Making markets work for poor people
Programme aim 2
The incomes and livelihoods of poor people will improve where they are able to use technologies, and their skills, knowledge, networks and resources to enter into and adapt to market systems that work effectively and fairly.
The Markets and Livelihoods programme is one of Practical Action's four thematic international programmes and it addresses the aim of Making Markets Work for the Poor. The programme was established in 2003 and built on ITDG's former technology programmes in Agro-processing, Food Production and Manufacturing and Small Enterprise. The international team have developed a strategic framework and approach for their work, known as Participatory Market System Development (PMSD), and have been building a programme to achieve the goals of reducing poverty in marginalised rural and post-crisis contexts.
What we want to achieve
The Markets Livelihoods programme has set two Goals for the strategy period 2007-2012:
Goal 1: Poor producers living in marginal rural areas increase their incomes by accessing technology, skills and knowledge to participate in and transform market systems.
Goal 2: Rural producers affected by conflict, disaster or economic crises rebuild and improve their incomes by applying their technological, productive and networking skills to engage effectively in fairer markets.
The goals address two aspects of making markets work for the poor:
- Developing the skills, capabilities and knowledge of marginalised rural producers so they can respond to market opportunities.
- Transforming market systems so that they are more competitive, inclusive and equitable.
The programme is working with small-scale farmers, pastoralists, forest users, fishers and rural non-farm enterprises, and aims to have a particular focus on women and young people.
Over the period 2007-2012 the programme will also begin to explore how developing market systems is applicable in two other challenging contexts:
- Chronically and "extreme" poor rural communities
- Rural producers (especially women and young people) living with HIV/AIDS.
The Learning Objectives of the Markets and Livelihoods Programme are to increase our knowledge on how to achieve:
- Stronger, more equitable Market-Chain Linkages & Relationships
- Viable, sustainable markets for Business & Extension Services
- A more enabling, pro-poor Policy & Business Environment
We are improving our international learning system to learn better from our own experiences and those of others; strengthening our interactions with international, regional and national research and practitioner networks; and testing a post-graduate research scheme with leading universities and institutes working on issues related to this agenda.
Download an introductory leaflet to Practical Action's work on making markets work for poor people (PDF, 1.6Mb)