Inter-Agency Joint Cash Study: Market Functionality and Community Perception of Cash Based Assistance – Yemen
Since 2015, conflict in Yemen has left 3 million people displaced and over half of the population food insecure, and has destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. As of July 2017, much of the population had lost their primary source of income, 46% lacked access to a free improved water source and an ongoing cholera epidemic had become the largest in modern history.
The Cash and Market Working Group (CMWG) estimated that in 2016, cash transfer programmes were conducted in 22 governorates across Yemen; however, it found little evidence to determine which method of financial assistance is the most suitable in the context of Yemen. In order to build an understanding of the current market systems and the perceptions of the Yemeni population towards cash transfer programmes, the CMWG initiated this study with the objective of identifying the most appropriate method of cash based interventions to be used by humanitarian actors. A Technical Assessment Working Group (TAWG) was established to coordinate the design, implementation and analysis phases, and was chaired by REACH and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The members of TAWG contributed resources and actively participated in data collection for the study, while REACH provided remote support and technical expertise, primarily by: providing advice for the development of tools and methodology of the study; providing technical and coordination support for data collection; leading technical data management and data cleaning; developing data analysis framework and leading data analysis process; designing, drafting and disseminating the final output; and producing maps and other data visualisation products.
This study consisted of two components, the first of which aimed to build an understanding of market functionality across 13 governorates of Yemen to which partner organisations were able to gain access, through Key Informant interviews conducted with 1399 vendors of selected essential commodities. The second component of the study was based on 114 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with different population groups (internally displaced persons, returnees, host community members and members of the historically marginalised Muhamasheen community) across 11 governorates, and aimed to explore the perceptions of communities towards cash based assistance mechanisms and address how household access to markets and financial services has changed since the onset of the conflict in 2015. The primary data for this study was collected between August and September 2017, and so is representative of the market at that point in time.