ECDAN

Theme 2_1_

Systems Expert
Erin Watson, Owner/Principal Associate, Weaving Change

ECD Expert
Rebecca Hickman, Strategy and Policy Associate, SmartStart

Moderator
Shekufeh Zonji, Global Technical Lead, ECDAN

Session Description

This session provides a practical, step by step guide for how map out important causal loops and leverage points within Early Childhood Development (ECD) ecosystems that are affecting outcomes for children and families. Specifically, the session describes how to: 1) set boundaries around what aspects of your ECD ecosystem to focus on; 2) ask questions to understand how that ecosystem is helping and hindering outcomes for children and families; and 3) use the information you gather to map out causal loops and systemic leverage points to prioritize for change. The session also describes tips for communicating system maps with different audiences.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will develop a better understanding of the following:

  •  Common leverage points within Early Childhood Development ecosystems, including which are most powerful for triggering larger changes across the system.
  • Several feasible methods for gathering input from multiple perspectives about leverage points within Early Childhood Development ecosystems.
  • Techniques to map out causal loops and leverage points within Early Childhood Development ecosystems.

Watch the Session in English

Watch the Session in Spanish

Speaker Bios

Erin Watson, Owner/Principal Associate, Weaving Change

Erin Watson, Ph.D., is the owner of Weaving Change and has extensive experience in the use of systems thinking and participatory action-learning to design, implement, and evaluate transformative change efforts aimed at promoting equitable outcomes for children and families. She has consulted with hundreds of organizations, public sector agencies, community coalitions, and foundations around their efforts to promote place-based change, service delivery reform, primary prevention, strategic alignment, adaptive action, parent leadership, and collaborative capacity. Her systems change frameworks have been adopted by communities, coalitions, funders, and government agencies around the world. She specializes in early childhood systems and has provided capacity building and technical assistance to government agencies and regional early childhood coalitions in the U.S. across Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Illinois, and North Carolina.

Rebecca Hickman, Strategy and Policy Associate, SmartStart

Rebecca Hickman is Strategy and Policy Associate for SmartStart (a national early learning delivery platform in South Africa) and is currently seconded to the national Department of Basic Education as Senior Technical Advisor on ECD. She has over 25 years of experience working for NGOs and government on strategy, systems building and policy. She has worked in the ECD space in South Africa for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of ECD policy and regulatory regimes and has assisted the government in developing new policy, legislative and funding approaches. Rebecca has a Masters degree from Edinburgh University.

Explore Other Sessions

Have any questions or ideas for the series, contact [email protected].

For more resources on systems thinking, please visit the Systems Thinking for ECD webpage.