Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Activity


Engage with Key MSP Resources By Theme

Image illustrating the 5 learning streams

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.

  • MSP aims to make PSE more accessible and integrated throughout USAID’s portfolio by expanding the diversity of PSE use cases and engagement models. MSP collaborated with USAID’s Center for Nutrition on a PSE for nutrition guide, with a strategic engagement tool, partnering guidance, and case studies from Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, and Kenya. Currently internal to USAID, MSP is piloting the tool in Rwanda to inform a forthcoming public version.
  • Development and humanitarian practitioners have long grappled with best practices for PSE in the context of fragile and conflict-affected situations. Adapting PSE best practices to the unique challenges within these contexts, MSP drafted a Primer on PSE in Fragile and Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations that offers guidance, embedded systems thinking, and practical examples from 13 vignettes. The Primer is complemented by a blog and a PSE Hub Exposure case story on one of the featured firms. 
  • To drive strengths-based synergies between PSE and MSD, MSP developed a foundational, highly consultative brief Towards Transformational Impact: Synergies of PSE and MSD
Employees assemble tablets at the Surtab factory in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Primer on Private Sector Engagement for Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations

People carry tree seedlings through fields in Ghana

What’s Different about Doing PSE in Fragile and Conflict-affected Situations?

Kenyan women hold the sweet potatoes they grew.

PSE and MSD: Improving Each Other

Man holds an egg in a large hen house.

Towards Transformatioinal 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 course to be delivered primarily 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. USAID will pilot the training in Spring 2022, and MSP will package and share training materials following adaptation after the first training.
  • 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 is developing a centralized online repository of MSD tools, sourced through industry engagement and feedback, to support uptake of good practice in applied MSD. 
Man holds an egg in a large hen house.

Towards Transformational Impact: Synergies on PSE and MSD

Kenyan women hold the sweet potatoes they grew.

PSE and MSD: Improving Each Other

Two people look at a document in a field in Tanzania

New Crowd-Sourced MSD Stocktaking

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—which will ultimately include multiple thematic briefs, case studies, and cartoon-based capacity-building tools—kicked off with a simplified brief on Demystifying MSR: An Introductory Overview. The first case study, How an MSR Lens Shaped Intervention Design and Adaptation in Northern Kenya, is also out and explores how a USAID-funded program in northern Kenya has used an MSR lens to shape how it catalyzes more competitive, inclusive and resilient livestock market systems that, in turn, strengthen household resilience within a highly vulnerable region. 
Crop of image of Market Systems Resilience: State of the Field Map

Market Systems Resilience (MSR) State of the Field Map

Cover page of Demystifying MSR Brief

Demystifying MSR Brief

Oldonyiro livestock market

Case Study: How an MSR Lens Shaped Intervention Design and Adaptation in Northern Kenya

MSR Cartoon Place holder

Social Inclusion

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.

  • There is increasingly strong evidence that empowering women in the workplace as leaders, employees, suppliers, and customers is not just good for society but is also good for business. However, this evidence is heavily skewed towards a developed country context and tends to focus on large public corporations. To fill the gap in evidence from SMEs in developing countries, 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. MSP is now developing an ROI calculator for firms to further strengthen the evidence.
  • MSP conducted original research on how COVID-19 is influencing the MSD talent pipeline, in particular the diversity of that talent, and presenting key findings to USAID/RFS as part of its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Council’s speaker series and through a public webinar. Follow-on research (including a survey that engaged 1,200 respondents) expands the focal area beyond just MSD and spurs calls to action, especially for HR and recruitment influencers. 
  • MSP's follow-on research, in which we evaluate COVID-19’s impact on the workplace for international development, answers questions such as:  Is the development community at risk of losing hard-won diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) gains due to the pandemic? What DEI implications should implementing partners consider when designing their future working models? What are development professionals demanding in their post-pandemic careers, and what are the DEI implications? This research was presented in a public webinar with DEI leaders at two international development partners.
Drawing of a group of diverse people wearing masks

Shaping Our New Normal: An Unprecedented Opportunity to Reimagine a More Inclusive International Development Workplace

Young woman participating in tractor driving school

ROI of Social Inclusion: An Evidence Gap Analysis from Developing Countries

Three people wearing masks sit and have work meeting during COVID-19.

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Market Systems Development Talent Pipeline

Woman with a net, laughing

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.’     

People sitting in circle, participating in focus group discussion as part of field work in Malawi

The Great Opportunity and Challenge of MSD Ex-Posts

MSP Partnership Facility

Through a $30 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. As part of its core process, MSP conducts upfront strategic opportunity analysis—either rapid and light touch, or more in-depth depending on the context and needs of Missions— to ensure that MSP is working with the most impactful partner, or coalition of partners, and on the most strategic activities.

Check back for future summaries of key learning and results as partnerships ramp up, and sign up to receive notices on future opportunities.

Photo credit: DAI/Photo of woman in India holding a baby.

Place holder for ACE RFA


Female farmer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Private Sector Partnership Opportunities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Request for Applications

People load bags of groudnuts

USAID Announces Four Private Sector Partnerships in Southern Africa

MSP's Partnership Facility awardees include 260 Brands, AfriFruta, European African Seed Initiative, and Nature’s Nectar.

Cambodian man selling vegetables at shop.

USAID Announces Partnerships To Propel Economic Growth In Cambodia

MSP's Partnership Facility awardees include Amru Rice and Khmer Cold Chain Company (KCCC).

Solomon Islands banner image

RFA: Private Sector Partnership Opportunities in Solomon Islands


MSP is pleased to share its semiannual reports produced each spring and fall.

An agrovet consulted as part of MSP’s assessment of market systems resilience in Nepal.

MSP Semiannual Report October 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022

People look at agricultural products in a store

MSP Semiannual Report April 1-September 30, 2021

People working in a cream factory.

MSP Semiannual Report October 1, 2020- March 30, 2021