Joint Market Assessment Round 2
This report assesses the feasibility of implementing Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA), specifically Multipurpose Cash Assistance (MPCA), to support individuals impacted by the February 6 earthquakes. The evaluation focuses on the acceptance of various forms of cash modalities, availability of key items, changes in prices, recovery of the supply chain, and the overall situation of access to shops in the affected provinces.
This joint market assessment is the second round conducted in the affected provinces, updating the findings of the JMA Round 1 (which was conducted in May 2023) and expanding the coverage to reveal the market situation in areas where formal and informal temporary settlements are situated. Data collection was conducted in October 2023 by various organizations, and analysis was done by the CBI TWG coordination team. Findings were presented to all participating agencies and endorsed in November 2023.
The market assessment reveals rapid recovery across the sectors and the feasibility of cash assistance across provinces, with the caveat of challenges in the supply chain in some areas and unavailability of specific items under some sectors. Cash remains widely accepted, making it a suitable payment method for CVA. Plastic card modalities remain an area that requires close attention with relatively lower acceptance. Acceptance of various modalities is not homogeneous across different types of vendors and provinces; however, infrastructural challenges are factors that almost equally impact the acceptance of all other modalities than cash negatively.
The study observes an increase in commodity prices higher than the national average in all provinces, which will have implications for the expected outcomes of assistance schemes. The study also identifies the negative impact of restricted cash schemes developed with national chain markets, besides other challenges and needs of independent vendors.
Similar to the analysis of the JMA Round 1, this analysis suggests that the transition to cash assistance across the sectors is feasible, and providing the assistance in the form of multipurpose cash is the most feasible of all cash solutions. The overall findings, and the narrower geographical focus on several different settlements, both direct towards an optimistic outlook for the feasibility of CVA in the earthquake affected areas. Since the impact of the earthquake and the speed of recovery from its negative impact are not equal in every province, and certain items are currently unavailable or difficult to access, partners are advised to complement these findings with their program-specific in-depth analysis. It is crucial not to oversimplify and generalize the conclusion of cash feasibility, as there may be specific variations and nuances in different areas.