Markets for Change Project

The Markets for Change (M4C) project in Fiji is a UN Women project in partnership with the UN Development Programme. It is a six year initiative aimed at ensuring that marketplaces in rural and urban areas in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory environments, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. 

Market vendors and predominantly women, and marketplaces offer important venues to effect women’s social and economic change. In targeting female market vendors at marketplaces, the M4C project will contribute to the broader Pacific Women’s Economic Empowerment result of secure, productive and sustainable work opportunities for women.  

The M4C project is based on experiences gained from implementation of the Partners Improving Markets Pilot Project that included Fiji, which showed solid evidence that marketplace improvements in physical infrastructure and governance can significantly improve the economic and social lives of women market vendors.  

The Theory of Change guiding the M4C project is that gender-equitable economic and socio-cultural empowerment of women market vendors within the market environment in Fiji can be attained if the following take place:  

  • accessible, inclusive, and representative governance structures within marketplaces are put into place that will enable markets to grow, and will specifically strengthen the role and influence of women market vendors; 
  • actions that improve governance and social and economic security will facilitate market vendors to achieve economic, social and financial advancement, with specific outcomes related to improved gender-equality and the advancement of women; 
  • actions that improve governance among market management and local governments will enable decision-making processes to be more gender-responsive, transparent, accountable and receptive to the needs of vendors;
  • improved infrastructure and on-site services that are developed in a gender-responsive manner will contribute to improved social and economic security for women market vendors.

What we do

Consistent with the World Bank’s evidence on women’s empowerment within the context of gender equality, the M4C project in Fiji is aimed in particular at strengthening the role of women market vendors in terms of the following:

  • agency ('she gains confidence and realises her own value’) 
  • economic opportunity (‘she obtains access to and control of economic opportunities, training, markets, and resources to expand her influence’)
  • endowment (‘she enhances her capacity to earn and control personal income and resources’)

Who finances it

The M4C project is principally funded by the Australian Government and since 2018 the project partnership has expanded to include funding support from the Government of Canada.

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Project start date:

June 2014

Estimated end date:

December 2020

Focus area:

  • eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions
  • accelerate structural transformations
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Fiji

    Implementing partner:

    United Nations Development Programme

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • Mptfo-un Covid-19 Response & Recovery Fund
  • Mptfo-un Pacific Strategy Fund
  • United Nations Development Pro
  • United Nations Development Fund For Women (un Women)
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2020 $610,516

    2019 $670,971

    2018 $146,460

    2017 $261,642

    2016 $476,765

    2015 $166,729

    2014 $29,299

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