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Guidelines and Tools

Comparative Review of Market Assessments Methods, Tools, Approaches and Findings

2013 — By Nanthilde Kamara

Against a backdrop of climate change, global economic crises and commodity market volatility, food security experts are increasingly interested in deepening their understanding of how markets work.

In 2011, the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) commissioned this study, which aimed to assess how we are currently analysing markets and where we could improve. The study’s specific aims were twofold:

  1. To examine the capacity and current thinking on market analysis, with a view to improving quality and optimizing the impact of market analysis on humanitarian programmes;
  2. To explore how humanitarian institutions should resource themselves in order to carry out comprehensive market analysis.

This report presents the findings of the study, which examined three different approaches: Emergency Market Mapping Analysis (EMMA), Market Information and Food Insecurity Response Analysis (MIFIRA), and WFP Trader Surveys (WFP TS). It describes the strengths and limitations of all three methods, comparing how each determines the best transfer modality — whether food, cash or vouchers.  Finally it identifies opportunities to enhance the use of the tools. However, because all three tools are relatively recent, the study is not comprehensive.

The SWOT analysis is available here: Comparative Review of Market Assessments Methods, Tools, Approaches and Findings – SWOT Analysis