Center for Economics and Market Development

Located within the Bureau for Inclusive Growth, Partnerships, and Innovation, the Center for Economics and Market Development’s (IPI/EMD) mission is to expand enterprise-driven economic growth and yield better employment outcomes, through robust analysis and advisory services that promote rules-based trade, business- and investment-enabling environments, and increased access to finance for our partner countries

Economic growth increases incomes and mobilizes domestic resources that advance USAID partner countries’ development goals. IPI/EMD is USAID’s primary resource for knowledge and technical assistance on economic growth, trade, and business environment reform. The Center facilitates implementation of USAID's Economic Growth Policy, Policy for Trade Capacity Building, and Employment Framework and helps all USAID Missions and operating units design and implement programs that advance more inclusive, sustained, and resilient economic growth. The Center also offers training and technical guidance for economic growth practitioners, and provides expert research, analyses, technical assistance, and capacity building services to guide USAID staff to make smart, evidence-based programming decisions. This, in turn, helps USAID support partner countries to advance their development objectives.

Center for Economics and Market Development’s Teams

The Center for Economics and Market Development (IPI/EMD) consists of three teams: (1) EMD/Economics Team, (2) EMD/Entrepreneurial Environment Team, and (3) EMD/Trade Team.

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Economics Team

Drives economic research, analytics, and regional engagement to advance evidence-based decision-making. The Economics Team provides expert research, analyses, and technical capacity building to support USAID in making smart, evidence-based program decisions to help partner countries achieve their own development objectives.

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Entrepreneurial Environment Team

Promotes business- and investment-conducive environments that support productivity and job creation. The Entrepreneurial Environment Team works to improve the business enabling environment through strengthening the policy, legal, institutional, and regulatory conditions for transparent economic governance and open competition—thus, facilitating investment, inclusion, more and better jobs and overall economic growth.

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Trade Team

Advances transparent and predictable rules-based trade and investment regimes that promote secure and efficient supply chains and cross-border commercial opportunities. The Trade Team focuses on implementing trade agreements, facilitating trade, and enhancing economic responsiveness. As the nature of trade has evolved with globalization and is increasingly characterized by the dispersion of production across multiple countries, the Trade Team has increased its focus on issues such as digital trade, e-commerce, the expansion of trade in services, and global value chains. Other areas of engagement include working on regional economic integration efforts and on the impact of trade on environmental, labor, and gender considerations, typically working with private sector stakeholders most directly affected by trade policies.


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Marketlinks is an external community of practice platform supported by EMD. The platform shares good practices in market systems development around the world. Marketlinks aims to help users consume and contribute content along a spectrum of issues, including pathways out of poverty, mobilizing private capital, market facilitation, and models for reaching scale.

Trade Capacity Building (TCB) Database

Trade Capacity Building (TCB) Database – IPI’s Data Services (DS) team directs the roll out of the annual TCB survey and operation of USAID’s TCB Dashboard. The annual survey highlights the U.S. Government’s contribution to the Aid-for-Trade initiative, which is reviewed on a regular basis at the World Trade Organization. IPI/EMD’s Trade Team serves a limited role as a technical advisor to the project and occasionally guides economic studies related to TCB, and helps amplify U.S. Government communications in coordination with USTR to the broader international trade community and related stakeholders.

International Data & Economic Analysis (IDEA) Database

International Data & Economic Analysis (IDEA) Database allows USAID staff and partners to access and use country-level data from different third-party sources, including over 10,000 data series from over 200 sources. IDEA also offers various tools to facilitate identification and analysis of the data, such as IDEA Query, which contains source data from organizations such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank. EMD uses the IDEA database and its tools to conduct analysis that informs USAID activity designs, country strategies, and evaluations.

