Key Principles

Key principles of the MDF’s approach include: influencing systemic change, ensuring sustainability, generating impacts on a large scale, and maintaining a facilitative role.

  • Systemic change: in order to improve the way the market system functions so that the poor can fully benefit, it is necessary to understand where and how the market system fails to serve the particular needs of the poor. By targeting these issues, MDF influences changes which improve the way market systems work for the poor, opening up access to improve their livelihoods.
  • Sustainability: MDF partners with existing market players, matching their incentives with key needs in the market, and building their capacity to provide the right solutions. Once MDF ceases operations, the solutions carry-on, led by the market players who are willing and able. These players also develop the capacity to serve new needs of the market going forward.
  • Scale: By understanding which markets are most important for the poor and what the main issues are that keep the poor from participating or fully benefitting, MDF can target its support to those activities that will positively impact a large number of poor women and men. MDF generates this large-scale impact by supporting existing market players to develop and implement sustainable solutions in those markets which are relevant for the poor.
  • Facilitation: MDF works to stimulate pro-poor growth and create sustainable development solutions. It works carefully to support key market players, both private and public, building on their incentives and capacity. MDF does not become an active market player itself, and so any new activities and solutions are embedded in the current market system ensuring long-term sustainability.