This Evidence Report asks how a market systems approach could be applied to improve poor households’ access to nutrient-dense foods. By ‘market systems approach’ we mean methods that identify and address underlying constraints in market transactions, their supporting functions and the institutional environment in which markets operate, and which are preventing markets from delivering desired outcomes.
The report builds on a developing body of research on value chain approaches to nutrition, which has highlighted challenges in developing commercially viable business models that can deliver affordable, available, appropriate and acceptable foods. It explores how market systems approaches could be used to improve the diagnosis of constraints preventing a market from achieving these outcomes, and to develop interventions that change the way the market system works. The report does not seek to make specific recommendations for policy or practice, but rather sets out how a market systems approach could be applied to nutrition in different contexts in order to develop such recommendations.