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Rethinking systemic change – technical paper


This technical paper provides an in-depth review of the fields of evolutionary economics, new institutional economics and complexity and social change. It is argued that economic development is a complex, non-linear and continuous evolutionary process. Both market and non-market institutions matter greatly in shaping economic performance. The paper then explores the consequences of this understanding for market development practice. It discusses how market development practitioners can engage in and shape intentional change processes. To translate the theory into practice, seven principles are suggested that can be applied to market systems development practice. The paper concludes with a reframed look at systemic change in market systems development.

discussion paper presents the key messages from the literature review and seven principles drawing from this literature.