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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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Market Systems Development- USAID-DFID-SDC Collaboration

by on Oct 31, 2013  |  posted in Uncategorized  |  0 Comments
As an enterprise development advisor at the U.S. Agency for International development (USAID), I have been working on efforts to advance inclusive market development, largely through U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative.  A central aim of these efforts is to produce sustainable results that are both replicable and cost-effective.  Scaling sustainable results is a challenge that - I believe - can best be achieved through the development of market systems.

At USAID, we define market systems as complex webs of interconnected relationships among market actors, within and across industries, firms and households. These relationships are affected by cultural norms, social and economic incentives, loyalty and mistrust. Market systems operate within policy environments that are often opaque or unpredictable. They interface with other systems such as education, health and nutrition and are subject to global forces, including climate change and economic recession.   When market systems are resilient – that is able to respond to new opportunities and to address threats over the long-term - they can continue to grow and expand after our donor-funded interventions end.

USAID recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC ) to collaborate on market systems (http://microlinks.kdid.org/learning-marketplace/news/usaid-dfid-and-sdc-explore-collaboration-inclusive-markets).  In working on the development of this partnership with DFID and SDC colleagues, I was struck by how closely we were aligned in our objectives and approaches to addressing the need to create more resilient markets that benefit the poor.  Going forward the three partners intend to develop shared learning agendas, coordinate strategies and work plans, and co-invest in innovations and training in the field, all with the goal facilitating lasting change.

DFID and SDC are working together to establish the new “Market Systems Development Platform” – a central knowledge management facility that will support the development of such approaches.  USAID is providing support to this initiative, and is also investing in learning and practice in inclusive market systems development through the newly awarded Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) project.

LEO’s primary goal is to stimulate and support learning about how we can best intervene in complex market systems—in ways that create sustainable impact, particularly for resource poor households and small-scale enterprises.

I look forward to SEEP’s Annual Conference and to sharing with you more information our USAID’s market systems work and our collaboration with DFID and SDC.

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