Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Activity
Engage with Key MSP Resources By Theme
Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Activity (MSP) is advancing learning and good practice in market systems development (MSD) and private sector engagement (PSE). MSP is guided by a Learning Agenda with five Learning Streams, as shown in the adjoining image.
To better facilitate user engagement and position individual resources within the larger arc of learning, MSP has organized key resources below around each of these Learning Streams. Some resources span multiple themes. Scroll down to check it out. To see our latest events and postings listed chronologically and additional resources, visit the Our Posts tab.
Transformational Private Sector Engagement
The private sector is core to market systems, and private sector engagement is critical to advancing more transformational development impact— outcomes that are scaled, sustained, and truly systemic. MSP is advancing learning and good practice—by developing knowledge briefs, tools, and guidance—in this critical priority area for USAID, as well as applying learning into MSP’s Partnership Facility.
- PSE Guide Series: MSP aims to make PSE more accessible and integrated throughout USAID’s portfolio by expanding the diversity of PSE use cases and engagement models. A series of PSE Guides include tips and case studies in finding ‘shared value’ with the private sector across a range of special interests or desired outcomes.
- The PSE for Nutrition guide includes a strategic engagement tool, partnering guidance, and case studies. A blog captured takeaways from a pilot of the guide in Rwanda. Methodological guidance on working with the food industry to advance large-scale food fortification provides a market assessment and commodity selection guidance, interview guides, and other tools, alongside insights from pilots in Zambia and Nigeria, to identify context-relevant, feasible LSFF opportunities in line with the USAID LSFF Results Framework.
- PSE to Advance Climate Adaptation and Resilience: A Guide to Building Effective Partnerships includes a strategic opportunity identification tool, presents six 'blueprints' (aka partnership models), and discusses areas where there is already movement by the private sector, as well as areas where private sector action is lacking.
- The Primer on PSE in Fragile and Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations adapts PSE best practice for these unique contexts, offering tips, embedding systems thinking, and showcasing practical examples from 13 vignettes - complemented by a blog and a PSE Hub Exposure case story on one of the featured firms.
- As part of a new series of briefs on “how MSP does PSE,” MSP’s Approach to Gender Lens Investment (GLI) summarizes the practical phases of our strategy that have been successful in our Partnership Facility and that can be adapted to other contexts.
- To drive strengths-based synergies between PSE and MSD, MSP developed a foundational, highly consultative brief, Towards Transformational Impact: Synergies of PSE and MSD.
Private Sector Engagement for Nutrition: A Guide to Building Effective Partnerships
Private Sector Engagement to Advance Climate Adaptation and Resilience: A Guide to Building Effective Partnerships
Primer on Private Sector Engagement for Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations
Market Systems and Partnership's Approach to Gender Lens Investment
Towards Transformational Impact: Synergies on PSE and MSD
Practical Application of Market Systems Development
The market systems development (MSD) approach uses a systems lens to engage with local market actors and catalyze more competitive, inclusive, and resilient market systems. By adopting a systemic lens, using a facilitative approach working through local stakeholders, and addressing root causes of inefficiencies in the system, MSD results in greater sustainable impact at scale. MSP leverages the strong theoretical base and lessons from application to increase MSD adoption and strengthen the application of good practice. Specific MSP activities in this Learning Stream include:
- To deepen expertise and capacity in MSD and further develop the pool of local MSD champions, MSP developed a five-day internal USAID training which is now being rolled out, in particular to Mission staff. The course includes modules on behaviors of market systems, working with complexity, facilitation, adapting M&E and CLA, social inclusion, and designing and managing an MSD activity. These resources were also adapted for a health context. MSP plans to share a public version in 2204.
- As a foundational brief on the nexus between PSE and MSD, MSP developed a highly consultative brief, Towards Transformational Impact: Synergies of PSE and MSD, spotlighting opportunities for strengths-based learning and collaboration.
- In collaboration with BEAM Exchange, MSP launched a centralized online repository of 180+ MSD tools, sourced through industry engagement and feedback, to support uptake of good practice in applied MSD.
- MSP is also advancing knowledge and resources for assessing systems change, adaptive management, risk-informed MSD, and more. See the sections on MSR and M&E and CLA below.
Online Library of 180+ MSD Best Practice Tools
Towards Transformational Impact: Synergies on PSE and MSD
PSE and MSD: Improving Each Other
Market Systems Resilience
Market Systems Resilience (MSR) is an analytical and programming lens applied to strengthen the ability of a market system to respond to shocks and stresses in a way that allows consistency and sustainability in the market system’s functioning. MSR integrates risk analysis to better understand and influence the economic, political, health, or social risks affecting a market and how a system’s structural and behavioral characteristics shape vulnerability and response to risk by firms and households in it.
- To strengthen peer learning and expand and deepen interest in and practice of MSR, MSP established a community of practice (CP) that spans implementers and donors. The MSR State of the Field Map builds from CP contributions to capture ‘hot spots’ of MSR around the globe and facilitate tangible connections between practitioners.
- The MSR Learning Series includes multiple thematic briefs, case studies, and cartoon-based capacity-building tools. The series kicked off with a simplified brief on Demystifying MSR: An Introductory Overview, and includes three cartoon-based teaching tools, available here in English, French, and Spanish and in PDF, PowerPoint, and digital flipbook format. Additional resources include a case study on How an MSR Lens Shaped Intervention Design and Adaptation in Northern Kenya, and a brief exploring three areas to focus on when Using an MSR Lens to Support Household Resilience protection and recovery, generating cash, and improving a household’s long term risk management capacity.
- A study in Nepal diagnosed market systems resilience in a Feed the Future zone and contributions that a portfolio of economic growth and humanitarian programs to strengthen MSR.
