundamentals of good results measurement and why an effective results measurement system is crucial for managing systemic programmes, as well as practical applications of the key elements of the DCED Standard. Aly Miehlbradt and Phitcha Wanitphon are the facilitators. See the flyer for more information or contact MCL at holm@miehlbradt.com
  • One-Day Workshop on How to be Good Funder of a Market System Development Programme (only for DCED member agencies) by Agora Global, in collaboration with Sida and the DCED. This will cover the basic concepts; designing programmes, selecting implementers, managing and measuring results. Dr Ben Taylor and Zannatul Ferdous are the facilitators. For more information contact Dr Ben Taylor at btaylor@agoraglobal.org.

Friday 4 October 2024:

  • One-Day Workshop on Assessing System Changes, by Miehlbradt Consulting Limited (MCL). This dynamic workshop is inspired by ‘A Pragmatic Approach to Assessing System Change’. It will cover the practical methodologies for assessing system changes as well as actionable insights and tools for effective implementation. Aly Miehlbradt and Phitcha Wanitphon are the facilitators. See the flyer for more information, or contact MCL at holm@miehlbradt.com.
  • Workshop on Applying the Market System Development Approach in Fragile Contexts That Host Large Numbers of Forcibly Displaced People, co-hosted by DAI and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The discussion will draw on practical experiences in implementing the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) – funded Strengthening Host and Refugee Populations in Ethiopia (SHARPE) programme in Ethiopia and the ILO experience of private sector and market systems development across multiple refugee hosting countries in Asia and Africa. For more information, contact DAI at elise_rohan@dai.com.
  • Gatsby Africa Open House (9 am – 4 pm) by Gatsby Africa at their Merchant Square offices on Riverside Drive, Nairobi. The sessions will provide an opportunity for Seminar delegates to interact with Gatsby Africa’s work with insights from staff working on Aquaculture, Livestock, Water, Forestry and Textiles &  Apparel programmes. Delegates can explore innovative interventions, exchange ideas on the practicalities of running PSD programmes in East Africa and learn about the challenges and successes that donor-implementors experience. For more information contact Patrick Oyoo at patrick.oyoo@gatsbyafrica.org.uk.