Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Technical Note: How Thinking and Working Politically Through Applied Political Economy Analysis is Critical to Market Systems

A systems approach can help donors understand how local context can shape development outcomes. Though market systems activities take relationships and incentives into account, employing an approach that explicitly focuses on understanding the political economy of a country or sector can help identify the forces that drive these dynamics.

This technical note from the Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security project explains how the use of applied political economy analysis (PEA) — the methodology used to systematically collect and analyze why things work the way they do in a country or sector or for an issue or problem — is central to designing and executing inclusive market systems activities. By unpacking political barriers and identifying opportunities to align key decision makers’ incentives in the political system, thinking and working politically through applied PEA can enable market systems to become competitive, inclusive, and resilient.