As a youth growing up in Hong Kong, David’s teenage career aspirations as a rock singer and guitarist took a severe knock when a South China Morning Post review of his “gig” at the Hong Kong Fringe Club referred to tinny riffs and vocals mimicking a cat in pain. Putting the mic and guitar down, David picked up his books and started on a new career path as an economist. David now has extensive experience in private sector / enterprise development with many donor agencies, Foundations and impact investment organisations and across more than 30 countries at last count. As a Director at the Springfield Centre, David has helped spearhead market systems thinking and its application in practice; which is now mainstreamed across many agencies, programmes and sectors. David has designed, reviewed and helped to implement market systems programmes in a wide variety of sectors (from land, to agriculture, to financial services, to youth employment and policy reform) and countries.
By way of example, since 2008, David has been the Technical Director for the DFID funded ENABLE programme in Nigeria. This programme closed at December 2018 scoring an A+ by an independently appointed DFID review team. This programme achieved considerable documented impact, not least through its work with the Nigerian Legislature that enacted reforms that helped drive Nigeria up 24 places in the 2017 Doing Business Rankings and placed Nigeria in the Top 10 global reformers that year. With Finance-in-Motion, David led an ‘impact improvement’ project with their European Fund for Southeast Europe (one of the largest impact funds globally at around $1bn capitalisation). He has been a trainer on the Springfield Centre courses (BDS and M4P) since 2002, and has published widely on market systems and related subjects.
David has designed, evaluated and managed a large number of global challenge funds / matching grant programmes. From 2002-2005 he was the Lead Fund Manager of DFID’s Enterprise Development Innovation Fund (EDIF) – a cost-sharing grant programme for action research into new approaches to stimulate service markets for SMEs (18 projects spanning more than 20 countries). He was appointed as an adviser to the review of DFID’s Business Linkage Challenge Fund (BLCF), and the design of its African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF).
Additional to his short term consulting experience, David also held a long-term resident position as Lead Economist to the Department of Economic Affairs & Tourism, Northern Cape, South Africa (DFID-funded).