Market systems and the poor

Market Systems Development (MSD) reduces poverty by enhancing the ways that the poor interact with markets. This page gives access to key documents on the approach.

The BEAM Exchange website hosts a wealth of resources on MSD, including a 4-minute introductory video. BEAM Exchange is supervised by the DCED’s MSD Working Group.

MSD approaches acknowledge the dynamic and complex nature of markets; good monitoring is therefore needed, to adapt the approach during implementation. Learn more about how the DCED Standard helps achieve that.

For more specific resources on adjusting MSD programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the DCED knowledge page on Adjusting PSD interventions in the short term.

Rationale and key features of Market Systems Development

Practical implementation guidelines and advice

Applying MSD to social and basic service delivery

It is widely debated whether social and basic services should be free at the point of access, or whether private low-cost services can be a solution where the public system does not work effectively. In the health sector, for example, the first point of contact for low-income groups is often with commercial health care providers, in one form or another. Some therefore suggest to upgrade existing service provision, until it is possible to provide free universal coverage.

Resources in this section explore these debates and provide practical advice for developing inclusive social and basic service markets that work for the poor.

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.

Photo credits: Katalyst;; Mirko Eggert/; Paul Prescott/ 123rf Stock Photo; Joseph King/