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EMMA brief


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A short intro to the Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis (EMMA) toolkit

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EMMA brief

  1. 1. EMMA Toolkit briefing Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis Mike Albu, May 2010 It is vital to consider market-systems in emergency situations. However, uncertainty about how to understand or work with traders and other market actors in an emergency setting, and unfamiliarity with the private sector in general, means that humanitarian practitioners have often overlooked the potential and actual role of markets in emergency and early recovery responses. Commonly cited challenges include not knowing what data to gather and from where (macro versus micro levels), how to interpret basic information collected, such as prices, or how to translate analysis into programme decisions. Box 1 Why market-systems matter in designing emergency responses For ensuring survival For protecting livelihoods Market-systems could Market-systems could Market-systems could supply food and supply or replace maintain demand for essential items or urgent non-food items, labour, employment services related to agricultural inputs, fuel, or production that basic survival needs tools and vital services restores incomes Until recently, market analysis was seen as a specialist and time-consuming activity which could not be a high priority in emergency situations, especially those with a sudden-onset. The EMMA toolkit changes that. It was designed with the idea that even in the immediate aftermath of an emergency, there is enough time to develop a ‘good-enough’ understanding of critical market- systems. Doing so will lead to better, more appropriate programmes in the future. EMMA is an adaptable, rough-and-ready, speed-orientated process designed to reflect the information constraints and urgency of decision-making required in the first few weeks of a sudden-onset emergency situation. EMMA enables emergency practioners, with no economic background to do a quick-and-dirty analysis of the markets most critical to the emergency-affected population. It can be used within two to three weeks of an emergency onset alongside other, more traditional emergency assessments. Most importantly, EMMA provides outputs that have a strong visual impact, making it easy for decision-makers to quickly understand the recommendations of the analysis. With few exceptions, crisis-affected households use markets or other forms of exchange for acquiring food, household items and services, or for selling products and labour to others. There is a growing realisation that unless our responses are designed with a good understanding of key market-systems, they may inadvertently damage livelihoods, jobs and businesses; thus undermine recovery and prolong dependence on outside assistance. The rationale for EMMA is that better understanding of the key market-systems in any given situation could enable humanitarian agencies to consider a broader range of responses. These responses might include cash-based interventions, local procurement and other innovative forms of support to market actors (e.g.
  2. 2. traders) that enable programmes to make better use of existing market-system capabilities. This could lead to more efficient use of humanitarian resources, as well as also encouraging recovery and reducing dependency on outside assistance.
  3. 3. EMMA – What is it? The EMMA toolkit is a set of tools and guidance notes, designed to encourage and assist front-line humanitarian staff in sudden-onset emergencies to better understand and make use of market-systems. Box 2 EMMA’s Scope • Sudden-Onset Emergencies: where fast-moving events mean agencies have little advance knowledge of markets and limited resources to investigate. • A Broad Range of Needs: any market system that may be critical in addressing priority needs, including food, non-food items and supporting services • Rapid Assessment and Decision-making: supporting humanitarian teams to take urgent response decisions faced in the first few weeks The EMMA process has three basic strands, represented by the strap-line: “People. Markets. Emergency Response.” Initially, the strands are relatively separate: like parallel lines of enquiry in an investigation. However, as EMMA proceeds these strands should knit together to provide a coherent analysis to support the weight of final recommendations (see Box 3). 1. Gap analysis (a.k.a. people) strand: Box 3 Three strands of This strand is about understanding the emergency situation, priority needs and preferences of those most affected by the emergency: our target population. It also puts these households needs (the gaps they face) in the context of their economic profile and livelihood strategies. 2. Market analysis strand: This strand is about understanding each critical market-system’s constraints, and capabilities to play a role in the emergency response. It develops a map and profile of the pre-crisis baseline situation and explores how the emergency has impacted on this in the emergency-affected situation. 3. Response analysis strand: This strand is about exploring different options and opportunities for humanitarian agencies. It looks at each option’s respective feasibility, likely outcomes, benefits and risks, before leading to recommendations for action.
  4. 4. More information and links about the EMMA Toolkit • EMMA is published by Practical Action Publishing • Read about EMMA in the Enterprise Development and Microfinance journal • MicroLinks: Notes from the Field about recent Haiti experience of using EMMA Toolkit • Video presentation from the EMMA Toolkit launch event at ODI, London • The EMMA website: – for links and recent reports