Layering Cash Into Market Systems Programs: Catalyzing Market-Driven Recovery in Nigeria

Mercy Corps has been implementing the USAID funded Feed the Future Nigeria Rural Resilience Activity (RRA), a market systems development (MSD) program, in Northeast Nigeria since 2019. In response to COVID-19, RRA layered on a short-term cash transfer activity to help households cope, jumpstart local economies, and prevent further backsliding among the businesses that marginalized groups rely on most. This combination of approaches enabled Mercy Corps to assess the impact that cash transfers can have on MSD programming, including both operational lessons and insights into how cash affects market actor incentives and behavior.