Nepal: Market Systems Resilience Assessment and Case Studies

  • Date Posted: August 25, 2022
  • Organizations/Projects: Market Systems and Partnerships MSP, Vikāra Institute
  • Document Types: Primer or Brief, Assessment
  • Donor Type: U.S. Agency for International Development

 This post was originally published on www.

This report summarizes key insights from an assessment of market systems resilience (MSR) drivers in target areas of mid-west Nepal within the Feed the Future Zone of Influence (ZOI). A summary brief is also available. The assessment, alongside three complementary case studies, presents:

  1. The drivers of MSR in the target Feed the Future ZOI(s).
  2. Qualitative insights on the role that layered implementation of several activities in the Mission’s portfolio within specific districts may have had in shaping these MSR drivers.
  3. A spotlight on several innovative practices from across targeted activities that could potentially positively influence the drivers of MSR (see case studies).

In these geographic areas, multiple USAID elements (e.g., Feed the Future and the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance) had interventions for at least three years, concurrently. The selected USAID-funded activities include Knowledge-Based Integrated Sustainable Agriculture in Nepal II (KISAN II)Suaahara IIPromoting Agriculture, Health and Alternative Livelihoods (PAHAL); and the mechanization component of Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA).

This assessment applied an MSR lens as a useful diagnostic that focuses on how market systems manage risks and analyzes a market system according to eight structural and behavioral domains, discussed more in the report. Through this process, the assessment focused on four areas of inquiry, analyzed according to these eight domains. This included three systemic change trends related to (i) social safety nets, (ii) market system competitiveness and inclusiveness and (iii) migration and labor market dynamics that influence the way risks and opportunities are being managed in Nepal. They act as signals to important changes in Nepali market systems and wider social changes that ultimately contribute to the resilience at the national and household level, including in marginalized communities. Each trend is an important signal of a foundational shift in terms of how risks are managed in Nepali society, including how market systems are shifting to better identify, prioritize and allocate resources in relation to known and knowable risks. Collaboration, learning and adaptation (CLA) formed the fourth line of inquiry as a programmatic response that supports leveraging the three systemic change trends to strengthen MSR.

The assessment was conducted through a Market Systems and Partnerships (MSP) Activity buy-in for USAID/Nepal with funding from USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, jointly allocated with the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. It was conducted between November 2021 and April 2022. In July, MSP conducted several workshops, including a two-day workshop in Kathmandu with USAID staff and a range of implementers, and a half-day workshop in Washington, D.C. focused on drawing out more global implications and transferable learning from the assessment in Nepal.

MSP is advancing learning and good practice in market systems development and private sector engagement within USAID, USAID partners and market actors. For more information, access to technical resources and opportunities to engage, visit