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April 2019 News

2019 seems to be progressing at a remarkable pace so we thought it was about time for another update from the world of Springfield.

A Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” 160 years since Dickens penned the well-known opener of the world’s second best- selling novel, the words came to mind recently while delving into urban market systems in Addis Ababa and Dar es Salaam. Cities are the main drivers of economic growth, providing up to 70% of the world’s gross domestic product, the proverbial “best of times.” And yet, nearly a billion people live in slums, in conditions that might look familiar to Dickens himself, vulnerable to health, environmental, and livelihood shocks, the literal “worst of times.” We’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last 18 months in two different contexts – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, supporting inception phases of programmes testing market systems approaches to creating jobs and improving incomes in urban areas. And whilst the contexts, challenges, and opportunities for pro-poor growth vary greatly between rural areas and urban areas, this soapbox shares some highlights of what we’ve learned so far.

Read the full soapbox here.

The Next Frontier

We’ve been diving into urban market systems development in Dar es Salaam over the last couple of months supporting the inception phase of Dar Urban Jobs, DFID’s first foray into urban market systems development. The programme is focused on generating employment and income improvements in the light manufacturing, solid waste management, and child care services market systems. Stay tuned to see what we learn!

Fancy a #toiletread?

Steve Sugden, a guest blogger from Water For People, reflects on the institution’s journey towards making markets work better for the poo-er. Not easy, fast, or straightforward, but difficult tasks rarely are. Find out how more toilets are now built per month with a market systems approach than in his 28 year career.

Read the full article here

MMW Training Programme
28th April to 10th May 2019, Bangkok

Our next training programme will soon be underway, and we'll be welcoming participants from 23 different organisations, and 27 different countries. This is our 37th course, our 13th in Bangkok, and our Programme Director, Rob Hitchins, has been involved in every single one of them!

We'll be announcing dates for our next event very soon. 

Fighting the good fight

Springfield are partnering with the Malaria Consortium to help strengthen the Government of Nigeria’s malaria control programme through the DFID-funded SuNMaP2 programme. This second phase of the programme emphasises sustainability and a Springfield team is spearheading efforts to mobilise multiple stakeholders, including private sector, in the analysis and development of more sustainable and better coordinated delivery models for key malaria control commodities. The Springfield team will be applying the market systems lens to commodities including rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs).

What's media got to do with it?

Independent mass-media has a clear incentive to broadcast accurate information on issues pertinent to a mass audience, and to do so in timely ways, at scale. Given that both information and advocacy are such common constraints in rural agricultural markets, it is surprising that so few MSD programmes leverage media’s infrastructure and incentives.
Learning from the Alliances Caucuses


Programme in Georgia suggests that applying MSD principles to work with media can effectively catalyse change in information constraints in agricultural markets. More than half of rural viewers recently surveyed by the programme say they have changed their behaviour as a result of agricultural information from media, and most report tangible benefits, including income increases, as a result of these behaviour changes. 
Read the full case study here. 

What have we been thinking about recently?

A snapshot of the work we have been involved in over the past few months.

What to look out for in 2019...

We're all very busy at the moment, with a healthy pipeline for the coming year. Look out for news on our new and ongoing work in Fiji, Uganda, Indonesia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Angola and Kenya. 

Have a thought you want to share?

If anything featured in our newsletter has inspired a thought or sparked a debate please feel free to share your comments on our webpage or drop us an email at

The Springfield Team
Copyright © 2019 The Springfield Centre, All rights reserved.

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