Getting There from Here

Knowledge, Leadership, Culture, and Rules Toward Adaptive Management in Market Systems Programmes


BEAM Exchange


July 2016


Karri Goeldner Byrne
Timothy Sparkman
Ben Fowler

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About the Publication

This study examines the incentives and constraints to adaptive programming across the donor-implementer relationship – and how the behaviour that results influences market systems programming. There is some agreement that flexible and adaptive management, throughout the programme cycle and in the financial and operational management of implementation, is essential for programme effectiveness. Yet for a wide variety of reasons, most organisations have far to go to reach this adaptive ideal in any comprehensive manner. Researchers interviewed over 60 experts across a range of donor and implementer organisations, including technical, compliance, and operations-focused staff and conducted a literature on adaptive management. Through the course of this research four ‘baskets’ of issues emerged: knowledge, leadership, culture, and procurement and contract features.

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