Resource: Guidance for Assessing Resilience in Market Systems

  • Date Posted: September 10, 2019
  • Authors: Marketlinks Team
  • Document Types: Guidance
  • Donor Type: U.S. Agency for International Development


Photo: Group of people drying coffee.  Photo credit: Feed the Future
Photo Credit: Feed the Future

This post introduces 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 market systems resilience (MSR). 

Resilience is now firmly established as a high-level objective within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and, more broadly, within the U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS), which aims to contribute to global food security and many of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations (USG, 2016).  In support of this approach, the Agency has developed numerous resources aimed at strengthening resilience analysis and integrating a resilience lens into the program cycle.

Up to this point, most guidance has focused on supporting the resilience of households and communities.  This has been an essential starting point because improving the well-being of vulnerable populations is the ultimate goal of resilience-building efforts.  However, a market systems perspective emphasizes that population well-being is highly dependent on the sustained functioning of markets systems, including through shocks and stresses.2  The market-based assistance approaches of the USAID Office of Food for Peace (FFP) and the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) are a demonstration of this fact.  Additionally, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future (FTF), has elevated resilience as a pillar of market systems development, alongside inclusiveness and competitiveness.  According to the FFP 2016-2025 Food Assistance and Food Security Strategy, this prioritization of resilience should facilitate increased coordination and integration between FTF and FFP programs (USAID, 2016a).  

The Guidance document is broken down into sections explaining the concept of market systems resilience, the process for assessing market systems resilience, and includes case study examples. 

Download the full report below.