USAID Official

Market Systems Resilience Resources

  • Date Posted: January 20, 2020
  • Authors: USAID
  • Document Types: Tool
  • Donor Type: U.S. Agency for International Development


Photo: Male farmer standing in field in Tanzania.
Tomato Farmer in Tanzania. Photo Credit: USAID/Tanzania

Welcome to USAID’s curated library for resources related to market systems resilience (MSR). Scroll down to explore resources organized around these categories, or click on one below to jump straight to that section of the page: 

Guidance  l   Measurement   l   Context-Specific Reports and Case Studies  l   Reflective Blogs from Practitioners  l  Workshops, Events and Webinars

What is Market Systems Resilience? MSR is a lens being applied in programs globally to better understand the ability of the market system to respond to shocks and stresses. MSR recognizes that the resilience of households, enterprises, and communities is closely linked to the resilience of a market system and that competitiveness, inclusion, and resilience are inextricably linked. To learn more, check out Demystifying MSR: An Introduction, listen to this short Marketlinks webinar, or visit USAID’s MSR State of the Field Map (developed January 2022) to see who else is working in this space near you.  


Guidance for Assessing Resilience in Market Systems (2019)

A USAID guidance resource for incorporating resilience into market systems analysis and programming. This resource provides an adaptable process for USAID missions and implementing partners to assess MSR, asking MSR for Whom?, To What End?, Of What?, To What? And Through What?. Includes several case studies and a summary of available tools.

An Introduction to Assessing Climate Resilience in Smallholder Supply Chains (2018)

This guide breaks down the complex concept of resilience into manageable themes for food and beverage companies and provides actionable process steps for applying these themes in smallholder crop-focused supply chains. Includes case studies and suggests topline indicators for measuring climate resilience in smallholder supply chains, at both the farmer household and farmer aggregator (e.g., cooperative) level.

Market Systems for Resilience. LEO Report #6 (2015)

An early contribution to MSR literature, this paper reviews key definitions, underlying frameworks, and determinants of household and market resilience; presents a framework and intervention principles for MSR; and identifies areas for more research.

MSR Learning Suite (2022)

A series of thematic briefs from the Market Systems and Partnerships Activity, with accompanying cartoon-based capacity building tools to further illustrate key guidance themes. 


Piloting MSR Measurement: Systems Knowledge Brief (2022)

A short read, this brief summarizes key takeaways from Mercy Corps’ pilots of MSR measurement and analysis activities in Nigeria, Uganda, Lebanon, and Iraq. Two pilots incorporated an MSR lens into ongoing programming while the other two stood alone as assessments to inform future policy and program design. This brief also present overall reflections from the experience. Mercy Corps advises combining measurements of MSR with measurements from the target population to differentiate between beneficial and exclusionary or negative forms of resilience among market actors. Additionally, implementers embarking on MSR measurement should carefully tailor the specific data collection approaches and analyses — data on MSR can be valuable but analysis is challenging, particularly for programs newly addressing the topic. Lastly, in systems affected by conflict, shocks are realized frequently and have diverse impacts across different actor types. Tracking the impacts and understanding second-hand effects on the population is critical to prioritizing MSR programming.

Market Systems Resilience: A Framework for Measurement (2019)

This USAID framework focuses on resilience at the systems level. It looks at markets as complex adaptive systems in order to better understand how market systems respond to shocks and stresses. It explores the characteristics of MSR, including structural and behavioral domains, and proposes a theory of change to strengthen MSR. Includes an assessment tool, with interview questions for firms, public entities, and households; and indicator areas and metrics to monitor change over time.

Resilience for Social Systems: R4S Toolkit, User Guidance Manual (2019)

Developed by GOAL, with close engagement with the Springfield Center, this resource provides guidance for analyzing the resilience of different socio-economic systems, including market systems. This resource includes multiple worksheets for collecting and analyzing data, and a tool for mapping a target socioeconomic system. 

