Bringing SME voices into policy solution development through our Practitioner Labs for Policy Prototyping
Using validation processes to ensure relevant and well-targeted policy instruments
In late October, seven policy practitioners took to the stage during the SEED Practitioner Labs for Policy Prototyping scale-up labs in South Africa and Malawi. The practitioners shared their ideas of policy solutions to leverage the potential of eco-inclusive enterprises in driving the transition to green and inclusive economies. From waste management consortiums, online platforms to incentivise activity in the biomass sector and performance reviews of cooperatives, to commercialisation of eco-innovations, these solutions address challenges facing eco-inclusive enterprises to grow and scale their impact. These policy solutions to enterprise challenges are special: not just in their unique features or vision, but through the process in which they were developed.
Bottom-up approaches to sustainable development often rely bringing solutions developed by grass-roots organisations to scale. Policy makers and entrepreneurship ecosystem players play a crucial role in enabling locally developed solutions to reach scale and replication. This is where SEED’s Practitioner Labs and co-creation methodologies come into play. By bringing together policy makers, enterprise intermediaries, researchers, and enterprises to co-create solutions, the resulting policy instruments harness the creativity and experience of a variety of stakeholders. It ensures the solutions are rooted in the experiences of enterprises, and validated by the target audience.
This year, the SEED Practitioner Labs Policy Prototyping in Malawi and South Africa brought together over 170 participants in 6 labs, with 118 organisations represented. These organisations included financial institutions, policy makers, civil society organisations, consultants, think tanks, enterprises and more. They came together to co-create solutions to challenges related to green and inclusive growth, such as how to integrate climate risk assessment into sustainable agriculture, or how to promote waste upcycling in cities. This setting ensures that a wide range of stakeholders provide feedback to the solutions developed, and that cross-sector networking could take place.
Breakdown of participants in the SEED Practitioner Labs Policy Prototyping in Malawi and South Africa
Most importantly, the labs offer policy makers and intermediaries a testing ground for mechanisms to integrate the voices and experiences of enterprises into policy solution development. In some cases, enterprises have been included as key contributors to the policy solutions, participating in the design and development of convening platforms, consortiums, and thought groups. In other cases, enterprises have provided specific details and feedback on the challenges they are facing, and provided insights into the accessibility and relevance of the solutions developed.
The next step for the solution developers involves finding partners for the implementation of solutions and accessing the technical and financial resources necessary to build the policy solution prototypes into tangible policy instruments. We invite you to contact the solution developers directly to become involved in solution refinement and implementation. To read about the solutions developed and how they integrate enterprise voices, click here.