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Celebrating the End of Local Systems Practice (LSP) with Tools You Can Use

By: Jenna White

This month, we’re celebrating the end of our Local Systems Practice (LSP) activity. LSP was a three-year USAID project that directly assisted multiple missions, local partners, and civil society organizations (CSOs) to design and adaptively manage systems-based programs in complex environments. Our work resulted in several reports and tools that we hope continue to be used and built-upon by development practitioners.

LSP User’s Guide

LSP has developed a ‘User’s Guide’ to engender greater understanding and application of systems tools by the activity’s direct beneficiaries, and by the development community writ-large. The User’s Guide provides practical guidance on how to use Network Analysis, Causal Loop Diagramming, Ethnography, and Participatory Systems Analysis in development efforts. The Guide details when and how each method or tool can be used, resources required for implementation, and corresponding case studies. The Guide integrates academic research, and the LSP consortium’s expertise, drawing from a variety of social science disciplines.

An online version of the User’s Guide can be found at www.localsystemspractice.org. You can also download a formatted PDF version of the User’s Guide here to share or reference offline.

Listening Guide

Local participation is fundamental to maximizing foreign assistance effectiveness. Development practitioners increasingly recognize the vital importance of including local voices and contributions as a cornerstone of the design of development projects. This guide provides development leaders the tools and methods, as well as a framework and plan, for engaging local constituents early in the project design process. There are a variety of methods and tools available to project leadership to assist with data collection and facilitation. You can find a PDF version of the Listening Guide here.

Measuring the Efficacy of Research-Practice Partnerships (RPPs)

LSP was a Research Practice Partnership (RPP) composed of six-organizations, led by LINC and included development practitioners and research institutions. The five sub-implementers were ANSER, the University of Notre Dame, AVSI, the University of Missouri, and Practical Action.

LSP by the Numbers

LINC delivered a presentation at the American Evaluation Association (AEA) in 2019 on defining success for RPPs based on the LSP experience and drawing on literature from the field of Higher education. See the full presentation here.

You can find all of these resources and more on our project website. We will be posting more insights from our work under the LSP activity throughout the week, so follow along in our social media channels with the #LocalSystemsPractice.