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Markets in Humanitarian respose

Assessing markets is an essential step in post emergency situation analysis and preparedness, as the ability to meet the projected needs of an affected population is a key pre-condition to cash based programming being an appropriate response. As cash transfer programmes reach a higher number of beneficiaries and are increasingly used in remote and urban settings, a good understanding of markets is critical.

The focus on market analysis in humanitarian response has emerged from the increased use of CTP, and has been supported since CaLP’s inception by its capacity building and markets work.

Over the last five years or so, the importance of market analysis has crept up the agenda for many NGOs and organisations. This is reflected in the development of tools such as Market Information and Food Insecurity Response Analysis (MIFIRA), Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis  (EMMA), the RAM and MAG.                                


What do we want market-based programming to look like in 2020?

Humanitarian stakeholders from all sectors recognize markets as critical drivers of recovery and resilience and prioritize market-based programming, including CTPs, in the design and implementation of humanitarian responses. 

By 2020, we would like to see, throughout the humanitarian project cycle, market information consistently gathered and used to inform program design and, where appropriate, program adaptation. Market information gathered during non-crisis times is used to inform, improve and expedite the delivery of humanitarian assistance in emergency times. 

Market support and market strengthening interventions are more consistently considered and implemented as a complement and/or alternative to direct assistance to crisis-affected populations

What is stopping us from achieving that?

In order to achieve CaLP’s goal, a continued investment in a more systematised use of market analysis and market-based programming across sectors is essential. CaLP recognises the work of other organisations in support of Market-based programming (Markets in Crisis; BEAM Exchange; MaFI) as well as individual organisational efforts, but there remain continued gaps in leadership and collaboration on this topic which limit collective ability to contribute to the success we hope to achieve by 2020. CaLP is committed to the development and delivery of markets capacity-building initiatives and to the use of its multiple communication platforms to share markets-related resources.

What are the challenges to achieving success in markets for humanitarian response?

  1. Problems with assessment, analysis and monitoring
  2. Capacity, awareness and guidance are currently insufficient
  3. Culture and systems do not facilitate the systematic consideration of markets by humanitarian stakeholders


What is CaLP doing to address some of these issues?

CaLP intends to address these challenges in collaboration with its technical advisory group, through a working group on Markets.

CaLP will also work with its partners to address the following key areas/evidence gaps:

  • Impact of market-support interventions on households
  • Impact of in-kind versus different types of cash-based responses on overall market health
  • The value add of pre-crisis market assessments and resulting programming for emergency response and market resilience
  • Optimal timing for introducing market recovery, employment and enterprise development programming in humanitarian contexts
  • The relationship between labour markets and commodity markets in a crisis
  • Rental markets (and most service market)
  • Resource/capacity implications of multi-modality capacity
  • Functional responsibility for market analysis (logs or programmes)
  • Potential for partnerships with the private sector to support market recovery 




Market Analysis: Analysis of market information to understand how a market functions, or how it has been impacted by an event or crisis.

Market Systems Analysis: Market System analysis uses a systems approach to map out all the social, political, economic, cultural and physical factors affecting how a market operates. The market system approach is useful for complex market systems (like the rental market) of for products with long/international market chains.