Systems change in action: SNV's experiences in adaptive programming in Tanzania

I4ID consortium's experiences in adaptive programming

A five-part case study documentation of I4ID consortium's contributions to the Government of Tanzania's ambitions in improving opportunities and services in Agriculture and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH).

A system is a set of component parts that function and interact in some regular way, organised for a purpose, e.g., like in your local council, school, bank, and sports association. When systems malfunction, they fail to deliver services that sustain life, human dignity, and security. Systems that do not work take away people’s agency and freedom to pursue their own sustainable development. In these five I4ID case studies, we underscore the importance of testing and iterating scalable solutions with diverse stakeholders, and brokering collective action to drive systems change. By applying these methods, our experience in Tanzania shows that more inclusive processes and results are produced.

The case studies draw on experiences and lessons from the Institutions for Inclusive Development (I4ID) Programme, implemented by Palladium, SNV in Tanzania, BBC Media Action, and ODI UK. Supported with UKAid and IrishAid funding, this four-year programme ended in December 2020. The programme contributed to overall systems change in Tanzania by:

  • strengthening inclusivity and accountability practices in Tanzania’s institutions for long-term social progress and economic growth; and

  • enabling the delivery of equitable services to benefit women, young people, people living in poverty, and vulnerable groups across Tanzania.

I4ID consortium's experiences in adaptive programming

Our experience implementing I4ID has validated that a significant focus for systems change efforts is in the re-linking of relationships and connections. This means bringing together people who work on the same issue or problem – likely with the same goals – but who, often, do not (or would not) talk to each other.

A system is made up of several smaller systems or parts that shape its efficacy, effectiveness, sustainability, and transformative potential. Therefore, to increase our impact, SNV systems change work focuses on four areas of engagement: (1) shifting norms, (2) kick-starting/shifting markets, (3) enabling government and others to develop and adopt new practices, and (4) leveraging (additional) financing.

These case studies illustrate how SNV engages in these four focus areas to influence systems change, while addressing the following:

Our experiences and the results of our work have been documented in five stand-alone synopses that comprise this set of I4ID outcome case studies.

Prepared by: Julie Adkins, SNV in Tanzania

For more information on our WASH work in Tanzania, contact Olivier Germain (WASH Sector Leader, SNV in Tanzania) | For more information on our Agriculture work in Tanzania, contact Menno Keizer (Agriculture Sector Leader, SNV in Tanzania)