Is Market Systems Development Inherently a Resilience Approach? (Event Resources)

  • Date Posted: March 23, 2015
  • Authors: Eliot Levine, Sasha Muench
  • Organizations: Mercy Corps
  • Document Types: Tool, Other
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency

Fueled by increasing uncertainty about the future as well as the need to protect development investments in the face of recurring crises, resilience has recently garnered much interest in the development community. Though many practitioners and donors are now struggling to operationalize and measure resilience, the debate regarding how a resilience lens can be best integrated into development strategies continues.

Mercy Corps defines resilience as the capacity of communities in complex socio-ecological systems to learn, cope, adapt, and transform in the face of shocks and stresses. One particular approach to resilience is through market systems development.

Some experts have suggested that market development programming inherently results in resilience gains. Others have argued that additional considerations and efforts are necessary. Using examples from Mercy Corps’ programming in East Africa and South Asia, Eliot Levine and Sasha Muench illustrated how market systems development can contribute to resilience if appropriate efforts are taken in the design, management, and monitoring of programs. They also addressed the potential negative impacts that can occur if interventions are not assessed with a resilience lens.

To hear what our presenters had to say about their key takeaways, watch the short video below.