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Systemic Approach - MSD/ M4P

Systemic Approach - MSD/ M4P

  • Market Systems Development (MSD) – also known as Making Market Work for the Poor (M4P) or Inclusive Systems Approach – is an overarching approach being used mostly in private and financial sector development as well as labour markets including vocational skills development. Moreover, MSD is increasingly applied to other thematic fields like governance, water and infrastructure, environment, health, policy and science. The approach provides a set of principles, frameworks, and good practices that guide the analysis of market systems and development interventions, which bring about socially inclusive and pro-poor change. Drawing from adaptive management principles, the approach can help new or ongoing activities become more effective by strategically thinking through questions related to sustainability, scale and impact.

  • For information and guidance about the MSD approach, please visit the BEAM Exchange - a platform for knowledge exchange and learning about the role of markets in poverty reduction.

An introduction to market systems development

(a video by Beam Exchange, 2017)

This short, jargon-free video explains what the market systems approach is all about: how it differs from conventional aid, and how it can be used to help create widespread and lasting improvements in incomes, access to jobs, products and services for millions of people living in poverty.
Find the English, French and Spanish version below. 


An introduction to market systems development (English)


Introduction au développement des systèmes  de marché (French)



Introducción al desarrollo de sistemas de mercado (Spanish) 



Brief introduction to the Market Systems Development (MSD) Approach (2-pager, 2020)
English      French

The operational guide for the making markets work for the poor (M4P) approach (2nd edition 2015)

Managing MSD projects - Internal guidance paper for SDC head office and cooperation office staff (2017/2019)
English     French     Spanish

A pragmatic approach to assessing system change (2020) 

Overview paper  (16 pages)    How to put it into practice / long version (91 pages)   Webinar (April 2020)