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The push/pull approach, adapted from the business world for international development, is increasingly gaining attention within inclusive market systems development. 

The approach aims to bring more structure to poverty reduction work at both ends of the economic spectrum through a more interactive, coordinated, market-led process of gradual change at both the household and systems levels.

It is one of many approaches that can support pathways out of poverty for the extreme poor.

As it is an emerging area with varying definitions and applications, the objective of this brief paper is to:

  • provide a common understanding of push/pull within an economic development sphere
  • present eight key features that characterise a push/pull approach
  • share field experiences from programmes translating theory into practice
  • discuss some of the challenges that exist in implementation