Springfield agreement fosters market systems development in Africa

Genesis Analytics and the UK-based Springfield Centre have formed a partnership to design, implement and evaluate market systems development programmes in Africa.

The Springfield Centre is a global leader in the design and delivery of the market systems approach to development with more than 20 years of experience in the field. This approach seeks to change the way that markets work, so that the benefits of growth and economic development include populations that have been marginalised by poverty. The aim is to tackle market failures and strengthen the private and public sectors in a way that creates large-scale, lasting benefits for a large number of beneficiaries.

Genesis has been successfully applying a similar approach in agriculture and financial services, and in programme evaluations across many sectors. While both firms will maintain their independence and branding, Genesis and the Springfield Centre have agreed to pool resources and partner together on future market systems related work in Africa.  This will include programme design, implementation, evaluation and learning partnerships. 

“This partnership will combine Springfield’s global knowledge base with our deep practical experience of successful development projects in Africa,” said founder and chair of Genesis, Stephan Malherbe. “We expect the result to be more innovative interventions, more disciplined implementation, and more insightful and evidence-based evaluation.”

“A particular focus will be on transferring lessons learnt in individual project work to learning for entire development systems, with a sharp focus on measurable improvements in outcomes,” said Malherbe.

“We firmly believe this partnership offers us a stronger foundation from which to support our partners and clients,” said Jon Burns, a director of the Springfield Centre.

Genesis partner and lead in this strategic alliance, Sydney Zharare, said:  "This partnership is significant in that it brings together global thought leadership in market systems development and context specific design and implementation expertise. This is a platform for turning theory into practice, encompassing analytical rigour and ‘on the ground’ realism."

Genesis partner in the Evaluation for Development practice, Alyna Wyatt, said: "By innovating and testing approaches to measuring systemic interventions and impact, drawing on our respective expertise, we have no doubt that we will further contribute to developmental impact".

Springfield is known for their independence, analytical rigour and thought leadership. At a policy level they have worked with agencies such as DFID, SDC, CGAP and the DCED to develop guidelines for market systems work. At a practice level they have partnered with lead firms implementing and evaluating large and complex market systems programmes. They also have partnership arrangements with INGOs and philanthropic foundations in setting strategy and building the right capacity required to deliver on it.

The Springfield Centre has completed more than 250 assignments, in over 40 countries spanning sectors as diverse as agricultural value chains, financial inclusion, business advocacy, investment climate reform, water and sanitation, and land reform. Additionally, they are very well known for their market systems training programmes, training over 1700 development professionals from more than 100 countries.

Genesis Analytics is the largest economics-based consultancy in Africa. They have provided high quality consulting and advisory services since 1998 and now employ more than 120 people in Johannesburg and Nairobi. They built their reputation in the areas of competition and regulatory economics, and financial services strategy consulting. They have since expanded their offering to incorporate agribusiness, climate-smart agriculture, infrastructure and health. This sector work is underpinned by their specialist practices in evaluation and behavioural economics. Working directly for governments, corporates, donor agencies and philanthropic foundations, they have now delivered more than 200 projects across Africa and, in the past year, have worked in 23 countries across the continent.