USAID, the British Department for International Development (DFID), and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) have developed a partnership to explore opportunities for collaborative and complementary efforts in the area of market systems development approaches to programming. The resulting Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the three development organizations reflects their strong interest in understanding how the effectiveness and sustainability of development interventions can be improved by considering the role of the poor in market systems. Within USAID, the work of inclusive market development is most closely aligned with the Value Chain Development (VCD) approach and in DFID and SDC, it is known as Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P).
The MOU provides a channel through which the three partners can practically build on their experience of market systems interventions, disseminate shared expertise across agencies and country offices, and develop joint initiatives that harness this expertise for wider learning and impact. The partnership is also designed to respond to feedback received from market development practitioners to promote work at the field level to:
- Share experiences of and lessons learned from market systems programming in-country
- Explore opportunities to coordinate market systems training across the partners in-country (including with shared implementing partners)
- Coordinate work-plans and/or research needs relating to the application of market systems approaches in particular sectors
USAID will work with counterparts at DFID and SDC to share thinking on market systems approaches and open up a dialogue on how the Agency and its partners can advance such approaches to further the sustainability of developmental gains.
This partnership also complements the broader intention of DFID and SDC to work together to establish a new Market Systems Development Platform – a central knowledge management facility that will support the development of such approaches. Further information on the shape of this platform will be available later this year.
To learn more about the M4P approach, join Microlinks for the first activity under this new partnership: MPEP Seminar #6—Market Systems Innovations - From the Field— on September 12, 2013 where Margie Brand will present on DFID's MAP project in Kenya.