Workforce Development

Systems Change: A Survey Of Program Activities

March 1, 2008  • Maureen Conway, Amy Blair & Allison Gerber

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This publication explores ways sector initiatives engage in “systems change” activities to help address structural issues – in industry practices, education and training infrastructure and public policy – that hamper their success. It provides a framework for understanding the range of systems change goals and strategies typically undertaken, offers practical examples, and discusses common challenges programs face – in terms of developing capacity to pursue this work and finding ways to finance it. Content is based on responses from approximately 250 sector programs that engage in various systems change activities. The survey findings are augmented by staff site visits and phone interviews. This piece builds on the systems change framework described in another WSI publication: Sectoral Strategies for Low-Income Workers: Lessons from the Field.