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Defining Minimum Expenditure Baskets - Learning Event in Washington, DC, US

29th November 2018

Background

In recent years, the development of the ‘Multipurpose Cash Grant’ (MPGs) concept as a new aid modality to address the basic needs of crisis-affected populations has brought along a series of attached concepts and tools to inform design and implementation. The ‘Minimum Expenditure Basket’ (MEB) has been part of those recently developed concepts, emerging from experiences in MENA and adapted by humanitarian actors in various emergency response contexts.

Recent experiences have helped fine-tune the MEB concept, spurred reflections about its relevance to improving the quality of aid, and shed light on the diversity of approaches to developing MEBs and how it can inform the design of humanitarian interventions. There are still a lot of questions around the appropriateness of the MEB concept: whether it is a necessary step to more integrated cash assistance, or if it is a trendy tool that is time and resource-consuming, and duplicating knowledge without necessarily improving quality of aid.

Many strategic and technical questions also come with MEB definition, such as its relationship with the ‘basic needs approach’ and how it relates to other types of assistance; the potential linkages with social protection and safety nets; implications for coordination, in particular defining who is responsible for ensuring the development, review, and validation of a MEB; sector-specific considerations regarding market assessments, availability and quality of goods and products, etc. These questions have not been easy to address and highlight gaps and experience in understanding MEB at all levels.

Objectives of the workshop

  1. Contribute to a common understanding of MEB concept among practitioners and policy-makers
  2. Share experience on MEB processes from different contexts to inform similar work led by stakeholders involved in/overseeing emergency responses
  3. Undertake technical discussions on specific challenges related to MEB definition, to support building expertise at HQ level for US-based organizations

Date, time & location: Thursday, November 29, 9 am to 1 pm, Washington, DC

Register here. Full agenda, location and call-in details will be provided upon registration.