Market systems development (MSD) is an approach to poverty alleviation that facilitates change in market systems to benefit the poor. But who, ultimately, ends up benefiting? Women and men experience market systems differently and gender can define their unique constraints and opportunities. MSD interventions that work to realign the incentives, behaviors and functions of market actors with these gender-based variations in mind can make markets operate more efficiently. Conversely, interventions that do not consider gender differentials miss out on opportunities to make markets work for both poor women and men.
In this paper, Mercy Corps summarizes findings from an analysis of the current state of gender integration in a selection of programs and makes recommendations for better integrating gender into market systems development programming.