Promoting market systems development and growth is fundamental to Mercy Corps' work around the world.
We take a progressive approach to improving economic well-being along the entire development spectrum. After disaster, in humanitarian crises, or in mature markets, we build systems that foster sustainability and scale, even in the most fragile and complex environments. We work with farmers, entrepreneurs, financial service providers and other key community stakeholders to ensure individuals and businesses can capitalize on economic opportunities and develop productive economic relationships.
Our focus areas
The Markets, Economic Recovery, and Growth (MERG) Technical Support Unit encompasses five complementary technical teams:
- Agriculture: helping small farmers and pastoralists increase their productivity, adapt to climate change and produce and consume nutritious food
- Economic Coping and Early Recovery: advancing market-aware emergency response and cash transfer programming
- Employment and Entrepreneurship: promoting relevant, demand-driven skills and linking people to safe, decent, and equitable work
- Financial Inclusion: enabling currently underserved populations to fully participate in their local and national economies through access and usage to a broad range of financial services
- Market Systems Development: addressing the underlying causes of market dysfunction to reduce poverty
Concentrating on these five areas enables us to address the challenges and issues that are most critical to the communities where we work. Learn about our market systems development approach here.
All stories about Market Systems Development
Timor-Leste: Illuminating market systems development in fragile environments
This learning study looks at the challenges and lessons learned by Mercy Corps' Energy For All (E4A) program in Timor-Leste, which facilitated existing actors to build a sustainable market for solar energy products and clean cookstoves.
Uganda: What motivates women to buy?
Working with improved cookstove suppliers, distributors and retailers, we've devised scalable sales, marketing and financing strategies to ensure a product built for women reaches them.
Ethiopia, Zimbabwe: Can E-transfers Promote Financial Inclusion in an Emergency: Three Case Studies
The Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network, convened by Mercy Corps, undertook research to improve the impact of humanitarian cash transfers.
Uganda: Building an Empowered Karamoja: STRESS Summary and Capacities
Mercy Corps and their partners deepened their understanding of vulnerability and resilience in Karamoja and identified a set of resilience capacities.
ADAPTing Aid: Lessons from Six Case Studies
In 2015 the IRC and Mercy Corps joined forces to launch ADAPT (Analysis Driven Agile Programming Techniques) to research, innovate and field test adaptive management techniques for the sector.
Youth Employment Cheat Sheet
It’s time to change the narrative on youth.
Gender and Market Development: A framework for strengthening gender integration in market systems development
Mercy Corps makes recommendations for better integrating gender into market systems development programming.
DR Congo, Lebanon, Syria, Uganda: Cracking the Code: Enhancing Emergency Response & Resilience in Complex Crises
With people in poverty increasingly concentrated in fragile states, more effective and efficient ways must be found to resolve the underlying causes of those crises. In this report, Mercy Corps shares 5 case studies and provides concrete recommendations as to how the international community should engage in conflict-affected and fragile states.
The Voucher and Fair Implementation Guide
Vouchers are a type of cash transfer programming (CTP).
The Cash Transfer Programming Methodology Guide
An increasingly popular form of assistance in emergency and development settings, cash transfer programming (CTP) refers to any program where cash (or vouchers for goods or services) is directly pr