Market systems and the poor

Market Systems Development (MSD) reduces poverty by enhancing the ways that the poor interact with markets.

A wealth of resources are available on the BEAM Exchange website, including a 4-minute video Introduction to Market Systems Development. BEAM Exchange is supervised by the Market Systems Development Working Group.


“Market system change is a change in the way core functions, supporting functions and rules perform that ultimately improves the poor’s terms of participation within the market system. Also referred to as ‘systemic change’ or ‘system-level change’.” Operational Guide for the M4P approach

Overview and Strategy DocumentsPotatoes truck

The M4P approach in context: How does it compare to other PSD approaches?

M4P, growth and poverty reduction

Design and ImplementationFarmer applying balanced fertilizer in his paddy field

Discussions and Meeting Proceedings

Market approaches to social and basic service delivery

M4P in Education Programmes


Many education professionals (and others) feel that the poor have a right to education, and that it should be free at the point of access. In some countries, however, the public education system is not functioning well, sometimes with no incentive for teachers to even come to work. In such cases, it is suggested, low-fee private schooling can be a solution. The debate continues!

M4P in Health Programmes

Health professionals may have the same misgivings as education professionals (see above); nonetheless, the first point of contact for the poorest of the poor is often with commercial health care providers in one form or another. So it is suggested by some that it would be prudent to upgrade existing service provision, until it is possible to provide universal coverage that is free at the point of access.

M4P in Water and Sanitation ProgrammesWater pipe

M4P Programme Websites and Case Studies

M4P Programme Websites

See the BEAM Exchange Programme Index for more M4P programmes

M4P Case Studies

Popular BEAM Exchange webinars on MSD

This section provides quick links to some of the most viewed webinars on MSD organised by the BEAM Exchange. To view BEAM’s full library of past webinars, click here.

Other useful links

Photo credits

Images courtesy of / 123RF Stock Photo; Katalyst; and Paul Prescott/ 123rf Stock Photo