Think piece

Total systems failure: Three lessons on how to avoid a “blue screen of death” in your market systems development project

The “blue screen of death” invokes mild anxiety in just about any computer user. If it pops up on your screen, at a best case, you may have lost the last two hours of an unsaved spreadsheet. At its worst, your computer may have just been pushed into early retirement. And just as your trusty laptop can fail you for a number of reasons, so can a relatively trusty development organisation trying to run a market systems development (MSD) project.

At the ILO, we are no exception to being prone to project blue screens. This think piece, through the analogy of various computer failures, identifies three problematic areas in MSD project design and start-up phases, along with some potential remedies, that can help ILO colleagues, other UN agencies and project implementers start and launch new MSD projects more smoothly.