Market Systems Resilience Index 2.0 (2019)

Developed by iDE, the objective of this research and analytical framework is to provide a model for measuring MSR, based on eleven proposed “determinants” (related to the structure, connectivity, and support of the market systems), which can be used as a diagnostic, monitoring, or evaluation tool. The recent 2.0 update includes a household resilience component alongside market system. For more, see this 2021 blog on Introducing and Operationalizing the Market System Resilience Index and the Mozambique application below (Context-Specific).

Market Systems Diagnostic (2018)

Developed by ACDI/VOCA, the Market Systems Diagnostic analyzes changes in market structures and enterprise behaviors through a mix of quantitative enterprise surveys, systems-infused structural analysis, and qualitative workshops to understand how and whether the market system as a whole is changing to become more inclusive, competitive, and resilient. Applied in Honduras (see below) and Myanmar.


MSR State of the Field Map (January 2022)

A visual landscape with accompanying detail on how 35 projects across 26 countries are applying MSR in implementation and research initiatives. Includes contact information and relevant publications contributed by 16 implementers, representing projects funded by USAID as well as several other donors. Designed to aid practical opportunities for collaboration. Developed by the Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Activity.

Honduran Market Systems Diagnostic (2020)

A resilience-infused assessment conducted annually to strengthen evidence and provide knowledge needed by Honduran public and private stakeholders to support more competitive economic policies and decision-making and to insert new thinking. Employs a structural analysis method, modeling pairwise interactions to determine the influence, dependence, and trajectory of change for prioritized issues and to develop a more holistic understanding of how and why the market system is evolving to become more (or less) competitive, resilient, and inclusive. Also available en Español, with more studies collected here (e.g., multiple waves of a 2020 COVID-19 Business Resilience Analysis, and a 2021 study on MSR after Hurricanes Eta and Iota). This blog (2022) captures Learning on Sector Resilience: The Case of Honduran Tourism.

Mozambique Assessing Market Systems Resilience Report (2021)

The primary goal of using iDE’s MSRI tool in Mozambique was to examine how market system factors affect resilience at both systems and household levels in the Beira Corridor. The MSRI also provides policy and programmatic recommendations for market system strengthening. Mozambique MSRI results closely resemble reality in the Beira Corridor market system, illustrating that market actors are more resilient than households; that all actors in Manica Province have higher resilience levels than those in Sofala Province, and that among market actors, input suppliers have higher resilience scores than retailers and output market actors.

Somalia: The resilience of Somali Grain and Livestock Market Systems (2021)

Presents findings from RTI-funded research in Bay and Bakool, Somalia on market systems resilience, using eight factors and informed by stakeholder engagement, desk review, and both qualitative and quantitative enterprise-focused surveys.

Uganda Systems Resilience Baseline Report (2020)

Findings from the Feed the Future Uganda Inclusive Agricultural Markets (IAM) Activity. See section 3.6 for a discussion of the key shocks and stressors or relevance in the agricultural sector, at both system and firm levels, with deep dives into two sub-systems: inputs and food processing and trade. The report applies MarketShare Associate’s Dynamic Systems Resilience Index (DSRI) which uses six factors – market governance, diversity, networks, commercial norms, participation, and learning and decision making.



Demystifying MSR Marketlinks Webinar (2020):

A 30-minute introduction to MSR, followed by an interactive Q&A, from USAID’s Kristin O’Planick and Tatiana Pulido. Covers key drivers of MSR, why MSR matters for programming, how several implementers are assessing MSR in various contexts, and a sample exercise used to explore the influence of shocks and stressors on market actors and systems and design MSR-sensitive programming.   

Learning Synthesis, Market Systems Symposium (2021):

A synthesis of key takeaways and learning from a global conference which included as a key theme a track on MSR. Sessions include “Gaining Insights into the Evolution of Market Systems Resilience Lenses to Development”, “Exploring Innovations in Market Systems Resilience & Impact at Community Level” and toolbox clinics on specific analytical methods employed in MSR-related analysis.

Getting Practical About Market Systems Resilience: Learning from Three Case Studies (2022): 

Leading MSR practitioners from ACDI/VOCA Honduras, Mercy Corps Ethiopia and Nigeria, and GOAL Latin America share practical examples of programs integrating MSR into implementation, and how local systems strengthening and MSR are mutually reinforcing. More in the blog that preceded this webinar.