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 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.
South Sudan: Analyzing Markets in Conflict-Affected Areas in South Sudan
Since conflict began in December 2013, South Sudan's local markets have been disrupted and food insecurity is dangerously on the ride. These Mercy Corps assessments identify where immediate assistance is needed to ensure people's survival.
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.
Private sector engagement tool kit
Mercy Corps believes the private sector is one of the three key actors who contribute to our mission of building secure, productive and just communities.
Liberia: Economic impact of the Ebola crisis on select Liberian markets
The economic impact of the Ebola outbreak is affecting most Liberians. We assessed household food security and incomes, as well as local markets, to outline interventions that can prevent further deterioration and lay the groundwork for early recovery.
The world of work
Failure to address unemployment now will impact the global economy for years to come. Read about Mercy Corps' strategies, definitions and principles for finding local, sustainable solutions to widespread unemployment.
Uganda: Navigating complexity: Adaptive management in the Northern Karamoja Growth, Health & Governance program
Development actors increasing agree that managing programs adaptively – especially complex interventions – can improve their effectiveness. But what does adaptive management look like in practice?
E-transfer Implementation Guide for Cash Transfer Programming
In cash transfer programming, electronic transfers (e-transfers) offer a digital replacement for paper vouchers or physical cash.
Myanmar: Visibility versus Vulnerability
The change taking place in Myanmar has brought new complexities that require an integrated analysis of how economic and political vulnerabilities are tied to instability.
Myanmar: Socio-Economic Analysis of Kayah State in Myanmar
In March - June 2013, a consortium involving Mercy Corps and four other INGO and NGO partners conducted a socio-economic analysis of Kayah State in Myanmar with funding from the European Union.