Using and MSR Lens to Support Household Resilience
Market Systems Resilience (MSR) State of the Field Map
Demystifying MSR Brief
MSR: An Introduction (Graphic Cartoon)
MSR: Analyzing Markets (Graphic Cartoon)
MSR: Household Resilience Strengthened (Graphic Cartoon)
Investing in social inclusion is good for business and central to USAID’s broader goals for achieving pro-poor growth, and marginalized or disenfranchised populations require explicit inclusion to avoid implicit exclusion from the benefits of MSD and PSE programming. MSP is increasing the evidence base that inclusion leads to increased firm-level competitiveness and that PSE can empower and benefit marginalized populations and drive pro-poor growth.
- The evidence that empowering women is good for both society and business is heavily skewed towards a developed country context and tends to focus on large public corporations. To fill this gap MSP conducted an evidence gap analysis structured on a framework developed from existing tools for measuring the return on investment in women’s empowerment. The research spawned many discussions within USAID, a BEAM Exchange blog, an ANDE Annual Conference presentation, and active LinkedIn conversations.
- Deepening this research, MSP launched the Women-Inclusive Return On Investment (WI-ROI) Framework, which reflects the industry outlook on women’s inclusion at the firm level and highlights successful business strategies to achieve financial impact from investment in women’s inclusion across four areas: Talent and Leadership, Workplace Culture, Supply Chains, and Consumers. The framework is grounded in current evidence in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
- MSP’s Approach to Gender Lens Investment (GLI) focuses on the practical phases of our strategy that have been successful in our Partnership Facility and that can be adapted to other contexts.
- MSP conducted original research on how COVID-19 is influencing the MSD talent pipeline, in particular, the diversity of that talent. Follow-on research (including a survey that engaged 1,200 respondents) expanded the focal area beyond just MSD and spurred calls to action, especially for HR and recruitment influencers. The findings, Shaping the New Normal, were presented research to USAID as part of its DEIA Council’s speaker series, and several public webinars. A blog captured insights from follow-up nearly a year later, reflecting on the challenges of uptake and adoption from research more broadly.
Market Systems and Partnerships' Approach to Gender Lens Investment
Women-Inclusive Return On Investment (WI-ROI) Framework
Shaping Our New Normal: An Unprecedented Opportunity to Reimagine a More Inclusive International Development Workplace
ROI of Social Inclusion: An Evidence Gap Analysis from Developing Countries
How COVID-19 is Impacting the Market Systems Development Talent Pipeline
How the Private Sector Measures Return on Investment: A Framework to Inform Future Research
Monitoring and Evaluation, and Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) are foundational to the MSD approach, which requires frequent iterations in strategy, methods that reflect complexity and facilitative approaches, the ability to assess progress towards systems change, as well as traditional development results. M&E and CLA are also a prioritized growth area for PSE, particularly enhanced metrics that go ‘beyond leverage.’
- To support enhanced peer learning networks between program-based MEL leads, MSP hosted a series of interactive discussions with 13 MEL specialists from 12 countries in 2022. Three participant-authored papers captured highlights from the discussions, forming the MSD in MEL Clinic Series. The papers are: Practitioners' Guidance to Assessing Systems Change, Building a Team Culture for Adaptive Management in MSD: 5 Strategies MEL Managers Say Work, and Enhancing Partner and Systems-Level Learning: 8 Tips from MEL Managers, captured highlights from these discussions. Available in French and Spanish.
- Shifting the Locus of Learning: Catalyzing Private Sector Learning to Drive Systemic Change calls on programs to shift the locus of learning from being only program-focused to system-focused. It spotlights 10 proven actions for learning at the market actor-level and systems-level, with examples from 13 programs across 10 countries that practitioners can use to drive more competitive, inclusive, and resilient firms and economies. A two-part webinar series captured perspectives from USAID as well as implementers and the private sector.
- A significant priority for MSP—linked to influencing uptake of MSD more broadly—is to expand the evidence base for MSD’s influence on sustained, scaled impact. To address this, MSP is designing a series of ex-post evaluations of USAID-funded MSD activities. Initial insights, captured in the blog The Great Opportunity and Challenge of Ex-posts for MSD: Four Takeaways from a Rapid Harvest of Insights, were applied to design multiple studies. Lasting Roots: An Ex Post Study in Senegal of Naatal Mbay and the Integrated Finance Model is the first in this series. A final evaluation of a USAID program in Cambodia also explored systems change outcomes. Evaluation authors share three lessons learned when evaluating systems change programs in this blog series.
The MSD in MEL Clinics Series: Perspectives on Systemic Change, Team Culture and Private Sector Learning
Shifting the Locus of Learning: Catalyzing Private Sector Learning to Drive Systemic Change
The Great Opportunity and Challenge of MSD Ex-Posts
Lasting Roots: An Ex Post Study in Senegal of Naatal Mbay and the Integrated Finance Model
Assessing Systems Change in Cambodian Agriculture: Feed the Future Cambodia Harvest II Final Evaluation
MSP Partnership Facility
Through a $25 million Partnership Facility implemented through tailored engagements with USAID Missions worldwide, MSP facilitates private sector partnerships that create shared value from the alignment of core business objectives and development goals.
Live RFAs and awarded partnerships are spotlighted below. See all opportunities (past and present) at www.mspgrants.com, and sign up to receive notices on future opportunities.
Partnership Lookbook for the Market Systems and Partnerships Activity (MSP)
Market Systems and Partnership's Approach to Gender Lens Investment
USAID Announces Three New Partnerships to Propel Growth in Cambodia
MSP Partnerships Social Media Week
USAID Announces Four Private Sector Partnerships in Southern Africa
Announcing New Private Sector Partnership under USAID's ACE
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November 2023 Newsletter
Latest Semiannual Reports
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