EMD-Managed USAID Contracts and Agreements 

EMD oversees over 10 USAID contracts and agreements with various partners, including multilateral institutions, U.S. interagency partners, and private sector entities, supporting USAID Missions and Washington-based operating units in advancing economic growth, trade, and enabling environment programs. The following are EMD’s mechanisms, which are contracts and agreements that EMD funds, and in some cases manages, through its Economic, Entrepreneurial Environment, and Trade Teams:

eTrade Alliance

Alliance for eTrade Development Activity (e-Trade Alliance) is a Global Development Alliance between USAID and 15 leading private sector partners to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) cross-border e-commerce development, which aims to increase the number of developing country MSMEs engaged in international e-commerce, and the value and volume of developing country MSMEs' digital trade.


Digital Economy Market Development (DEMD) supports USAID in driving thought leadership and implementing cutting-edge pilot activities, which generate and disseminate best practices and lessons learned for e-commerce, trade facilitation, and technology adoption.


Fiscal Accountability and Sustainable Trade (FAST) supports USAID’s efforts to promote sustainable and equitable economic growth by increasing the capacity of partner governments to plan, finance, and implement solutions—i.e. public financial management, domestic resource mobilization, macroeconomic analysis, and trade.


Technical Assistance for Economic Growth (TAP-EG) provides technical leadership, advisory support, data collection and analysis support, evaluations and assessments, while delivering knowledge management and capacity-building services to design and implement USAID programs, projects, and activities globally. 


International Trade Center (ITC) provides tailored support that is aligned with national objectives, to grow trade opportunities for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) clients, business support organizations and policymakers in developing and least-developed countries.


Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF) is a public-private partnership for trade-led growth, supporting governments in developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) to implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.


Learning, Evaluation, and Analysis Project (LEAP III) provided USAID Missions and Bureaus easy and cost-effective access to rigorous, independent, and high-quality analytical services to support economic and policy analyses, strategy and project design, monitoring and evaluation, training, and knowledge management.


Standards Alliance Phase 2 (SA) is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It is designed to support the capacity of partner countries in the areas of legal and regulatory reform, standards development, conformity assessment procedures, and private sector engagement.


USAID-International Finance Corporation (IFC) Partnership Grant aims at helping emerging economies realize their economic growth potential, by producing evidence to inform development interventions and providing technical assistance to USAID partner countries. As of 2024, USAID has obligated more than $50 million dollars through this grant, to support regional trade and investment activities in West Africa, impact evaluations on the effectiveness of private sector development interventions, and business environment reform projects, among IFC-implemented initiatives.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Interagency Agreement (IAA) provides capacity-building to modernize customs and meet international trade standards that helps facilitate and secure international trade and implement trade agreements, including the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. The IAA provides much needed access to CBP experts in locations where USAID field Missions do not have economic growth funding.


U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Participating Agency Program Agreement (PAPA) was established in 2016. Through this interagency agreement, USAID affords its partner countries technical support on competition policy and consumer protection reform to its partner countries. The FTC conducts assessments of the competition policy and consumer protection environment in partner countries, supports governments to develop antitrust and consumer protection legislation and regulations, and provides technical assistance to help legislatures better enforce the relevant laws. Under this agreement, the FTC is notably supporting Ukraine’s Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine to reform the country's antitrust framework and promoting an enabling environment for consumer protection and competition in digital economies across the African Continent.


USAID-World Bank Economic Growth Partnership (EGP) Grant was established in 2022. The nascent trust fund is a USAID-World Bank (WB) collaboration focused on private sector development and aimed at advancing USAID objectives—by generating knowledge to inform development programming and providing technical assistance to partner countries. The EGP is associated with the WB’s flagship facility for private sector development (PSD), the Competitiveness for Jobs and Economic Transformation (C-JET) Multi-Donor Trust Fund, and is designed to facilitate USAID’s access to World Bank expertise and services and to help scale the Agency’s activities in a range of areas related to private sector development. PSD advisory support spans four thematic areas and three cross-cutting topics. A priority is generating and disseminating knowledge that helps policy makers across regions address global challenges.