All markets need to be supported by the right set of institutions, tools, and effective policies to improve food security and reduce poverty. The Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division conducts research on the local, regional, and global level to analyze economic conditions, identify domestic and international externalities, improve existing research tools, and provide innovative, evidence-based policy solutions for poverty reduction at the macro- and microeconomic levels.
Examples of our focus areas include
- making market participation more beneficial for smallholders—by offering guidance on how to manage risk, build social capital, enable collective action, foster partnerships between smallholders and the private sector through contract farming, and redress missing markets;
- reforming trade policy to remove barriers to trade and minimize the negative impact of market shocks on countries with vulnerable growing economies;
- designing farm policies that achieve domestic goals (for example, smallholder support) while limiting negative externalities for foreign countries and agents;
- improving access to and efficiency of markets so that the food system is capable of providing more nutritious and safe food for the poor, especially women and young children; and;
- analyzing and identifying ways to optimize investments in sectors such as roads, electrification, water, sanitation, and education that can help improve access to markets and, as a result, boost incomes, nutrition and health outcomes, and more.
This work contributes directly to the implementation of cutting-edge programs, policies, and investments, spanning many sectors and helping governments address both current and future challenges in reducing poverty, assuring food security, and improving rural livelihoods.