Programme profile

MDF2: Market Development Facility (Phase 2)

Fiji Pakistan Papua New Guinea Sri Lanka Timor-Leste Australia & Pacific Southeast Asia Southern Asia Agriculture Infrastructure Tourism

Programme Index Listing

Fiji, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste
Main implementer
Other implementers
Swiss Contact
2011 - 2022
Results and reviews
Annual aggregation of results 2017
Technical reports / analysis
Beyond income

Note on MDF2's entry on the Programme Index (November 2018)
This is a short-term general overview of the programme while the country level approach is being reviewed. Further updates will be available in 2019.

Project description / objective

MDF teams work with businesses, associations and governments in Asia Pacific to help farmers and workers thrive. They use a market systems (MSD) approach to achieve long-term, lasting growth and create sustainable jobs for poor women and men.

Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) is central to MDF's work on the ground. Teams in Fiji, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are dedicated to ensuring that MDF activities benefit women and girls.

MDF’s Approach to Market Systems Development

"As a multi-country facility, MDF’s portfolio of markets is diverse: rural and urban, large and small, agriculture, manufacturing and services. What we try to change in each market and how we go about it therefore varies considerably.

However, MDF is always guided by the basics of MSD. We look for growth opportunities that can benefit the livelihoods of disadvantaged women and men, and where it feasible for us to make a difference. Like any MSD initiative we have to be both analytical and opportunistic. We start small and build. Some interventions work, some fail or get dropped. We work with an array of private and public actors. We measure everything we do rigorously. But our core task is to focus on strengthening key market functions that will unlock the performance of specific markets making them more competitive, resilient and inclusive to impact on the livelihoods of as many people as possible."

Market system focus

MDF Pakistan

MDF works in the dairy, meat, horticulture and leather sectors to create more opportunities for communities and help them benefit from information on finance and nutrition.

The team also works in the sustainable technology sector to improve access to and usage of water and energy.

Among its areas of focus, MDF Pakistan:

  • provides small livestock farmers with access to better inputs, formal markets, services and information
  • helps to establish supply chains for horticulture products and good manufacturing practices for leather goods manufacturers
  • promotes localised business solutions to create inclusive growth through technology

MDF Timor-Leste

MDF works in the agribusiness and tourism sectors to facilitate the transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture, ensuring more commercial entities/businesses are able to meet local market needs.

It also works to attract more tourists to the country, encouraging them to spend more money on local tourism products and services.

As part of its work in Promoting Entrepreneurship, MDF is investing in start-up businesses and business innovators by helping them to overcome the difficulties of operating in a challenging business environment.

MDF Fiji

MDF focuses on developing a growing, diversified and inclusive tourism industry, while also improving the competitiveness of Fiji’s exports through product variety, quality and uniqueness.

The team also works with micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to increase their chances of survival and growth, with particular focus on businesses owned by women, indigenous Fijians, or individuals with disabilities.

MDF Sri Lanka

MDF works in tourism and related sectors, focusing on two main strategic engagement areas.

In the Diversifying Tourism engagement area, MDF works with market actors to expand and diversify the range of activities, services and experiences available to tourists.

In the Authentic Sri Lankan Goods engagement area, MDF supports the value chains of strategic products that serve the tourist market and have the potential to add to the country’s brand value.

MDF Papua New Guinea

MDF aims to foster sustainable, broad-based growth beyond the resource sector, paying specific attention to agricultural and economic diversification.

The team also works with the country’s tourism providers to create partnerships which benefit local industry and Papua New Guinean communities. Partnerships include businesses which promote product development (such as the extraordinary native wildlife) and readily-available information for tourists.

MDF also works with SMEs in selected (high potential) areas to improve value creation and promote a dynamic and prosperous business environment. This includes the introduction of innovative financial products and mechanisms to foster more online trade, financial inclusivity and sustainability.

Programme Interventions

A list of interventions can be found in the Annex to the Annual Aggregation of Results 2017.

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)

MDF began its second phase in July 2017.

Results from the first six months of phase two and those of phase one can be found in the Annual Aggregation of Results. The programme publishes its annual results in February of each year.


[updated November 2018]