2019, a year we kicked-off systems change


2019 is a significant year for SNV. It is when we launched the 4-year strategic plan spanning 2019-2022 officially putting systems change on the agenda. We implemented more than 250 projects in 29 countries firmly focusing on where we do it best – agricultureenergy and WASH – in low-income and low-middle-income countries.

In this article, we summarise the highlights of 2019.

Preparing for the future

The medium-term strategic plan aims to improve the lives of 20 million people in 2022 through increasing incomes and access to basic services of people living in poverty. This is a 3-million increase from the previous strategic period of 2016-2018 when SNV finally transitioned from subsidy dependence to project financing. Adapting our global know-how to local contexts, we formalised our claim on systems change outlining the four parameters that make it so: kickstarting markets, leveraging finance, when governments and others adopt our approaches and when we introduce a new normal. During this four-year period, we intend to create direct results and bring about systems change in all that we do.

The 2019-2022 strategic plan further laid out the promise of high-quality interventions and operational excellence as a fully project-funded organisation.


Changing lives

Some of the initiatives where systems change was clearly present include the Kenyan Market-led Dairy Project (KMDP), our work in biodigesters and our part in Nepal’s open defecation-free campaign.

Agriculture I Kenyan Market-led Dairy Project (KMDP): The Kenyan Market-led Dairy Project (KMDP) started in 2012 and closed in 2019. It transitioned the Kenyan dairy sector from one based mainly on subsistence farming to one in that is geared towards professional commercial dairy farmers. The first phase of the project focused on professionalising smallholder production and input services. The second phase commercialised the sector, moving from aid to trade. Read more

Energy I Biodigesters in 17 countries: SNV’s work in biodigesters is legendary. A 2019 SNV report shows that over 38,000 household biodigesters have been installed in 17 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Biodigesters provide multiple benefits to users, from increased income to improved well-being, food security and more. Read more

WASH I Nepal is ODF: Systems change is present when a new normal is adopted. One of the most glaring examples of this is when societies that used to defecate in the open refrain from doing so. On 30 September 2019, Nepal raised the sanitation bar by being officially open defecation-free. Districts in Ghana and Cambodia also brought good news in the ODF area. Read more.

V4CP I Empowering civil society: In 2019, the V4CP programme continued to influence systems change, by empowering civil society as advocates for policies and practices benefitting poor and marginalised communities. Read more.

Going forward

As a fully project-funded organisation, we strive for operational excellence and efficiency in our projects to improve more lives. In 2019, here are only some of the projects we’ve launched:

  • Mobile Data for Moving Herds Management & Better Incomes (MODHEM) in Burkina Faso

  • Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD)

  • BRILHO - Energy Africa in Mozambique

  • Kenya Off-grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP)

Joining the conversation

In the areas we couldn’t physically cover, we made sure to join the conversation:

Positive change ahead

This year, we will continuously work with our community of donors, partners and our more than 1,300 staff in 25 countries to deliver direct results and systems change. In the months ahead, you will see the results of our systems change efforts in reports that chronicle what we did and why and the lessons we learned. These narratives will show how SNV is changing systems for the better. Stay tuned.