Why use M4P?

M4P acknowledges market realities

The development profession has long since recognised that many social and political influences impact on (market) systems and their accessibility for the poor. Understanding and reflecting precisely how these influences impact on the poor, however, remains a significant challenge. An M4P approach explicitly acknowledges the dynamic, unpredictable, often less formal and ‘imperfect’ nature of market systems and the potential impact on them of not only institutionalised social and political influences, but also policy or programme intervention. An M4P approach places understanding and anticipation of these influences at the very centre of its analyses and action.

M4P focuses on how the poor interact with market realities and how market systems work for them

Market systems are a complex web of functions, market players, internal and external influences, formal and informal rules, affiliations and obligations. They are also, invariably, interconnected and interdependent. An M4P approach analyses and understands these complex relationships and how they determine, encourage or constrain the poor's participation in, and benefit from, market systems. M4P concerns itself with building an environment conducive to pro-poor growth – supporting and entrenching the inclusive and enabling elements of market systems, whilst correcting and reforming critical systems constraints.

M4P targets sustainable development solutions

Aid effectiveness has become a priority for the donor community in recognition that too many development interventions continue to exhibit poor sustainability and limited outreach. An M4P approach targets systemic change in how markets and basic services serve the poor. It also builds the capacity and incentives necessary for key players to strengthen core market functions in order to meet the long-term needs of the poor. An M4P approach places market players, not intervention agents, at the centre of the development process in order to generate solutions that will be sustained and independent of prolonged external intervention.