Vietnam, Making Markets Work for the Poor (2009-2012)

Managed by Nathan London Ltd., the Making Markets Work Better for the Poor Phase 2 (M4P2) project is advancing systemic change in market systems for infrastructure services, agro-processing value chains, and labor so economic growth is both efficient and inclusive of the poor.  The project, a joint effort of the Asian Development Bank and DFID, supports policy research and business model innovation through two funds: the $3 million Vietnam Challenge Fund and the Policy Action Research Fund.

Through the Vietnam Challenge Fund, businesses propose innovative and new business models that can benefit the poor and be replicated on a sustainable basis, with emphasis on production and market penetration in domestic and food retail systems. Grantees match or exceed the value of grants with their own capital and meet contractually agreed performance milestones. Policy Action Research funding supports studies of pro-poor market reforms and is introducing an action-oriented approach to applied research in Vietnam.

We have so far awarded grants and funds to support work on upwards of 20 research and business model projects. VCF grants are supporting 11 projects that span many locations in Vietnam, from Cao Bang in the north, to Tien Giang in the south, from the highlands of Dak Lak to the coast of Ben Tre. They also span a wide variety of agricultural value chains, including fruit, coffee, tea, vegetables, meat, and seafood.

Four proposals involving policy studies of the labor market and value chain development have also been awarded. Two  focused on making Vietnam's technical-vocational education system more functional and relevant, and another two focused on improving contracting mechanisms in the agricultural sector and will likely become inputs for proposed changes in related government policies. Policy research grants to introduce public-private partnerships in rural road maintenance and to support skill development in the informal sector are in the works.

For more information, visit the project website:

Or contact the project team leader:

Buddhika Samarasinghe
+844.222 39 261/62

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